Jump to content


Photo

29 October - 2 Chronicles 26; 27; Daniel 7; Acts 7


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:20 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 26; 27


26:1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem. 26:4 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper. 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines. 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim. 26:8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong. 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. 26:10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming. 26:11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers’ households, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred. 26:13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. 26:14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging. 26:15 He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong. 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense. 26:17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men: 26:18 and they resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, “It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from Yahweh God.”

26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense. 26:20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him. 26:21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, wrote. 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, “He is a leper.” Jotham his son reigned in his place.

#2 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:20 AM

27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. 27:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Uzziah had done: however he didn’t enter into the temple of Yahweh. The people still did corruptly. 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh, and on the wall of Ophel he built much. 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers. 27:5 He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. The children of Ammon gave that much to him in the second year also, and in the third. 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before Yahweh his God. 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. 27:9 Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

#3 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:21 AM

Second Portion

Daniel 7


7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head on his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters. 7:2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the sky broke forth on the great sea. 7:3 Four great animals came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I saw until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand on two feet as a man; and a man’s heart was given to it. 7:5 Behold, another animal, a second, like a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh. 7:6 After this I saw, and behold, another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the animal had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and, behold, a fourth animal, awesome and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns. 7:8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. 7:9 I saw until thrones were placed, and one who was ancient of days sat: his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels burning fire. 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 7:11 I saw at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke; I saw even until the animal was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire. 7:12 As for the rest of the animals, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 7:14 There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 7:15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 7:16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 7:17 These great animals, which are four, are four kings, who shall arise out of the earth. 7:18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. 7:19 Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth animal, which was diverse from all of them, exceedingly terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; 7:20 and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows. 7:21 I saw, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 7:22 until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth animal shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 7:24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings. 7:25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. 7:26 But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end. 7:27 The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 7:28 Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my face was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

#4 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:23 AM

Third Portion

Acts 7


7:1 The high priest said, “Are these things so?”

7:2 He said, “Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 7:3 and said to him, ‘Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.’ 7:4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living. 7:5 He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child. 7:6 God spoke in this way: that his seed would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. 7:7 ‘I will judge the nation to which they will be in bondage,’ said God, ‘and after that will they come out, and serve me in this place.’ 7:8 He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

7:9 “The patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with him, 7:10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 7:11 Now a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction. Our fathers found no food. 7:12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers the first time. 7:13 On the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s race was revealed to Pharaoh. 7:14 Joseph sent, and summoned Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five souls. 7:15 Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, himself and our fathers, 7:16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.

7:17 “But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 7:18 until there arose a different king, who didn’t know Joseph. 7:19 The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn’t stay alive. 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father’s house. 7:21 When he was thrown out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and reared him as her own son. 7:22 Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works. 7:23 But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. 7:24 Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian. 7:25 He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance; but they didn’t understand.

7:26 “The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, ‘Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?’ 7:27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 7:28 Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’* 7:29 Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

7:30 “When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 7:31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him, 7:32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’* Moses trembled, and dared not look. 7:33 The Lord said to him, ‘Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 7:34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.’

7:35 “This Moses, whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 7:37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.’ 7:38 This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us, 7:39 to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt, 7:40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’* 7:41 They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands. 7:42 But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets,

‘Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices
forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
7:43 You took up the tabernacle of Moloch,
the star of your god Rephan,
the figures which you made to worship.
I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’

7:44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen; 7:45 which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David, 7:46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built him a house. 7:48 However, the Most High doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,

7:49 ‘heaven is my throne,
and the earth a footstool for my feet.
What kind of house will you build me?’ says the Lord;
‘or what is the place of my rest?
7:50 Didn’t my hand make all these things?’

