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June 9

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“Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action” (Acts 7:22 NLT).

From: June 9, 2018

In Stephen’s defense before the Jewish high council, he spoke of God’s preparation of Moses as Israel’s deliverer. Moses lived 40 years as a prince of Egypt, adopted by the Pharoah’s sister and raised as her own son. He was given a royal education. Yet, after fleeing Egypt and living 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd, he seems to have lost his confidence. When God called him to deliver Israel, he complained that he was “slow of speech” (Ex. 4:10). Moses may have been making an idle excuse, or he may have lost his self-confidence. But God reminded Moses that He had made man’s mouth and sent him back to Egypt anyway.
Moses’ 120 years of life can be divided into three 40 year segments. The first 40, he lived as a prince. The second 40, he lived as a fugitive hiding in the wilderness, working as a shepherd. And the final 40 years, he led Israel out of captivity. The first 40 gave Moses confidence, so much so that he tried to be Israel’s deliverer in his own strength. The second 40 humbled him, so that he was totally dependent on God.
It took 80 years to make a Moses that God could use. How long has God been working on you?

“For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand” (Acts 7:25 NKJV).

From: June 9, 2017

Stephen’s defense before the Jewish council was amazing in its span and understanding of Jewish history. He offered a condensed version of the Old Testament story starting with Abraham and steadily progressing to the 1st Century time of Jesus. But it wasn’t just a summary. It offered profound spiritual insights on the ancient faith story.

Consider the Moses part of the story. Here, Stephen described not only the facts of Moses’ life, but his motivations. Stephen described Moses as being aware of his God-given calling to be the deliverer of Israel when he was only 40 years old. So, when he fled to Midian after killing the Egyptian, he wasn’t just fleeing Pharoah’s judgment, he was fleeing God’s call.

Stephen’s commentary on the Old Testament helps us understand the storyline from God’s perspective. He establishes the best practice for our reading today. For the best way to understand the Old Testament is through the lens of the New Testament and through the person of Jesus.

Stephen tried to help the Jewish council understand that their history had always pointed to Jesus, that He was the fulfillment of their Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, they would not believe. And they sentenced Stephen to be stoned to death.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3 ESV)

From: June 9, 2016

We are to be thankful for our children as a “heritage,” as a gift. It is not just biology at work, for they are “from the Lord.” They are a “reward” to be desired, not a burden to be avoided. Yet, we need this reminder from God’s Word because sin would have us view God’s gifts as curses. Beloved, meditate on this verse as you consider our little ones.

“And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built” (1 Kings 6:7 NKJV)

From: June 9, 2015

That every massive stone used in the building of Solomon’s temple was “finished at the quarry” was an astounding feat. For a worksite of such magnitude to be absent any hammering or chiseling would be just as amazing today as it was then. Both the designer and the builder had to be exacting in their precision and skill in order to accomplish this. Some stones weighed as much as 100 tons, yet they were perfectly honed and fitted together. The temple site may have been quiet, but there must have been much noise at the quarry as each stone was hammered and chiseled out, shaping it perfectly for God’s house. The apostle Peter tells us that God is building a new house and we are like “living stones being built into his spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2:5). God is both the Architect and the Builder of this spiritual temple (Heb. 11:10). Sometimes He is noisily chiseling away on us in the quarry and at other times He is quietly putting us into place. Yet, it is God who builds His house and we who are being perfectly fitted for it.

“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted” (Psalm 127:1)

From: June 9, 2012

Are you having trouble at your house? Marital woes? Parenting fatigue? Money worries? Ask God to help. There are too many factors beyond your control. Give God control. Give Him your spouse, your marriage, your kids, your money … Give God your house! Let Him build a family that lasts forever.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1)

From: June 9, 2011

With both working to pay the mortgage, buying a house in the nicest neighborhood, filling it with expensive furnishings, you still labor in vain without God. A house doesn’t make a home. Love does. God is love. Let Him build your house.