The Weekend Word
31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
- Why is Rahab always called “the prostitute”?
- It’s not like there are several Rahabs in the Bible and this helps distinguish one from another … like the Marys.
- Rahab makes the list legitimate – God gave a prostitute faith.
- Can I be forgiven??? Look to Rahab.
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—
- “And What more can I say” – how many rolled their eyes and said “not much, I hope!”
- Actually he is saying “look, I could keep going on with examples – these are not isolated incidents – “look at these guys.”
- What is the point of the book of Judges?
- The people are a wreck and there must be something better.
- The people fall into sin – God sends their enemies to attack – they need a rescuer – one steps up – defeats the enemies – all praise god – and later it will say “in thoses days, everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
- And it would start all over again.
- Who is Barak ??
- Who is Jephthah??
- Look how little mention David, Samuel and Samsom get.
33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
- V 33 & 34 together
- Lions = Daniel?
- 9 items listed
34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
- Are these great people or are they people who God invaded their lives, and endowed them with a quality that allowed them to respond?
- God is not an after thought
- Daniel’s 3 friends were thrown into the fiery furnace.
- Look at their faith – the king liked them, but they would not bend the knee.
- He said that they had to go into the fire – he gave them several ways out
- But they trusted their God
35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.
- Both Elijah and Elisha raised dead children
- Look how this disproves the LIE told by so many, that if you have illness, loss of job, death etc. that it is because you lack faith.
- It’s one thing for us to know the Truth, but at the same time we need to call out false teaching.
- These Word Faith teachers – how can I be nice – may be Christians, but they are teachers of anti Christian doctrines.
36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
- Just read Jeremiah – the poor guy just could not catch a break.
- Look at those who suffered under the 2nd Century BC rule of the Selecides
- The Jewish wars of the 160s
- Even today in many countries. Think of the worse Al Qaida tortures.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—
- It is said that Isaiah was sawn in two with a wooden saw.
- It’s funny because even today biblical scholars are still cutting Isaiah in two
- Saying that one person could not know all the future stuff
- Isaiah 1 = 1-39
- Isaiah 2 = 40-66
- These guys were punished and persecuted for standing up and living their faith – standing firm, perseverance.
38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
- The world was not worthy of these men – because of their faith
- Remember the context here – the writer is “working” the Hebrews”
- Key for us today!
- Believe it or not, this is the Christian life – to be stricken, beaten and harassed… For Christ’s Sake.
- I don’t think Joel Osteen has it right in “Your best life now”
- In fact he has it 100% wrong
- Why do people like to hear his stuff? 2 Timothy 4:3
- “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,”
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
- Is this not the biggest Biblical bummer of all time?
40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
- The Hebrews at this point have been persecuted but probably have not yet had to shed their blood.