“When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.24 And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian.25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand.26 And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?’27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’29 At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
We find ourselves in the middle of Stephen’s defense before the Jewish Ruling Council. He is summarizing the entire history of the Jewish Nation. He is speaking off the cuff so to speak and knows with quite detail what the major events of this history are. This is a fairly long chapter in the Book of Acts. I copied this section, but read the entire section assigned for today. This is only part of the grand defense that Stephen mounts. He didn’t study hard before giving this talk, it just rolled off his tongue as he rehearsed Israel’s history. What a faith and what a memory!
Several years ago I was speaking to a group of leaders and mentioned the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. As we talked it dawned on me that half of these leaders had never read or heard this story. I was caught off guard. A leader, a Christ-follower should be familiar with the great stories of the Bible at least. I think this story of Stephen is one of them. Ezekiel and the Valley of the Dry Bones is another one we should know. If you are keeping up daily with 66books then you will know the stories or you already know them because you’ve read the Bible through already. I believe God rewards those that are faithful in Bible reading & prayer. Those that do are firmer in their faith. They deal better with the trials of life and are a blessing to more. What about you? How many of the stories do you know? Should you know more?
Father God, thank you for your Word and the stories contained in it. I pray that these stories will change our lives and that they will be opportunities we can use to share the truth of the gospel with other. I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.