The Man Who Obeyed God
As we have already seen, it was Stephen's method of defense to take a panoramic view of Jewish history. It was not the mere sequence of events that was in Stephen's mind. To him, every person and event symbolized something. He began with Abraham, for in the most literal way it was with him that, for the Jew, history began. Stephen sees three things in him.
(1st) Abraham was a man who answeredGod's summons. As the writer to the Hebrews put it, Abraham left home without knowing where he was to go (Hebrews 11:8). He was a man with an adventurous spirit. Lesslie Newbigin of the Church of South India tells us, "A Christian has no right to demand to know where He, God, is going." For Stephen, the man of God was one who obeyed God's command even when he had no idea what the consequences might be.
(2nd) Abraham was a man of faith. He had no idea where he was going, but he believed that under God's guidance, the best was yet to be. Even when he had no children and when, humanly speaking, it seemed impossible that he ever would have any, he believed that someday his descendants would inherit the land God had promised to them. (3rd) Abraham was a man of hope. Up to the end of his life, he never saw the promise fully fulfilled, but he never doubted that it would be.
So, Stephen presents the Jews with the picture of an adventurous life, ever ready to answer God's summons in contrast to their desire to cling to the past.
Life Application: What kind of walk with Jesus do you have? Do you trust His guidance even when you don't know where He is taking you? "Trust and obey, for there is no other way."
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, life with You is full of adventure! You have taken me to places where I knew nothing about the culture, language, food, etc. But the adventure of faith in You was so great. Even when I didn't really know, I knew You knew, and I trusted You because You have always been faithful. The faith walk is so full of adventure. Amen!