Monday, May 7, 2018

2018.05.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 11:29-34

Questions for Littles: What did the nation of Israel pass through as dry land (v29)? Who were not able to do so? What did the Israelites do for seven days (v30)? What happened to the walls of Jericho? What did not happen to Rahab (v31)? What happened to those who were disobedient? What kinds of people are named in v32? What kinds of things did God do in response to their faith in v33-34? 
In the sermon this week, we heard how the difference between those with faith and those without it isn’t something in them. The difference is in the Lord.

Both the Israelites and the Egyptians attempt to cross the Red Sea. Both think that they are going to make it. The difference is that one goes, trusting in the Lord, and the others go in opposition to the Lord. Faith isn’t the willingness to try something just based upon hope. Instead, faith is the confidence that the Lord is absolutely faithful.

Then with Jericho, there’s the people in the city. They are trusting in the wall. And the people outside the wall, what are they trusting in? Are they trusting in marching around the wall? No! They are trusting in Him who told them to do it. Again, the difference is that one group has the Lord, and the other group have everything else.

Again, with Rahab, there are those who are scared to death of the Lord but still resist Him (cf. Josh 2:8). v31 calls them “those who were disobedient.” Rahab is loyal to the spies of Yahweh’s people, because she believes that Yahweh is the only true God (cf. Josh 2:11). And she becomes the beneficiary of a greater miracle than the walls of Jericho falling down: her little sliver of the wall stays up!

The spies hadn’t known how the Lord would conquer the city. If they had, their plan would have been a very bad one! But the difference is not in our plans. It’s in our Lord. Sometimes, that difference results in what even the world would call spectacular successes.

Those are the kinds of things that vv33-34 describe. All those things are ones that we know from Scripture that the Lord did for His people and through His people. And He is the same Lord today. We must live, trusting in Him, that He is still able and often willing to do unbelievable things through and for those who believe in Him!

Yet, none of these things compare to what we will receive with them. Even if we never have a success like the ones listed of the judges and kings and prophets, we know that we shall have something greater—something that after all those victories, they were still looking forward to: being made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God forever.

This is what the Lord has promised us. This is what Christ has earned for us. And this is what we are sure of by faith.
What situation are you going through, in which God is working it out for your good because you are His? What is the difference between hoping that you will be strong enough in it and hoping that God will accomplish whatever is best in it?
Suggested Songs: ARP130 “Lord, From the Depths to You I Cried” or HB368 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”

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