Acts 7:44–53 (ESV)
Stephen’s Speech (Part 7)
44 “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that
God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses
made by hands, as the prophet says,
49 “ ‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?
50 Did not my hand make all these things?’
51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your
fathers did, so do you. 52 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, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and
did not keep it.”
Today, finally... we get to the end of Stephen’s speech. Verse 44 talks about the “tent of witness” which is the tabernacle that God commanded Moses to build.
It was a tent made to be portable so that they could carry as they wandered in the wilderness. Moses made it according to God’s instructions. That tent lasted until David wanted to build the Temple, but it was his son Solomon that built it.
Stephen gets bold and calls them “stiff-necked” and uncircumcised in heart and ears. That is... they are inflexible in their ways and while they may be physically circumcised, their hearts are corrupt. All the prophets sent to by God
to warn them, they killed. This is certainly a way to win people over (yea, right!). But what Stephen said is truthful, but truth can be painful at times.
I pray: O Lord, help me to be attentive
to your Word and to be molded by your will. Use me to carry out your ministry and help me to not work against you. Forgive me when I do and redirect me back to your ways. Amen.