Thursday, February 27, 2014

Great Hall of Faith 3 (Hebrews 11:20-40)

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared 
for those who love Him.”
(1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

The branches in the photo above made the shape of a cross.  I was out shooting and saw it and jumped.  It was so striking.  Just when we thought all the snow had melted, we got more today.  But it's ok it didn't stick.  Knowing us, we'll be complaining about the heat soon : )  I have photos of snow storms from many years now.  This isn't new at all.  It's so awesome to think about how much we don't know yet isn't it?  God has some great stuff ahead.  We can only imagine now.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:12-13 NIV)
This was the promise made to those who believed God so many years ago.  This is also the promise to us today.  We get a bonus though, one day we'll get to meet Moses.  Poor guy don't you just want to give him a hug?  I've heard that when we get to Heaven our past will make sense to us and the bad stuff won't be worth considering.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
Isaac was the only child born of Abraham and Sarah.  His name meant, "laughter."  He was born in Sarah's old age.  He is a promise from God fulfilled.  His story is in Genesis. He married Rebekah who gave birth to the twins, "Esau and Jacob."  Their story is funny in ways.  They fought even in the womb.  Typical boys trying to be best.  Esau was the firstborn but Jacob tricked Esau into giving him his father's birthright.  Ok ok so Esau was hungry and Jacob made him a tasty stew.  Probably not a real smart kid, he took the stew and give Jacob the birthright.  Rebekah liked Jacob better and covered his arms with animal firs so he would be like Esau.  Isaac was blind and dying and thought he was speaking to Esau when he gave Jacob the blessing of the firstborn son.   His story is in Genesis.  I always have to laugh at this story : )

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
Jacob wrestled with God to become Israel the leader of the twelve tribes.  Genesis 32:25-31.  He made amends with Esau later in the desert near the promised land.

22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.  Joseph was Israel's favorite child.  Unfortunately, none of the other sons liked that at all.  So they tormented their brother and sold him into slavery.  He wound up as a leader in Egypt after many trials.  His story is in Genesis 37.  We have many American movies about Joseph it was an amazing story.  After a terrible drought in the promised land his brothers came and found him passing out wheat to people.  (long story short).

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command.
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
There have been many American movies made about Moses as well.  He was born to a Hebrew slave and then his sister put him in a basket to save his life.  A daughter of Pharaoh found the basket and kept Moses.  His story is in Genesis 45.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
This is another of my favorite stories.  Rahab gave in to prostitution to get money for her family.  She would have been treated harshly and disrespected by her people.  Joshua was sent to spy in Jericho.  Rahab hid the spies from guards.  So when Jericho fell by the Hebrews, her family was protected by God.  Her story is in Joshua 21.  Again, it's so encouraging to know our God cares for women and also forgives the repentant heart, male or female.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:  33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.
Yes so many wonderful stories in the Bible.  Miraculous events and overwhelming odds.  Israel's history is wonderful, and it is the foundation on which Christianity was built by Jesus.  Reading through this makes me want to study some of the Old Testament stories. 
: )  It looks like Pres. Obama was named after a Bible character, "Barak."  I didn't know that.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Many suffered in their faith.  I can't imagine what we would do if it weren't recorded on Egyptian hieroglyphics, leather parchments, altars and statues.  I am so glad we have the Bible today.  There's so much hope and faith in the stories of the Hebrews.  Even the heroes are still waiting for Jesus' glorious return.  It's cool that we'll all be together. I can even do a face palm and ask Esau, "What were you thinking dude?"
(Hebrews 11:20-40 NKJV)

Feel free to add your thoughts in comments.  I did my best with it and must go make dinner now : )  I'd love to hear if someone has things to add.


  1. Hey Karen! As I was reading your post, I was reminded about this bible verse that goes like, "We share in the sufferings of Christ so that we will also share in His glory." And that "trials produces perseverance..." So yeah though I don't really like suffering, but I know the glory that we will share with Christ will far outweigh whatever suffering we may go through for the sake of our faith.

    This post is good yeah thanks so much for sharing! :D

  2. Thanks Joy glad it was inspiring. It really does give me courage and relief to know God forgives and doesn't give up on us though we've sinned. God bless! Good to see you again.