Artwork by Doug Kallerson.
Thursday, 2 June 2022
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; Acts 7:57
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
Stephen had just called out, stating that he saw the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. It was all the council could take. Stephen was claiming that the Man they had betrayed and handed over to the Romans for crucifixion was now in the position of all authority and power. It would mean that He was the One spoken of by Daniel who would judge them all.
With this, Luke next records, “Then they cried out.” This was probably done for two reasons. The first was to snarl at Stephen some more while accusing him of blasphemy. Secondly, it would have been to drown out any more words from him. Hence, they cried out “with a loud voice.”
One can almost imagine the ruckus of seventy-plus people wildly howling out. It would turn very quickly from a ruling council to an out-of-control mob. Along with crying out in a loud manner, it says they “stopped their ears.”
The verb means “held together.” In other words, they would have folded the bottom of their ears up and tightly held them in place so that they wouldn’t hear any more words. This, together with their crying out, would completely drown out the sound of Stephen’s words. It was a way of demonstrating that they believed his words were blasphemous, and they would no longer tolerate hearing anything he said. In this frenzied state, it next says, “and ran at him with one accord.”
The entire council got up from their seats and came forward as a single tidal wave, rushing upon him and seizing him. Their minds were made up and they would move to take action against the “offender.” But Stephen had seen the heavenly vision. Thus, he was certain that whatever was to happen had divine sanction. He would be unmoved by whatever was to come.
Life application: The early church was heavily persecuted by the leaders of Israel. As Acts continues, it will be seen that the believers were subjected to being arrested, imprisoned, and even executed. This has continued on throughout the church age and throughout the world. The gospel is a point of liberty for the human soul. But leaders often want control over their people. Someone who is free in his soul is not a person that can be easily manipulated into perverse obedience.
This hostility towards believers is quickly rushing upon the people of the United States. Believers are being purged from the military through planned contrivances. This will make the military easier to manipulate. Believers are being openly attacked in their churches because of their opposition to murdering the unborn. Society is being deadened to such things by an unsympathetic news media.
Soon, to stand before others and proclaim the message of Jesus may be a cause for being openly executed, even without a trial. As far-fetched as that sounds, it is no more far-fetched than the current administration openly violating public law with no repercussions for their actions. And yet, it is happening daily. Be ready to take your stand now. Be firm in your convictions, and be prepared to hold fast to your faith, even if the inevitable outcome is death. This may be necessary, so prepare yourselves now for what may lie ahead.
Lord God, it is sad to think that those nations that once proudly proclaimed the good news of Jesus are now almost at complete enmity with that message, but that day has arrived. Give Your people the inner strength to work against this unholy tide and to stand firm on their faith in Your word. It sure is needed in this darkened hour. Amen.