Saturday, May 5, 2018

2018.05.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 11:29-31

Questions for Littles: What did the people pass through by faith in v29? What happened to the Egyptians when they tried? What fell down by faith in v30? What had the people done for seven days by faith? Who was saved by faith in v31? What was she? What did she do to Israel’s spies? 
In the second half of this week’s sermon text, we have two great examples of God making a distinction by faith: the crossing of the Red Sea and the fall of Jericho.

There are some who would have considered what the Egyptians did an act of faith. They tried to do the impossible, after all. They were in the same place. At the same time. Walked the same path. Under the same circumstances.

But they were not trusting in the Lord, and they were not the Lord’s people. The Lord makes a distinction.

In the second example, the wall that fell is perhaps not as amazing as the part of the wall that stayed up. It’s interesting, isn’t it, the scarlet thread that they arranged with Rahab as a signal? The spies had no idea how God was going to take down Jericho. Otherwise, they would have just said, “we’ll remember which part you live in by the fact that the Lord left it standing.”

Rahab certainly wasn’t morally superior to those who were saved. The Lord simply brought her to faith in Himself. This passage makes it clear that God wants us to remember this, when it reminds us that she is “the harlot” while simply referring to the other citizens of Jericho as “those who were disobedient.”

The Lord makes a distinction, and it’s not in us. It’s in Him. His people in this passage don’t really do much that is amazing. In fact, in this passage, Israel is just doing a whole lot of walking.

Rahab’s big mention is that “she received the spies with peace” … but receiving men carefully or secretly was part of her previous, sinful life as well—something she had done many times to earn the title “harlot.”

This time, of course, was different. This time, it was because she believed that the Lord is God, and in Him alone is power and salvation.

But it’s helpful for us to see how exemplary biblical faith can demonstrate itself in the most ordinary things.

Dear believer, the life of faith extends even to taking a walk and extending hospitality. Faith isn’t a matter of doing amazing things. It’s a matter of trusting an amazing God.
What ordinary things will you be doing this week? What does it look like to do them trusting in the Lord? Thanking the Lord? Serving and obeying the Lord?
Suggested Songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the Lord” or HB310 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”

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