Daily Devotional Saturday 29th February 2020by William Moody
Stephen Is Seized
8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Stephen was one of the seven appointed to look after the poor (v5). He is described as a man full of God’s grace and power (v8). He was used to perform great wonders and miraculous signs.
His influence caused him to be the target for opposition (v9), but his God-given wisdom meant that he defeated them in debate (v10). God’s people need increasing wisdom in a sceptical world, to enable us to give a reasonable defence for reason for the hope we have in us. We should not fear such discussions because truth is on our side and all the wisdom we need is in God’s word.
Sadly Stephen’s opponents resorted to deceit by getting false witnesses to speak against him (v11-14). The description of Stephen here is wonderful (v15). The face of an angel speaks of purity, peace and even glory in his appearance. The joy of the Lord was his strength.
God promises when His children suffer, He will be with them. Trust the Lord!
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