Thursday, February 6, 2014

Great Hall of Faith 1 (Hebrews 11:1-7)

"So many did so much for our faith."
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Hebrews Chapter 11 is, "The Great Hall of Faith."  It describes how some of the heroes of the Bible lived to please God.  Like us, they all had bad days and lacked faith at times.  We've all sinned, that's a given (Romans 3:23).

One of my favorite verses:
6 “...Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts."
(Zechariah 4:6-7 NKJV)

Hebrews 11:1-7

1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.  3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
I like this description of faith.  It's believing we will make it through a hurricane even when the house is creaking and the trees are leaning down. Faith is getting in the car,  starting the ignition, and believing the car will work.  Faith is sending your Son to die on a cross, believing and hoping your creation will accept His sacrifice and enter His kingdom.  
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
(John 15:13 NIV)
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
Cain and Abel were brothers from Adam and Eve.  Cain was a farmer.  Abel raised sheep and brought God the firstborn of his flock.  (Genesis 4:1-7).  Cain brought God some vegetables from his garden.  God wasn't pleased, it wasn't much of a sacrifice and didn't require faith. So Cain got jealous and angry killing Abel.  The verse above says that Abel still speaks.  He does doesn't he?  Abel reminds us to give our best.  I'm reading this in context of the verses above and realize God provided a sacrifice for us.  His very best without blemish or sin.

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death:“He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Enoch lived to be 365 years old!!! Yikes!  Then God took him home he didn't actually die.  God just brought him home.  Sounds like the second coming of Jesus.
(Genesis 5:22-24 NKJV)

7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
Noah was the grandson of Enoch's son.  Noah lived to be 500 and then had 3 sons.  Double yikes!  They were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  He walked with God.  God entered a covenant (agreement) with him that he wouldn't die when He sent the great flood.  This would've been an extremely difficult assignment.  He was stuck in an ark with all the animals and his family...  (Genesis 5-8)  Kind of glad we don't need to do that one today.

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