but our ancestors were not willing to obey him. Instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt. 40
They told Aaron, 'We don't know what has happened to this Moses, who led us out of Egypt. So make gods who will lead us.' 41
That was the time they made a calf. They offered a sacrifice to that false god and delighted in what they had made. 42
"So God turned away from them and let them worship the sun, moon, and stars. This is written in the book of the prophets: 'Did you bring me sacrifices and grain offerings in the desert for 40 years, nation of Israel? 43
You carried along the shrine of Moloch, the star of the god Rephan, and the statues you made for yourselves to worship. I will send you into exile beyond the city of Babylon.'
44"In the desert our ancestors had the tent of God's promise. Moses built this tent exactly as God had told him. He used the model he had seen. 45After our ancestors received the tent, they brought it into this land. They did this with Joshua's help when they took possession of the land from the nations that God forced out of our ancestors' way. This tent remained here until the time of David, 46who won God's favor. David asked that he might provide a permanent place for the family of Jacob. 47But Solomon was the one who built a house for God. 48"However, the Most High doesn't live in a house built by humans, as the prophet says:
49'The Lord says, "Heaven is my throne. The earth is my footstool. What kind of house are you going to build for me? Where will I rest?
50Didn't I make all these things?"'
51"How stubborn can you be? How can you be so heartless and disobedient? You're just like your ancestors. They always opposed the Holy Spirit, and so do you! 52Was there ever a prophet your ancestors didn't persecute? They killed those who predicted that a man with God's approval would come. You have now become the people who betrayed and murdered that man. 53You are the people who received Moses' Teachings, which were put into effect by angels. But you haven't obeyed those teachings."
54As council members listened to Stephen, they became noticeably furious. 55But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked into heaven, saw God's glory, and Jesus in the position of authority that God gives. 56So Stephen said, "Look, I see heaven opened and the Son of Man in the position of authority that God has given him!" 57But the council members shouted and refused to listen. Then they rushed at Stephen with one purpose in mind, 58and after they had thrown him out of the city, they began to stone him to death. The witnesses left their coats with a young man named Saul. 59While council members were executing Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, welcome my spirit." 60Then he knelt down and shouted, "Lord, don't hold this sin against them." After he had said this, he died.