Hebrews chapter eleven is famous for its description of faith and its list of men and women of God who took great leaps of faith. Recently while teaching on faith, I was challenged to examine what was the rest of the story.
The author of Hebrews was writing this chapter from God's perspective on these men. It is similar to other declarations like "Moses the meekest man on earth" and "David a man after God's own heart."
These are wonderful reminders of the great moments and character traits in these men's lives. Growing up in the church I would hear these statements lifted as benchmarks that reminded me of how far I fell short.
Over the years as the Bible has become clearer and God's character more relevant, I have begun to realize that there is a frank honesty in the Book and also this wonderful demonstration in many places of God's character. The God who hates sin but dies to rescue us from it's power, the God who's will is that all discover the power of life and the reality of eternity.
If I were writing the list of heroes I would be more apt to point out some of the following! After all
By Sowing to the flesh, Noah got drunk
Because of his Fear, Abraham lied about his wife
By Deceit, Jacob stole his brother's blessing
By Anger, Moses destroyed God's tablets
By Rebellion, the children of Israel refused to cross the Jordan
Out of Pride, Samson lost his anointing
By Lust, David took Bathsheba AND
Scheming, he had Uriah murdered AND
His family was dysfunctional
Hmmm maybe they weren't really heroes! Perhaps they were people who in a situation that merited it, responded in faith! They did what God would have them to do because they believed!
Chapter 11 is Father God pulling out His wallet full of pictures (or now a days His phone!) and talking about his kids. It is God our Father saying, "Look at My kids! They were amazing!"
Here is God's heart from Zephaniah 3:17 (Amp. Bible) The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
And people wonder why we love Him! Or why we sing loud or why we shout! We were a mess but found the God who loves us, who remembers the good things about us and tells the good stories because we did one thing. We believed Him and asked for His forgiveness.
In the end this thing about God and us comes down to our faith, what we believe. It's our faith that opens doors and causes our victory!
Robert Reasner is the Senior Pastor at Abundant Life Assembly of God. He can be reached at 262-7266 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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