And Saul approved of his execution.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
Comment: At the moment with these devotionals I am writing in a 7-10 day rotations through three books – Acts, Genesis and the Psalms. On the 23rd of January we last were in Acts ch7 and were faced with the stoning of Stephen with Saul in the watching crowd. It read as if he was stirring them on in their murderous desire, so committed was he to his understanding of what God wanted.
Stephen is buried by his fellow believers but Saul is inflamed against those he sees as heretics and sets about to persecute those who have chosen to follow Jesus. To a large degree the rest of the book of Acts is spent on how God dealt with this extremely intelligent and well educated man. We leave him today, however, as a committed hater of the believers and followers of Jesus.
Prayer: I pray for the persecuted church of today suffering for You, Lord Jesus.