Out of weakness were made strong, and the list that he mentioned in verse 32, Gideon and Samson would be outstanding characters of that. Samson's strength was not from going to the gym, nor was it really something he was born with, in this sense. It was given to him.
I mean, some men are just born, and they're stronger than most other men. And Samson was that. But it was given to him.
It was specifically given to him. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, as he begins his message called Deliverance and Endurance. If you have your Bibles, please turn to Hebrews chapter 11. Hebrews chapter 11.
As we go through it, you'll find many things that are foreign, but may be exciting nonetheless. And if you're new to the Scriptures, I encourage you to stick with it. Don't be overwhelmed by what you do not know, but receive what you do understand, because it comes from the Lord concerning His Word.
Well, we're going to start at verse 33 for the reading of the Word. We'll take it to the end of the chapter, verse 40. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fires, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight, the armies of the aliens. The women received their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, were slain with the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and caves of the earth, and all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. In the previous verse, from what we just read, in verse 32, the writer who has been listing all of these heroes of grace, these servants of God who have done things because they trusted God, in spite of their shortcomings and their failures, and there were many of them, it is their faith that stands out to us because that is what stands out to God. If that is true of them, it is going to be true of me also, covered by the blood of Christ. He died on a cross for me to remove my sin. To all those who would come and receive salvation by confessing Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, Lord and Savior. In verse 32, the writer had said, And what more shall I say?
For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, and Samson, Jephthah, also of David and Samuel, and the prophets. And then verse 33, continuing his mention of those names above, Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Now, these victories, of course, achieved by faith. There are no victories in Christ with God that are achieved by faithlessness. It is faith.
That is the victory. Now, who through faith subdued kingdoms? Well, that, of course, would be Gideon and Barak and David and Samson and these men listed here. But then also comes to mind one such as Elisha the prophet.
He had a great victory for Israel against the Syrian army when the Syrian army invaded the land. We read it in 2 Kings in the 6th chapter. When the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh and said, Strike this people, I pray, with blindness. And he struck them with blindness, according to the word of Elisha. And there's a lot more to the story as it is with all Scripture references. But the point that stands out is the author of Hebrews is saying, Remember that there are those that accomplish great victories for God on the field of battle. And I just cited Elisha. He's been referencing all the others. Deliverance and endurance.
They go together. He hasn't gotten to the endurance part. We're still considering the deliverance of the Lord for his servants. He says here in verse 33 that they worked righteousness. That should stand out to all Christians because I have found that a lot of Christians seem not to be too interested in righteousness. Oh, they're interested in salvation.
They want that. Righteousness, eh, I can lie when I need to lie. I can do the wrong thing when I need to do the wrong thing.
It's situational. Of course, that's not from God. And I hope, I hope that they're an Unpresent that behave that way. And if you're guilty of it, I hope you take steps to fight it, to resist that temptation, that urge of the flesh. This is a part of who we're supposed to be. We are supposed to work righteousness. It's one of the things that's supposed to separate us from people who don't work righteousness.
That would be the world. And so they worked righteousness. You think of Solomon on the throne. We all know the story that the two women disputing over the live child, which one said, I don't care if you cut the child in half, fine. The mother, of course, said, let her have it.
I want to keep the baby alive. And it was a move of Solomon to distinguish who was lying and who, too, was telling the truth. He executed righteousness from the throne of God. Then there were those like Mordecai and Esther and so many others in Scripture whom we learn from when we read about their lives. And again, if you're new to the Bible, these names may be foreign to you. If you are seeking to be right with Christ, you want to live in heaven after this life, you want to get to know Him, and it will be through His word.
And it will be through such characters as this that He will begin to unfold for you His ways, how He does things. They obtained promises. Well, David, of course, he finally did make it to the throne.
Saul had hounded him for years seeking to kill him and never succeeded. Then there's Hannah, who we discussed last week, the mother of Samuel, how she prayed and she obtained the promise that God had given to her. They stopped the mouths of lion. Of course, in the list of verse 32, those names, David and Samson, both slew lions, David with his sling, Samson with his hands. But there were others who stopped lions from being lions and eating them.
Daniel, of course, Benaniah, another one. It is at this point that the student looks at these words and says, stop the mouths of lions. There are still lions that roam where we live, where we work, places that we know about, read about. They lie about Christ. They lie about the faith. And whether they know it or not, they're instruments of the enemy of Christ and so may we be used to stop the mouths of lions with truth and love always. But what goes into truth and love is righteousness, is the pursuit of pleasing God, doing the right thing because of my relationship with Him. Some wonder why God doesn't bless them more when they are never addressing this critical issue of righteousness.
