RE Verse reading–Acts 6:8-15, 7:1-60 (day five) “Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?” (7:52) One of Stephens’ insights (as reflected in his sermonic summary of Israeli history) is the presence of persecution at every step of the journey. Often, the Jews were the persecutors rather than the persecuted! Maybe Stephen was just preparing his own heart for what was ahead, but his historic point is hard to deny. The patriachs were jealous of Joseph and sold him into slavery (vs 9). A famine came (vs 11). Pharoah took shrewed advantage of the people (vs 19). The nation was unwilling to obey Moses (vs 39). Helpful insight! None of us who surrender to follow Christ should be surprised when we encouter turbulence along the way. Either the message or the messenger (both?) will be roughly treated. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers and rulers of this world’s darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) Problems and persecutions will come. They always have.