Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 19, 20; Acts 7:20-40
“But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.'” (Acts 7:33, NASB95)
In Stephen’s defense before the Sanhedrin, why does he recount the story of Moses having the encounter with the burning bush in the wilderness.
- When God manifests His presence to Moses, He declares this place to be holy ground.
- One of the charges brought against Stephen was that he spoke against “this holy place” (Acts 6:13). God manifested His presence in the wilderness, far from the site of the Jerusalem temple. The Jewish Sanhedrin thought of the temple as the pinnacle of God’s plan, and often even the exclusive place of God’s presence. On the contrary, the temple does not contain God.
- God’s purpose is declared at the end of Stephen’s speech: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is the footstool of My feet; what kind of house will you build for Me?” (Acts 7:49; Is. 66:1). The only suitable temple, holy place, for God would be one made by His own hand.
the temple was only a model of what God would do through Jesus and His church in spreading His presence throughout the world. Jesus Himself is the temple and when we believe in Him, we become part of Him, living stones in His temple for the glory of God (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). Wherever God chooses to dwell is holy. Since He chooses to dwell in His people, we are a holy people, and we bring God’s holy presence with us. Do you see your whole body as set apart for God? Since you bring God’s presence with you, are you only going where He directs you? Are you fulfilling God’s mission to spread His glorious presence throughout the earth?