Thursday, July 14, 2011
Hebrews was written to Jews. Chapter 11 captures the faith of Jewish heroes across ages. I’m moved by what was written of Moses:
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27 KJV)
It was Moses who requested and was given a glimpse of God.
And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. (Exodus 33:18 KJV)
God’s explanation put limitations on what could be seen and still live:
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (Exodus 33:20-23 KJV)
The results of being with God could be seen by others:
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. (Exodus 34:29-30 KJV)
Amid the list of Jewish heroes in Chapter 11, we find Rahab.
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. (Hebrews 11:31 KJV)
Second of only two women in the list. A gentile whose only witness to God’s power was hearing of His people and their approach to Jericho. Yet she is listed with Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and:
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: (Hebrews 11:32 KJV)
All of these, and the wonderful stories of their lives and faith, still missed out on what the disciples learned:
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (Hebrews 11:39 KJV)
Today their witness, that huge cloud of witnesses we have before us, speaks to all of us.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
Knowing in advance what was to be done to Him on this earth, but also knowing in advance what would be waiting for Him and for us in heaven, He endured. Why would we want to do less?