Unstoppable! 'God Turned Away from Them' — Acts 7:41-43

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

[In his defense before the council, Stephen spoke of his rebellious ancestors and God's judgment on them:] "So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written,
'Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings
during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?
No, you carried your pagan gods —
the shrine of Molech,
the star of your god Rephan,
and the images you made to worship them.
So I will send you into exile
as far away as Babylon.'"
— Acts 7:41-43 NLT

Key Thought

When Stephen's ancestors rebelled against Moses and built altars to idols and chased the stars as if they were gods, the LORD abandoned them. He promised and later fulfilled his promise to send his rebellious people into exile in Babylon. God was patient and forgiving. His people wore out his patience and ignored their need to be forgiven. The LORD God was displeased with his people and punished them to awaken their hearts back to him and his grace. There are always consequences of long-term rebellion and disobedience, and there is also punishment unless there is repentance. However, God fashions his discipline to correct, awaken, and return his people to him. Jesus is God's most complete demonstration of his longing to forgive and redeem those who will seek him.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for chasing false gods and for selfish pursuits instead of honoring you. Please awaken me to your love and cover me with your grace as my heart and will run to you for forgiveness, shelter, and redemption. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 15:11-32
  • Hebrews 3:5-14

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 7:41-43 NLT — [In his defense before the council, Stephen spoke of his rebellious ancestors and God's judgment on them:] "So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written,
'Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings
during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?
No, you carried your pagan gods —
the shrine of Molech,
the star of your god Rephan,
and the images you made to worship them.
So I will send you into exile
as far away as Babylon.'"

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.