ISAIAH 51:1-3; ACTS 7:2-5
The prophet Isaiah speaks to the righteous remnant of Israel in exile. He reminds them of God’s faithfulness with a message of hope as they face the future:
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.”
For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
And he [Stephen] said,
“Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him,
‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’
Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran.
And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on.
But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession and to his descendants after him.”
Despite seemingly impossible odds, God chose Abraham and Sarah as progenitors of the nation of Israel. Sarah, considered barren and well beyond childbearing age, miraculously conceived and gave birth to a son at 90 years of age!
Before the promised heir was born, God pledged the land of Israel as an inheritance to Abraham and his descendants. Although he did not live to see the fulfillment of God’s promise, Abraham lived a life of faith convinced that all would be fulfilled as promised. Two millennia later, Stephen reminded that the nation of Israel stands as an enduring testimony of Abraham’s faith and God’s faithfulness to him.
1) Bible opened to Isaiah. By, Ken Horn, [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Springtime view of Even Sapir, a moshav on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel. By Ester Inbar, [available from commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:ST.], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the NKJV.