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June 29, 2020 1:00 am
Believers reading this chapter are going to immediately identify with the names here.
Why because they include those who were not strong at first glance are going to wow the list and if you study to go. Thank God they got in the last people who weren't consistent who weren't brave and mighty and strong, but God was God was mighty in that at the end of the day is all that matters. We faith in our mighty God accomplishes great things that statement because from time to time. Your faith feels weak. We've been studying through Hebrews 11 likely the passage that's often referred to as the hall of faith. Many of the names we would expect to find their people like Abraham, Noah and Moses, but the deeper you get into the chapter. The more you find people who seem to have failed spiritually as much as they succeeded, what can we learn from their lives working to explore that today this is wisdom for the heart, and Stephen Devi has a lesson for you entitled so many stories, so little time.
Another writer begins in verse 32 by writing.
You'll notice he says and what more shall I say you can render that.
What more do I need to say. In other words, you got the point by now right. Faith is the mighty act of God through the life of an available believer then adds the statement in verse 32 for time will fail me. In other words, I don't have enough time. All of the illustrations and all of the stories I just don't have enough time so encouraging for me to hear another preacher say he's out of time. He writes in verse 32. I don't have time to tell you about Gideon Barrick and Samson and Jeff the David and Samuel and the prophets. That's no surprise that he didn't have enough time. What is surprising is the list of names you just read a law. First of all, he doesn't rattle them off in chronological order, which is wonderful evidence by the way, the inspiration of Scripture to the personality become an author someone editing these comments were making them up on their own would have cleaned up the list and put them in order.
Barrick serves before Gideon Samson comes after Jeff. The author just rattles them off as they come to his mind and the spirit of God was pleased, but the most startling thing to me as I looked at this list and study that it is that is not the fact that the names are out of order. The startling thing about this list is who got on it. That's the surprising part.
We looking to get you can understand Daniel or David you can understand Samuel but Gideon Barrick, Jeff the what happened in Nehemiah what happened to Jeremiah or Isaiah or godly king Hezekiah or Josiah or Hannah or Ruth rattle off the names Barrick Gideon but this is God's point, these guys don't have polished resumes and they don't have clean rap sheets.
In fact, the first thing we gotta clear up before we get into this list of judges, most of them is prophets let's clear up the role of a judge and maybe will understand these men a little better you understand they didn't have a court room. The physical judge didn't wear black robe and they they didn't have a pension that these judges were more think a combination of Davy Crockett and Wyatt Earp day. Not a dignified Supreme Court justice. No think Wyatt Earp, maybe minus the chewing tobacco. But think about that. The these guys resembled Western Sheriff's who faced down dangerous enemies led the people into the battle enforced justice effector function according to Judges chapter 2 number 16 was a God-given responsibility to deliver the people from those who were plundering them.
So these men are really fighters the rough and tumble kind of man. Many of them would would like to shoot first and then ask you some questions later. Now again what surprises me is of all the judges he begins with one that wasn't really that tough that you didn't want to volunteer, Gideon shows up there in your list, Judges, chapters 6 through eight right in your margin on the cross reference tells the story would on time to turn their but he was so afraid of following God. After God called an action. He went and hid out in the barrel they used to squeeze grapes into juice or wine.
And then he was so certain that the daughter chosen the wrong guy to be judge.
He told God look at. They will bill put a fleece out and end up of lambswool and if in the morning that fleece is all wet and all the ground around it is is dry. Then then know why I got the signals correct and you want me the next morning Gideon wrong out a bowl full of water from that fleece in the ground around it was dry as a what he do he said Lord tell you what I could've mixed that up. Let's reverse the order shall we. The next morning, would you make the fleece drive in the ground all wet now if I were God, I would've taken it fleece and strangled limits on somebody else. Thank that's exactly what God did, though it is grace, so Gideon pulls together an army of 32,000 men.
God says too many whittling down the 10,000 as we whittled down to the correct troops if you know the story of young of the faith which is why I'm reviewing it.