7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do. 7:52 Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers. 7:53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”

7:54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 7:56 and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

7:57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord. 7:58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 7:60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain

#5 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:25 AM

29 October 2008

2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7

#6 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:06 AM

29 October 2009

2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7

#7 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:34 PM

29 October 2010

2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7

A HISTORY LESSON

Stephen is hauled before the Jewish Council and accused of speaking blasphemous words against the Law and saying the Temple would be destroyed. His speech (in Acts 7) before the Council is a history lesson! Why? What was his purpose? He reviews all that had happened since the time of Abraham. Didn’t the members of the Council know their history?

As we read the chapter we see Stephen is tracing the things God had instigated since he called Abraham from his homeland in Ur. The lesson is for humans to be awake and aware of God in action, actions which are a response to faith or lack of it. After Abraham he looks at the work and faith of Joseph. Then God raised up Moses and when he became really faithful, miracles occurred both in leaving Egypt and in the wilderness when the commandments and the Law was given, also the follies caused by failures of faith and the result.

Then comes the establishment in the land under Joshua; the days of David and the great Temple built by Solomon. God’s presence was with them, yet God is far greater than just dwelling in the Temple they had built, God said “Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool” [Acts 7:49]. Yet their religious life in Stephen’s time was still built around it! Did they have a relationship with the One God for whom it was built? No! Stephen portrayed the real lessons for them, the mistakes that their history should teach them – how often their ancestors had not been awake to see God in action but had pursued their own ends.

Stephen suddenly challenges them, “You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit (God in action) as your father’s did …” [Acts 7:51] He accuses them - you betrayed and murdered the righteous one, Jesus, … you did just the same as your ancestors did – a folly which they complete my murdering Stephen. It is evident that Stephen had included in his preaching a warning that the Temple was to be destroyed. And it was, about 35 years later – and their nation as well.

Now our 21st Century will surely see the climax of human history. God will act again but the whole world is blind and unprepared just as the Jews were! An awesome time is coming to destroy the “temples” of the gods of today. Do we preach this as Stephen did? Are you prepared? Is your faith strong enough to endure? Remember what Jesus said, “Because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold, but those who endure to the end will be saved.” [Matthew 24:12,13]. We need the fellowship of fellow believers to help us to endure.
-------
- DC

#8 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:09 AM

29 October 2011

2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7

"BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM"

In Acts 6 we read of the appointment of “seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and wisdom “ [Acts 6:3] to assist the disciples so that they could devote themselves “to prayer and the ministry of the word” [Acts 6:4]. One of these, Stephen, was particularly zealous in preaching and challenged the Jewish visitors to Jerusalem, and they “disputed with Stephen”. Some of these came “from Cilicia” [Acts 6:9] where Paul came from – he was to prove the most aggressive of them all.

Stephen is brought before the council and the High Priest asks him, “Are these things so? And Stephen replies: ‘Brothers and Fathers hear me’ ”. He then gives them a history lesson the point of which was to illustrate how God had acted in the past in raising up men like Abraham, Joseph, Moses and David who though initially separated and opposed by their brethren went on to do great service before God. Stephen then bluntly challenged them, “you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you” [Acts 7:51]. God sent “the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered” [Acts 7:52]

Now the believers had “multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” [Acts 6:7]. There was surely an expectation of some remarkable deliverance such as had already happened as we have read previously in Acts. But no!

Consider why it was God’s will for Stephen to die. Also note how his last words were so similar to those of Christ at his death. Jesus had said that his message “should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” [Luke 24:47], but they had not gone beyond Jerusalem – but now events made them do so. Acts 8 tells us, “those who were scattered went about preaching the word.” [Acts 8:4]

Most of all, look at the later impact on Paul, who it says, “approved of his execution” [Acts 8:1] and who, when he was dramatically converted did his utmost to carry on where Stephen left off. Truly God makes “all things work together for good … according to his purpose” [Romans 8:28]. Paul came to know “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe” [Ephesians 1:19] We must be willing to sense his involvement in our lives.
-------
- DC

#9 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:35 AM

29 October 2012

2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7

"THOSE WHO ENDURE TO THE END WILL BE SAVED"

Stephen is hauled before the Jewish Council and accused of speaking blasphemous words against the Law and saying the Temple would be destroyed. His speech (in Acts 7) before the Council is a history lesson! Why? What was his purpose? He reviews all that had happened since the time of Abraham. Didn’t the members of the Council know their history?