We invest ourselves in our children to get them to do the right thing in life, not only so that life would be better for them, but that they could serve their Lord from the beginning forward. And so there are lying lions lying about that we must engage with the truth. I was a lying lion. I was against Christianity, but the truth set me free. And that is likely the case with many of you too. You may have been against Christ and someone came along and said it right.
You've been believing ever since. In verse 34, he continues about the heroes of faith, the heroes of grace, 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. Well, he's still saying this is what faith, those who trust Christ have experienced, but this is not the whole story. He doesn't for one moment think that God is always going to come along and rescue us from some imminent, pressing danger. But we'll get to that in a moment. Quenched the violence of fire.
Fire is violent. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Three nice Jewish boys, right? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
That was the pagan names they were given. In Daniel chapter 3, the story is there. They said to the king, we're not going to bow down to any false gods. Our God is able to deliver us.
And if he does not, we're still not going to bow down. And they were thrown into the fire. And God delivered them. And it says here in verse 34, escaped the edge of the sword. David is one that escaped the edge of the sword many times.
Not all escaped the edge. We'll get to that in verse 37. Men like James, one of the apostles. He did not escape the sword. The first apostle to be martyred. Out of weakness were made strong.
Yeah, that one I like a lot. I'm weak. And if I've had any strength in Christ, it was given to me by Christ.
It's His. It's imparted to the saints to this very day. And it's not mock humility to say that.
It's true. And whenever we think we're strong, that's when we're in danger of showing how weak we are. Humility doesn't come natural to any of us.
It is a spiritual achievement, work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But out of weakness were made strong. In the list that he mentioned in verse 32, Gideon and Samson would be outstanding characters of that. Samson's strength was not from going to the gym, nor was it really something he was born with. In this sense, it was given to him. I mean, some men are just born and they're stronger than most other men. And Samson was that, but it was given to him.
It was specifically given to him. I am a firm believer that Samson did not look, you know, every time every artist that has ever drew a picture of Samson has him with these great muscles and he's big and strong and I don't think that was the case at all. Otherwise, they would not have been asking, what's the secret of your strength? They would look at him, I can tell why you're so strong. Look at those arms.
Samson's got guns. But he looked like a common man. He said, why are you so strong? God. He became a show-off with it. Another, he failed.
He failed. Out of weakness were made strong. So if God makes me strong, I've got to be careful. It is so easy to be filled with pride when you've got a little bit of victory in Christ. But there are those that have no victories in Christ. That still doesn't stop them from being prideful. Pride will make a devil of an archangel and it will make a fool out of you and me.
Maybe we'd be on guard when someone, you know, we're all susceptible to puffing up and thinking that we're bigger than we are. Became valent in the fight. Oh, before I've got one more name I want to mention. Out of weakness became strong. Jael. Sisera, the king of the Canaanite army, fled to her tent. She drew a, hey, you thirsty?
Have some milk? And he lied down to rest. He was exhausted from running from Barak, the judge of Israel at the time. Well, Deborah was the judge, Barak was the general.
And when he lies down, she drives a tent peg through his head and kills him. The weak were made strong. Became valent in the fight. Joshua. One of my favorites is Shamah. We only read this about the man named Shamah.
It was a super hero name. Have it written across, Shamah. 2 Samuel 23. After him, one of the mighty men of David was Shamah. The Philistines had gathered together in a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils, the food fight. It's important that they hold this ground. So the people fled from the Philistines.
Everybody's running. But he, that's Shamah, stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines so that Yahweh brought about great victory. So this is the man that said, this is my bean field. You cannot have it.
And he fought over it and won. Now, maybe you're a Philistine. You're not. There are no more Philistines. But for the sake of making my point, and I think it's a critical point. It needs to be made to every generation throughout history, from every pulpit.
At some point, it must be made. Maybe you're a Philistine, and you've just been offended by what I read, that he killed the Philistines. Well, that's what happened. The Philistines were against God and against God's people. They had their own gods.
They were satisfied with making up their own gods. They really didn't appreciate God revealing himself to the Jews, and so they were the inveterate enemies of the Jews for centuries. So if you're a Philistine and you're offended by this Scripture verse, you are race-centered, not Christ-centered.
Now, we're coming closer to the point. Whatever is said in truth about your race is not the issue for a Christian. The issue for us is not our race, but our kingdom.
That's where we pledge allegiance to our King, the Kingdom of Heaven. I hate racism, and you should too. It has been the cause of countless deaths and miseries over generations in every culture on earth. When the Bible talks negatively about a particular people, we're to own it.
That's the story. It is always given with an opportunity to repent, to change sides, to come under the authority of the King. That's why when Paul said there's no longer Jew nor Gentile in Christ, all that stuff is gone. Ethnically, you'll be what you are. Maybe you don't know. It doesn't really matter.
