Acts Chapter Seven part 5, A study of Acts 7:42 & 43 and Acts 7:44 - 47 featuring our Common Man's Commentary

Acts 7:42 & 43

"'But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: "Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon."'" NIV translation

Stephen continues his talk before the Sanhedrin and explains that God turns away from idolatry. He quotes the prophet Amos in the last part of this passage. Amos was an Old Testament prophet that was from Judah but was sent to the kingdom of Israel to prophesy against them. The nation of Israel had turned from God to worship false gods and Amos warned them of their coming punishment for doing so. Stephen is explaining to the Sanhedrin that, once again, the Jewish people had turned from God. It was true then and it is now that God does not tolerate idolatry. We, as Christians today, must ask ourselves are we truly putting God first in deed as in words. God never changes and He will not share the throne with anything or anyone. He didn't share it during Amos' time or Stephen's time and He will not tolerate it today or tomorrow.

Acts 7:44 - 47

"'Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God's favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built the house for him.'" NIV translation

Stephen continues his history lecture to the Sanhedrin as he remembers when the people of Israel had the tabernacle with them. He reminds them that the making of the tabernacle was all according to God's plan and His pattern. Stephen recalls how the nations were driven out before the Jewish people and how David was chosen of God. 

He then reminds them that David wanted to build a temple for God but God chose Solomon to build it instead. As Christians today, we also can forget about what God has done for us in the past. It is good for us to stop and remind ourselves how God has been with us in the past. 

That is what Stephen is doing with the Sanhedrin here. It is good to also be reminded that it is not our will that matters but God's, just as Stephen reminded them of the example of David's desire to build the temple.

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