Andy Hallett has provided the notes this week.
Model of the tabernacle in Timna Park, Israel
Where does the Holy Spirit dwell? In the hearts of those who love God and desire to follow him. Stephen reminds the Sanhedrin and the onlookers of the many privileges that the Jews had and how they had behaved.
Whilst Moses was up on the mountain receiving God’s laws for the Jewish people they were down in a valley making a false idol to worship. God turned away from his people allowing them to receive the consequences of rebelling against him. They were a long time in the wilderness (40 Years) and later their rebellion would send them into exile in Babylon.
Moses built the tabernacle according to God’s instructions. It was the place where God dwelt (Exodus 25:8). The tabernacle travelled around with Joshua and remained in the land until the time of David. The Jewish nation had success as long as they followed Gods instructions. Solomon was to build God’s temple, yet God cannot be contained in grand buildings but desires to live in the hearts of his people.
Stephen sums up how the Jewish leaders had treated God. They were a stiff necked people, resisted God’s Holy Spirit, got rid of God’s messengers (the prophets) and had even killed God’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus. Stephen was polite, firm, and honest with his accusers. He was not afraid to speak the truth putting a clear argument showing the mistakes that the Jews had made and gave them the opportunity to return to God.
Does it show that God through his Holy Spirit lives in my heart? Am I endeavouring to follow him by living by his instructions given through the bible? We reap what we sow. Rebellion against God eventually brings punishment. Obedience to God brings good things!
Speak up for what we know is true giving people the opportunity to turn to God regardless of their past.