Maybe you do know. Does that mean you cannot celebrate certain ethnic holidays? It does mean that your citizenship, your primary citizenship is in heaven. You are the child of a king who is God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. There is no kingdom or race that I want to belong to except His kingdom, and that is the race that I am running. And so I just take that time because, again, this is Philistine's here, but what if it was insert your ethnic group there and he stood against the, you fill in the blank, would you be offended? I think it's, well, is anyone that short-sighted that they think when they get to heaven there's going to be an Irish section, a German section, you know, this is the Asian town?
Is anyone here that short-sighted? In Christ there will be people from every tongue, every kindred, every people in heaven, but they'll no longer, they'll no longer belong to anyone but the king. And we'll all be in it together. World without end, without suffering, without fighting, without cliques and divisions. Churches should not have cliques. Yeah, there are people in a church that you may get along well, better with one than another, that's fine, but we don't, you know, block others out. Well, I've spent a lot of time on that.
We've got a long way to go. Turn to flight the armies of the aliens. Now, these were the out-of-space Martians that were landing in Israel.
Everybody knows that. Of course, these were the foreign forces that were coming against the people of God. Isaiah and Hezekiah is a great example.
The Assyrian army had taken out the northern kingdom because of the idolatry and now they were coming to the southern kingdom that was struggling with idolatry too, but it was not as full-blown, as brazen in the south yet. And God raised up the man Isaiah and King Hezekiah and Isaiah greatly influenced and supported Hezekiah, one of the good kings in Israel and Judah. And Isaiah succeeded with his influence. But Jeremiah, who would come a hundred years later, he couldn't sway the kings.
The kings were so base, so depraved. Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, they were so messed up. The great prophet Jeremiah could not sway them to righteousness and he suffered for it. But at this time, Isaiah succeeded.
And you know the story. The Assyrians came. Isaiah prophesied that God would deal with them because of Hezekiah's prayer. And then in Isaiah 37-36, and the angel of the Lord went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000. And when the people arose early in the morning, there were the dead corpses. All dead, says the Scripture. Isaiah 37-6.
And so, turned to flight the invading forces, the armies of the aliens. And we again, it translates into New Testament, may with truth we turn away the lies that are launched again against our Lord. Verse 35, women received their dead, raised again to life. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Well, of course, Elijah and Elisha, both prophets, were used by God to revive those that had died. But this first clause, verse 35, women received their dead, raised again. It really should be in verse 34. The reason is because it is a turning point. It is the last mention of deliverance through the next list of events that the righteous confront in our lives. This is an abrupt, it will be when I read it in one moment, an abrupt change from deliverance to endurance.
This is the Christian life. Not as intense in this country as a rule right now, but in other countries it is. Had Jezebel won the last election, it would have ramped up against us.
You will know them by their fruit. And I don't know how much time we have left before we are finally encircled and pounced upon. The forces of evil are hard at work to bring about this, to come in and destroy the church, and to persecute the church.
So here, this change is now significant. So we move from women received their dead, verse 35, raised again to life, and all the glory and beauty that accompanied those moments, to this, others were tortured. That's pretty intense.
When Saul of Tarsus, who was a Pharisee under the rabbinical teachings of the Jews in the days of Christ and just after Christ, he hated Christians, he hated the church, and he set out to destroy it and to persecute it. And when he was saved, God said to another servant, Ananias, I want you to go to him, and we pick it up in Acts 9, 16, for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake. Every combat soldier wonders how they're going to do if their time on the battlefield comes. Will they cower? Will they turn and run? Or will they fight and be brave? I think every Christian should have that thought as far as facing persecution goes.
How will I perform? Will I deny my Lord? I will set my heart to never do such a thing. I know that this is what he will strengthen me to do.
He will strengthen me to be strong in the face of opposition. So he says others were tortured, having mentioned again the blessings, the victories of Joshua, Rahab, all the names that preceded this, and now he gets to those the cavalry did not come. They went to heaven.
Heaven didn't go to them in terms of delivering them from the moment of torture. That word in the Greek, torture, tumperezo, you won't hear that likely again today. It means essentially a drum, and it is connected with this circular device that they had made, especially for torturing, and they would stretch out the victim on this circular device as you would stretch the skin over a drum, you know, making that skin taunt so when you beat the drum it would make its noise.
Well they would stretch out the victim, and while they were fully stretched on this wheel, this drum shaped item, they would then beat them to death with rods or clubs or whips or whatever instrument of cruelty was the choice at the moment. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Yasten of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 03:45:30 / 2023-05-08 03:54:36 / 9