As we read the chapter we see Stephen is tracing the things God had instigated since he called Abraham from his homeland in Ur. The lesson is for humans to be awake and aware of God in action, actions which are a response to faith or lack of it. After Abraham he looks at the work and faith of Joseph. Then God raised up Moses and when he became really faithful, miracles occurred both in leaving Egypt and in the wilderness when the commandments and the Law was given, also the follies caused by failures of faith and the result.

Then comes the establishment in the land under Joshua; the days of David and the great Temple built by Solomon. God’s presence was with them, yet God is far greater than just dwelling in the Temple they had built, God said “Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool” [Acts 7:49]. Yet their religious life in Stephen’s time was still built around it! Did they have a relationship with the One God for whom it was built? No! Stephen portrayed the real lessons for them, the mistakes that their history should teach them – how often their ancestors had not been awake to see God in action but had pursued their own ends.

Stephen suddenly challenges them, “You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit (God in action) as your father’s did …” [Acts 7:51] He accuses them - you betrayed and murdered the righteous one, Jesus, … you did just the same as your ancestors did – a folly which they complete my murdering Stephen. It is evident that Stephen had included in his preaching a warning that the Temple was to be destroyed. And it was, about 35 years later – and their nation as well.

Now our 21st Century will surely see the climax of human history. God will act again but the whole world is blind and unprepared just as the Jews were! An awesome time is coming to destroy the “temples” of the gods of today. Do we preach this as Stephen did? Are you prepared? Is your faith strong enough to endure? Remember what Jesus said, “Because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold, but those who endure to the end will be saved.” [Matthew 24:12,13]. We need the fellowship of fellow believers to help us to endure.
-------
- DC

#10 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:25 AM

29 October 2013

2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7

"DO NOT HOLD THIS SIN AGAINST THEM"

What sin? The above words were uttered by Stephen as they took up stones to throw at him, he knew he was going to be killed. His speech in response to the High Priest, as we read today, was increasingly provocative – rather similar to how Jesus repeatedly uttered provocative parables about the Pharisees in the weeks prior to his arrest: for e.g. Luke 20:9-20.

The more you read the more you sense the challenging nature of the Master’s teaching. It reminds us of Moses in the wilderness and his increasing frustrations with the people. The time came when he said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered around him” [Exodus 32:26] These were the priests, the relatives of Aaron. As Moses became dismayed with the people then, similarly our Lord and our Heavenly Father must be dismayed today: how many who claim the name of Christ, who have come out from the world, are keeping genuinely close to the their Saviour in their wilderness journey? The wilderness is increasingly hostile.

Stephen’s speech, a history lesson reminding them of God’s involvement throughout the history of their nation reaches its’ climax when he challenges his hearers “Which of the prophets did not your father’s persecute?” [Acts 7:52] In every generation those who are really on the Lord’s side, stand out – because they stand apart!

Yet, the essential lesson we must take from this chapter is that we leave all attitudes of judgement to our Master. Stephen emulated his Lord, as he cried out as the stones began to hit him, “Do not hold this sin against them” .- his last words before he fell asleep – until the resurrection – his next conscious moment!

How many, especially the Pharisee Paul, then called Saul, will be there at the resurrection – among the sheep and the wheat – because Stephen’s dying prayer was heard. Paul’s word’s to the Philippians are so appropriate and challenging, - that “we may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” [Philippians 2:15] Let us all shine as brightly as we can, making sure we are on the Lord’s side.
-------
- DC



#11 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:46 AM

29 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7  
 
A HISTORY LESSON IN FAITH  
                                                                                                                                     
Stephen is hauled before the Jewish Council and accused of speaking blasphemous words against the Law and saying the Temple would be destroyed. His speech (in Acts 7) before the Council is a history lesson!  Why?  What was his purpose?  He reviews all that had happened since the time of Abraham. Didn’t the members of the Council know their history? 
            
