1Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”2 To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.‘4 “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. 5 He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. 6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’
If in any place we cannot serve God, we must choose exile rather than stay idly in our nest.
God makes us depend on his providence alone when he tells us, as it were, to wander in a strange country. We must go where God calls us, even if he does not show us what he is promising.
We see that God’s chosen people served the Egyptians and were afflicted inhumanely; so we must not be discouraged if similar conditions are prepared for us today. It is nothing new for the church of God to be oppressed by tyrants and trodden underfoot by the wicked.
Since God has scattered the treasures of his grace throughout the whole world, we must try to sanctify him by worshipping him purely and holily, in whatever country we live.