Acts 7:1 – 29

September 24, 2021

7 The high priest asked Stephen, “Are they telling the truth about you?”

2 Stephen answered:

Friends, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he had moved to Haran. 3 God told him, “Leave your country and your relatives and go to a land that I will show you.” 4 Then Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran.

After his father died, Abraham came and settled in this land where you now live. 5 God didn’t give him any part of it, not even a square foot. But God did promise to give it to him and his family forever, even though Abraham didn’t have any children. 6 God said that Abraham’s descendants would live for a while in a foreign land. There they would be slaves and would be mistreated four hundred years. 7 But he also said, “I will punish the nation that makes them slaves. Then later they will come and worship me in this place.”

8 God said to Abraham, “Every son in each family must be circumcised to show that you have kept your agreement with me.” So when Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him. Later, Isaac circumcised his son Jacob, and Jacob circumcised his twelve sons. 9 These men were our ancestors.

Joseph was also one of our famous ancestors. His brothers were jealous of him and sold him as a slave to be taken to Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. God made him so wise that the Egyptian king Pharaoh thought highly of him. The king even made Joseph governor over Egypt and put him in charge of everything he owned.

11 Everywhere in Egypt and Canaan the grain crops failed. There was terrible suffering, and our ancestors could not find enough to eat. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our ancestors there for the first time. 13 It was on their second trip that Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family.

14 Joseph sent for his father and his relatives. In all, there were seventy-five of them. 15 His father went to Egypt and died there, just as our ancestors did. 16 Later their bodies were taken back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor.

17 Finally, the time came for God to do what he had promised Abraham. By then the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Another king was ruling Egypt, and he didn’t know anything about Joseph. 19 He tricked our ancestors and was cruel to them. He even made them leave their babies outside, so they would die.

20 During this time Moses was born. He was a very beautiful child, and for three months his parents took care of him in their home. 21 Then when they were forced to leave him outside, the king’s daughter found him and raised him as her own son. 22 Moses was given the best education in Egypt. He was a strong man and a powerful speaker.

23 When Moses was forty years old, he wanted to help the Israelites because they were his own people. 24 One day he saw an Egyptian mistreating one of them. So he rescued the man and killed the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought the rest of his people would realize that God was going to use him to set them free. But they didn’t understand.

26 The next day Moses saw two of his own people fighting, and he tried to make them stop. He said, “Men, you are both Israelites. Why are you so cruel to each other?”

27 But the man who had started the fight pushed Moses aside and asked, “Who made you our ruler and judge? 28 Are you going to kill me, just as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” 29 When Moses heard this, he ran away to live in the country of Midian. His two sons were born there.