The problem with each new generation of Israel is that, in spite of their claims, they become like their disobedient fathers before them. Their “heritage” was consistently to reject God’s message through the covenants made with their forefathers, to forsake God’s Law and true worship for false gods and religions, and to reject His Word provided through the leaders and prophets sent by God. Yet they clung to their bloodline heritage through the very men whose words they rejected, they clung to the Law given through Moses which they reinterpreted to their own liking rather than obey, and they prided themselves on possessing the temple yet fell short of true worship. So when Jesus Christ came to them as the embodiment of all these things – like their fathers before them – they rejected and killed Him in the name of the very heritage to which they clung, but yet were disobedient to. Acts 7 is the beginning of the fulfillment of the Parable of the Vineyard in Luke 19:11-27 wherein the “vineyard” is about to be taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles.
To understand this passage and the point that the Holy Spirit is making through Stephen, first read Acts 7:51-53. Keep reviewing these points as we study through Stephen’s message to see how it is emphasized in this condensed history affirming this pattern from Abraham all the way to that day at Stephen’s trial.