God comes along later. This is still too many. Your armies to big take them to the river and let them get a drink of water and I want to get rid of all those guys the drop down on all fours and put their snout in the water just begin to drink would you keep the guys that reached down on one knee and with their hand pull water up and watch for maybe an enemy attack. Keep those guys. Of the 10,000 soldiers, 9700 of them drop down on all fours and started drinking directly on the river.
I can see Gideon running up and down the riverbank. Not that way.
Not that way.
Use your hands.
Use your hands. 300 men are left that's all God says that's great. 300 Gideon is probably looking first fleece the second guy in this list in Hebrews 11 is Barrick judges chapters 4 and five tell a story called by God to lead the troops into battle against the warlord named Cicero. Cicero commanded the chariot Army of the Canaanites, which was renowned for its ferocious abilities, nothing. By the way would've thrilled this guy more if I God promised them ahead of time that he'd win the battle but how would you like to go on the battle, knowing you really want to fight you love to fight when you're ready take these guys on the guts. As you get a win. In fact, up, he was really excited because it would exonerate his past. Many scholars believe he was hiding out in the city of refuge for murder, God's got a call about going exonerate his past is going to make them famous in the land and then God adds all by the way, because of the wickedness of Sisera. This warlord I'm going to turn his name into like perpetual embarrassment for all of the enemy nations out there because I'm not going to allow you to kill them.
I'm going to have a woman kill Barrick swallowed his pride and agreed to follow God and give them all the glory and the woman would be heralded as the victor over Sisera instead of himself and that's exactly what happened. Reminded me as I study to deal moody once it is wonderful what God will do with someone who refuses to keep the credit. Here's the point. Barrick demonstrated a faith that overpowered his personal pride. I gotta keep moving.
Number three in the list next in line to Samson judges chapters 13 through 16, tell the full story every time. Our study Samson's life and look at him again as I did to prepare for this message. I often think of that little children's chorus.
The could've saved them so much trouble. The little chorus that goes oh be careful little eyes. What what you see when to save them a lot of trouble and what kept him from that fatal haircut right is his eyes fell on Delilah and she coaxed out of him. His secret. Now his hair did not give him power his hair represented his commitment to his Nazirite vow his hair did not give him power. Some of us are counting on that. By the way, with his head in Delilah's lap. She he sound asleep. She cuts off his hair.
He realizes too late that his last defiance against God's moral law will be a tragic one and ironically the Philistines put out his eyes, but if you know his story. His last act will be his greatest.
He called upon God for strength and he pushed over to support columns in a Philistine temple where they all gathered to make sport of them. That temple came crashing down killing more Philistines along with himself and at any other time in his life. Here's the point. Samson's demonstration of faith overcomes past failure soon. It's good to remember that your failure is never fatal.
Get back in the race may be consequences some new obstacles but God will use you as you make your life available to him. Now the writer of Hebrews mentions Jeff the next historians recorded in Judges 11 he happens to be unwanted by his nation. Little wonder I given the fact that he was an illegitimate child of a prostitute. She didn't want them either. By the way, he literally grew up in the back alleys of eastern Syria is kind of a dirty street urchin.
By the time he gets older he said he's leading a notorious gain of undesirable is just trying to survive and God's call for a courageous judge. A hero bypasses at this juncture in Israel's history and in the lays hands on him, you would've never thought this guy would be cold valiantly accepted the call of God, and he led the Israelites to victory against the ammonites.
Here's the point.
Jeff, this faith overturns his personal heritage. By the way the Hebrew Christians reading this, those Gentile believers who'd adopted the faith and in this God of Abraham were probably wondering if God would only use people with a respectable family pedigree will Jeff is a visual aid that God will use anybody who is available and willing next in line here in the text is David every Israelite knew the story of health. David risked his life to defend the reputation of God against the giant named Goliath. Maybe the writer was thinking of that moment. That was the outset of his life disorder characterized David in his future. First Samuel 17 tells the story of that the rather death-defying active faith is the point. David's demonstration of faith overwhelmed personal impossibilities and that was just one of many. Finally, the list ends here with Samuel and the prophets, their testimonies recorded throughout much of the Old Testament not even going to begin here for time fails us that if you survey their lives.
