Job 18-19; Acts 7:17-60; Psalm 40
As the anger of the High Priest and those around him is aroused by Stephen’s truthful description of those who would say ‘We have no King but Caesar’, so Job in his integrity, in his steadfast faith in the vindication of God arouses the ire of Bildad.
As the world hides in the death of deceit, so Truth and Light cannot but provoke a response. Stephen in recounting the story of the children of Israel speaks of their continual rebellion against God, speaks Light into the present darkness which surrounds him. Although to our eyes, his circumstances turn ever darker a remarkable transformation is seen in his vision. As Job in the midst of his suffering cries our in Hope ‘I know that my redeemer liveth and that on the last day he will stand upon the earth and that in my flesh I shall see him, I an not another – how my heart burns within me’, so Stephen increasingly is full of light. He is full of the Spirit. The Light and Truth of the whole creation is seen in him ‘and he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He sees his redeemer – he Witnesses to Life and Light and at the Last as his Lord had done prayed forgiveness for those who slew him.
‘they threw their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul . . . and Saul approved of their killing him’ . . . the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not comprehended it, the darkness has not overcome it.