< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Hebrews Chapters 11 Part 7

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hebrews Chapters 11 Part 7

Hebrews 11:32 -40 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

These verses summarize the lives of other great men and women of faith – some experienced great victories in their lives – some were mistreated and even killed. Steadfast faith doesn’t guarantee us a carefree life. On the contrary our faith almost guarantees us some type of trial or abuse from the world. While we are on earth we may never see the purpose of our suffering, but, we know God’s promises will come true in His time.

There are too many people listed in this section to talk about in a short post, but it is a list of people who faced incredible odds for God. Who were in God’s minority rather then the world’s majority. Men who accepted God-given tasks. And they are in Hebrews to be an example for Christians. The writer of Hebrews is seeking to inspire new courage and a new sense of responsibility by making his readers remember their past.

God’s power hasn’t grown less over time. What He did once, he can do again. The God of history is the same God we worship today. They died before the Messiah came. We may die before He returns, but someday these people of the Old Testament will stand with us before Christ. Old and New Testament believers will be glorified together.

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