However, I think you could categorically define their faith as this, a faith that overlooks pressure to conform. No profits were different kind of warriors they would preach and confront not their enemies, but their families, they would speak to their own people. It probably takes as much faith if not more to stand up for Christ in front of your family and your coworkers and those people who know you then against enemies or strangers for the most part the prophets stood against their times and said, thus saith the Lord. They knew the people to whom they preached and they still stood and delivered the true now in the next two verses the writer of Hebrews delivers in these short sentence fragments really nothing less than some of the greatest moments of Israel's history and I would agree again time would fail us. Lenny structure like this make some brief comments.
One author commented that there are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Think of the fruit of the spirit. There are nine of them here.
There are nine fruits of faith we give them to you that way. The first fruit mentioned in Hebrews 1133 is conquering kingdom. He could've been thinking of Joshua defeating the enemies in the land or even David later defeating the Philistines is to say they performed acts of righteousness could've been thinking of Daniel, who maintained a life of integrity for 75 years.
The third fruit. He says they obtained promises only positive to say here of performing acts of righteousness is faith, living biblically, obtaining the promises is faith waiting biblically and I'm not really sure which ones the harder one behaving or believing doing or waiting actually pretty convinced the hardest one happens to be whatever you are experiencing at the moment. That's the hardest 71 said that your greatest step of faith is your next one, whatever it might be the fourth fruit of faith given here is a reference to shutting the mouths of lions the more than likely that's a reference to God's miraculous protection of Daniel in the lion's den. So every time you trust God. Every time you do the right thing every time you respond biblically every time you avoid this nerve temptation.
You effectively shut the mouth that old lie for fruit.
The faith is quenching the power fire of the quenching of fire is perhaps a reference to Daniel's three friends ride were thrown into the furnace, only to come out on singed guns gave on harm, but we've also been told heaven way that our faith is our shield whereby we quench the fiery arrows of the evil one. Those fiery darts dipped in temptation in patients unbelief pain. The writer of Hebrews adds the six fruit faith delivered some of the edge of the sword for Samuel 18 Jeremiah 39. Perhaps stories were God's servants were rescued from certain death by the sword. The seventh fruit of faith is experienced by those who it says from weakness were made strong. One of the benefits of growing old in the faith or older in the faith, is that you discover that how strong you are, you discover how what how weak you are, rather than growing more independence you grow more dependent you. You've understood a little bit better what Christ meant when he told his disciples without me you can do nothing.
That kind of weakness is actually a platform upon which faith is demonstrated. The eighth fruit.
They became mighty in war.
Maybe like Abraham or Joshua.
The night fruit, they put foreign armies to flight reps like Gideon or Joshua even thought of Jonathan, we just sit through this and you think okay what you know of the Old Testament.
What might he be thinking of their stories beyond the time to tell and that's the point of the encouragement of this chapter, the Hebrew believers reading this chapter are are going to immediately identify with the names here. Why because they include those who were not strong at first glance are giving a while to get in the list and if you study to go. Thank God they got in the last because maybe I can get in there to people who weren't consistent who weren't brave who WordPerfect to learn mighty and strong, but God was God was faithful to them.was powerful to them and through them God was mighty and that at the end of the day is all that matters. We faith in our mighty God accomplishes great things for God when my favorite heroes of the faith Hudson Taylor.
He wrote extensively to his sister. He decided to prepare for the mission field. The member perhaps I told you that he try to live off the smallest amount of money possible. Even though he was apprenticed to a medical doctor made a good income. He found that he could live off porridge in the morning, porridge and black bread in the evening and every so often a little meat and then he gave the remaining money for medical supplies, and he would personally assist these poverty-stricken people because he personally moved into the slums of London to prepare himself to go to China had a problem though the medical doctor.
