1 Kings 7:1‐51; Acts 7:30‐50; Psalm 128:1‐6; Proverbs 16:31‐33
In the passage from Acts, Stephen is defending himself from lying witnesses who claimed that Stephen spoke against the holy Temple and the law of Moses. Stephen responds with a history of God’s acts of salvation. Moses and the Temple are highlighted in his rendition. Stephen chooses to focus on the establishment of Israel as a worshiping people. Within this context, Moses is a presented as a deliverer, a savior, a type of Christ.
God gave to Israel the tabernacle, according to the plan He revealed to Moses. But Israel turned to a different model for worship: a permanent temple. Stephen declares that “the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands.” He seems to be indicating that the tabernacle, a temporary dwelling that moved with the people, was the preferred way that God had chosen to live among His people. In choosing a temple, Israel had rejected the Spirit of God in Moses.
Stephen concludes that the Jews had continued to choose against God’s Spirit by rejecting Jesus – God’s Son and the promised Deliverer.
We build places for God in our lives. We beautify them with our piety. But God has not chosen to dwell there only. God lives among His people in temples not made by human hands or by human intention. Are we honoring the Lord’s presence in every part of our lives, in every place that we go, in every activity we do? That is where He lives, and where we live through Him.
David Somers, Deacon
St. Matthews Episcopal Church