Report Card Time
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. ~Hebrews 11:33
How would God score your faith on a report card? Hebrews 11 is call God’s Hall of Faith, or God’s Westminster Abbey of Faith. It is the incredible account of the faith of men and women of the Bible. It inspires people like you and me what real faith can do. Without faith it is impossible to please God. In the absence of faith, God will never be as real to us as He would like us to experience Him. The God Who created all things by speaking things into existence is a God of the impossible. Would you consider the four characteristics of faith in our devotion this morning?
Through faith they subdued kingdoms.
These men of faith were superior in their conquering. They defeated more than armies: they brought kingdoms to surrender! I think of Gideon who in spite of being outsized and seemingly puny defeated the Midianite army which was so much more substantially larger than his army and resources. Imagine he was out numbered 100,000 to 300! The greatest thing Gideon possessed was his faith in God. Until we see how weak and powerless we are without God, we are doomed to failure. When we realize we cannot win without God and place our faith in Him, then can we see kingdoms be subdued.
Through faith they wrought righteousness.
We live in a world that is unrighteous, immoral, and far from God. Noah wrought righteousness as he built the ark according to the specifications God gave him. That ark testified to the world it was under the sentence of condemnation. That ark represented the only means of escape from coming judgment. Noah kept building and preaching to his society that they needed to repent and turn to God. Through faith we can take a stand in our society for God. We can have the convictions of a Daniel and determine not to defile ourselves with the king’s meat and wine.
Through faith they obtained promises.
This is a comfort for us to know. Isaiah, for instance, received the promise of miracle of the virgin birth and the prophecy of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for every sinner. Isaiah gave us the promise that when we walk through the waters they will not overflow us and when we walk through the fire, it will not harm us. Daniel gave us the prophecy of the seventy weeks. This prophecy alone validates the first advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have promises that encourage us to endure in spite of the hardships we face.
Through faith they stopped the mouths of lions.
Specifically, I think the writer is referring to Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel’s faith and steadfast integrity kept those lions from devouring him. A lion’s roar is always intimidating. Daniel was a scrawny looking man in his 80’s when he was ordered to be thrown into that den. His faith impeded those lions from hurting him. Our faith can stand any test placed before us as long as our faith is steadfastly looking to God.
How’s your faith report card this morning? Is it at a place where kingdoms can be subdued, righteousness is being worked out, promises are being obtained and the mouths of lions are being stopped? It can! Determine to walk by faith and not by sight!
Have a faith-enriched God morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 5-6