He worked for often forgot to pay Hudson his weekly salary. So Hudson had to remind him every week which was frustrating to him and so he finally decided that maybe this was a test from God and so he made a pact with the Lord that he would no longer remind the doctor to pay them and he asked the Lord to remind the doctor to pay. He felt that would be a great way to develop his faith. He wrote to his sister to simply trust the Lord to remind the doctor to pay him his salary. Having made that pact with the Lord.
The doctor didn't pay him again.
He headed home discouraged and confused again with the Lord. He didn't have much money left in his pocket when he arrived home he was met by one of the poverty-stricken men who live near him in the slum district and he begged Hudson to come and see his wife who had only recently delivered a baby. Neither the mother nor the newborn were doing very well.
When he arrived at their apartment. Several children were huddled inside this bear one room dwelling and he described it to his sister as wretched a woman was lying on a cot in a corner and a newborn lay in her arms crying. Hudson knew that any examination. The baby was not getting any milk because the woman herself was hungry. The entire family was hungry.
Hudson immediately knew that the Lord wanted him to give this family all the money he had in his pocket but his heart refused. He told the family. There was nothing he could do for them is writing to a sister. They needed comfort. But I did to. So I shared with them that although their circumstances were very distressing. There was a loving heavenly father something in me cried you hypocrite telling these unconverted people about a loving heavenly father and not prepared to trust them yourself and said I was nearly choked on the words, but he resisted still before they left.
The man asked if Hudson would pray. They all knelt down in that little apartment in the battle raged in Taylor's heart as he prayed for this family and their needs without any desire without any joy. The end of the prayer and he got up and he reached into his pocket and he gave the man all his money. Only then he would write to his sister did the joy of the Lord flood my heart only after he said I knew this poor woman's life would be saved. When he returned home he ate his porridge before he got into bed. He got on his knees and thank the Lord that he had been empowered to give everything he had away and then reminded the Lord that he was now out of money and food never had this kind of reminder prayers hot the next day, nothing to eat late in the day.
An anonymous package without a return address or name the package contained a pair of winter gloves and inside one of the gloves was four times the amount of money he'd given away the night before we have any of us would love to experience that kind of answer when that's great Lord, sign me that only comes after running out of money and food and how many of us would be willing to trust God for income half maybe you there right now you there right now how many of us would be willing to wait on the Lord to remind someone to give us what we needed. How many of us would be willing to give away what little we had even our last dialer to somebody else in need. We love only the answers of God to acts of faith, we just don't want to go through the agony of living by faith. So glad though that Hudson Taylor struggled, as did Samuel and David Gideon every single believer is honest enough to admit it, Hudson Taylor said in later years, I used to ask God to help me and then I asked him if I might help him but now I've reached the point where I asked him simply to do his work his way through me.
I simply cooperate and he does all the rest. See when that takes place when we cooperate faith takes place because our personal weakness does not prohibit our personal acceptance are cooperation with a personal assignment given to us by God. What is it you're waiting on for God to fulfill. What is it right now that you're waiting on God to provide an answer that only God can do, and you are praying with Peter Lord, increase my faith.
Increase my thing that Lord, increase my strength, my my my power. My confidence just faith in your mind and your power in your ability and when we do that faith will be demonstrated by our weakness and through our weakness as we personally accept with hesitation, maybe with uncertainty, with a sense of surprise I got did something we personally accept nonetheless personal assignment from our faithful he has us right now we behave delete that's faith. God is always faith. His desire is that we would serve him faithfully. No matter what that means and where ever that takes us.
This is wisdom for the heart with our teacher Stephen Davey were wrapping up a series on faith called heroes. The title comes from Hebrews 11, the heroes Hall of faith, we have one more lesson to go in this series and will bring you that tomorrow. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you, and learn how God is using the teaching you hear on this program to bless and encourage you. You can write to us at wisdom international PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 our next Bible lesson will be at this same time tomorrow and I hope you'll be with us right here on wisdom