Not in My House!

The block is one of the greatest defensive plays in basketball. There are lots of pieces to the call of a good block; but at basic level, a defensive player jumps  up to block the ball from going into the opponent’s net, therefore not allowing the other team those all important points. NBA favorite, Dikembe Mutombo, would block shots and say, “Not in MY house!” His basket. His court. His game.

But as the game wears on and athletes begin to tire, they can lose sight of the mechanics of a good block. This causes a foul and can have big implications on the game. At this stage of Stephen’s defense, he could be getting tired; but being filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by the Lord, he stayed right on point. The Sanhedrin kept shooting the ball (go with me here), and Stephen kept blocking the shot.

Stephen started stepping hard on something they held dear, the temple.

“But it was Solomon who built a house for him. However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: ‘Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’” (Acts 7:47-50)

In an important point, Stephen shows proper perspective regarding the temple. God didn’t ask for it; David asked to build it. David, Israel’s most beloved king, didn’t build it; his son Solomon did. And as Solomon dedicated it, he fully acknowledged it could not contain God. The temple is sacred because God allowed and blessed it, not because it is necessary.

God isn’t contained by geography like his point with Abraham or by bricks in this point about the temple. The leaders of the temple would have found a lot of personal identity within those walls; and to be told it didn’t define the Lord or them, would have poured salt in the wound. You can almost hear the undercurrent of Stephen saying ”not in my house” like a parent scolding a child as he continued his defense.

Lord, remind us today You don’t need the church building… WE are the church and carry You everywhere we go. You aren’t contained, and for that we are so very thankful. Amen

By Carrie Peterson

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