God's Word for Today
Acts 7b

November 16, 2011

 
 

In response to the accusation that he spoke against the Jewish house of worship, Stephen traces the history of the temple to show his respect for it as God’s house.  He begins before the temple with the tabernacle in the wilderness. The Lord God, says Stephen, spoke to Moses and directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen.  From the time of the exodus until the time of David, Israel had the tabernacle, a constant symbol of God’s holy presence. But still they worshipped other things, like idols instead of God throughout much of their history.   Again, Stephen points to the rejection of the representatives that God sent.

Stephen makes only a brief mention of Solomon’s temple, since the Jewish religious leaders were already very familiar with its history.  During the time of Stephen, the current temple was not Solomon’s, because it had been destroyed by the Babylonians. That temple had been replaced by one built by Zerubbabel , which had also been destroyed. The current temple had been built by Herod. And within the lifetime of many of Stephen’s hearers, in a.d. 70, that temple also would be destroyed.

Stephen’s points out that God does not dwell in houses made by human hands. Solomon understood that truth. In his prayer at the dedication of the temple 1 Kings 8:27 For more see www.wdbydana.com/newsletter.html