As we read the chapter we see Stephen is tracing the things God had instigated since he called Abraham from his homeland in Ur.  The lesson is for humans to be awake and aware of God in action, actions which are a response to human faith or lack of it. After Abraham he looks at the work and faith of Joseph.  Then God raised up Moses and when he became really faithful, miracles occurred both in leaving Egypt and in the wilderness when the commandments and the Law was given, also the follies caused by failures of faith and the result.   
            
Then comes the establishment in the land under Joshua; the days of David and the great Temple built by Solomon. God’s presence was with them, yet God is far greater than just dwelling in the Temple they had built, God said “Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool” [Acts 7:49].  Yet their religious life in Stephen’s time was still built around the Temple! Did they have a relationship with the One God for whom it was built?  No! Stephen portrayed the real lessons for them, the mistakes that their history should teach them – how often their ancestors had not been awake to see God in action but had pursued their own ends.
            
Stephen suddenly challenges them, “You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit (God in action) as your father’s did …” [Acts 7:51]    He accuses them - you betrayed and murdered the righteous one, Jesus, … you did just the same as your ancestors did – a folly which they complete my murdering Stephen.  It is evident that Stephen had included in his preaching a warning that the Temple was to be destroyed. And it was, about 35 years later – and their nation as well. 
            
Our 21st Century will surely see the climax of human history. God will act again but the whole world is blind and unprepared just as the Jews were!  An awesome time is coming to destroy the “temples” of the gods of today.  Do we preach a message that is parallel to Stephen’s?  Are  we prepared? Is our faith strong enough to endure?  How appropriate are the words of Jesus, “Because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold, but those who endure to the end will be saved.” [Matthew 24:12-13]. We must have the fellowship of fellow believers to help us to endure.  
-------
- DC


#12 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2015 - 10:05 PM

29 October 2015
 
2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7  
 
"WHEN HE WAS STRONG HE GREW PROUD"
            
We have a particularly thought provoking set of readings today.  In Acts we have Stephens’ most challenging speech – it is a history lesson of the failures of the Jewish nation in the past – failures to be faithful to their God – failures which climaxed in their rejection of Jesus.  The religious leaders were “proud” of their positions of authority, because of this nearly all had failed to recognise the authority, and therefore, the identity of Jesus.
            
Daniel 7 contains ‘parables’ of human kingdoms and the misuse of power because of human pride: but the climax, surely in our days, is when the Almighty creates a “kingdom and dominion” which “shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him (and 'them').'" [Daniel 7:27]  
            
How wonderful beyond our comprehension!  This is the time when the 'immortal saints' will have literally become part of the family of the Creator and will never suffer from growing "proud."
            
There is a very good lesson for us in our reading in 2 Chronicles 26.  A new king came to the throne and at first he was a wise God-fearing king, "He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper." [2 Chronicles 26:5]  We have the Bible to instruct us – and as long as we seek to absorb its message into our minds – we will spiritually “prosper.”. 
            
However, the new king,  "… when he was strong, he grew proud" [2 Chronicles 26:16] and "was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple ... to burn incense on the altar of incense." [2 Chronicles 26:16] 
            
The priests tell Uzziah "you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honour from the LORD God. ... Then Uzziah was angry ... and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead" [2 Chronicles 26:18-19]  
            
The lesson for us is plain.  It is a tragedy if our knowledge of God's word leads, over time, to us becoming spiritually proud.  The prophecy given through Isaiah is particularly relevant in these last days, "...the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and it shall be brought low" [Isaiah 2:12]  Surely that day is almost upon us – may the visions we are reading in Daniel inspire (and humble) us.  
-------
- DC


#13 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2016 - 11:38 AM

29 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7  
 
“YOU STIFF NECKED PEOPLE”
 
What is a “stiff neck”? What does this phrase mean? It implies that those who develop a “stiff neck” cannot look around to get what they see – in balance; they have blinkers on their eyes, like a horse in harness!
 
Sadly, indeed tragically, this is the case today, so many have their minds fixed on the belief there is no God – that everything that exists, with its many marvels, in some ‘magic’ way, created itself! We encountered the word “stiff necked” in the book of Acts. Who was accusing people – and which people – of being “stiff necked”? Yesterday we read Acts 6 and today Acts 7 – chapters which need to be read in conjunction. 
 
We learn in Acts 6 that, to assist the disciples in the rapidly growing Jerusalem ecclesia “they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” [Acts 6:5] and six others to assist the disciples in the functioning of the now massive ecclesia. Jews from many parts were visiting Jerusalem for Pentecost, which was 7 Sabbaths after the Passover and “those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen.” [Acts 6:9] Cilicia is where Paul was from [Acts 21:39] Stephen is “seized … and brought him before the council,” [Acts 6:12]. 
 
Today’s Acts 7 starts with the High Priest asking him “are these things so?” – that is, that “Jesus would destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered” [Acts 6:14] 
 
Stephen’s speech is recorded in detail, over 50 verses. We note how many times he says, God did this and said that! It is all about what God caused to happen in the past – with Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon. Up to a point they knew these things – but they missed the point of what the past was leading up to! Similarly today, so many ‘christians’ are missing the point that the present is leading up to the return of Christ – with the wondrous result of the kingdom of God being established on earth.
 
Stephen’s speech reaches its climax with the challenge; “"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered …” [Acts 7:51-52]
 
There is no Stephen today to denounce today’s ways as “stiff necked” thinking. – Actually minds are even more “stiff necked” than they were then! They are now totally blind to the reality - that there is a Creator.
As they “cast him out of the city and stoned him.” [Acts 7:58] Stephen “gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” [Acts 7:55]
 
How soon now before we gaze into the heavens and we will see “the Lord himself will descend from heaven … with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” [1 Thessalonians 4:16]
-------
- DC


#14 Librarian

Librarian

    Omega

  • Publications
  • 10,023 posts

Posted 29 October 2017 - 01:53 AM

29 October 2017
 
2 Chronicles 26; 27
Daniel 7
Acts 7  
 
"DO NOT HOLD THIS SIN AGAINST THEM"
 
What sin? The above words were uttered by Stephen as they took up stones to throw at him; he knew he was going to be killed. His speech in response to the High Priest, which we read today, was increasingly provocative – rather similar to how Jesus repeatedly uttered provocative parables about the Pharisees in the weeks prior to his arrest: for e.g. Luke 20:9-20. 
 
The more you read the more you sense the challenging nature of the Master's teaching. It reminds us of Moses in the wilderness and his increasing frustrations with the people. The time came when he said, "Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered around him" [Exodus 32:26] These were the priests, the relatives of Aaron.  
 
As Moses became dismayed with the people then, similarly our Lord and our Heavenly Father must be dismayed today: how many who claim the name of Christ, who have come out from the world, are keeping genuinely close to the their Saviour in their wilderness journey? The wilderness is increasingly negative –“ and readily hostile if provoked – to believe there is a God they need to, simply have to, fear!
 
Stephen's speech was a history lesson reminding them of God's involvement throughout the history of their nation – it reaches its' climax when he challenges his hearers "Which of the prophets did not your father's persecute?" [Acts 7:52]. In every generation those who are really on the Lord's side, stand out because they stand apart!  
 
Yet, the essential lesson we must take from this chapter is that we leave all attitudes of judgement to our Master. Stephen emulated his Lord, as he cried out as the stones began to hit him, "Do not hold this sin against them" – these were his last words before he fell asleep – until the resurrection – his next conscious moment! 
 
How many, especially the Pharisee Paul, then called Saul, will be there at the resurrection – among the sheep and the wheat – because Stephen's dying prayer was heard. Paul's word's to the Philippians are so appropriate and challenging, - that "we may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" [Philippians 2:15] Let us all shine as brightly as we can.
-------
 DC





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users