This morning, our scripture reading included Hebrews 11 – the great chapter about faith. Stick with me and read on.
Hebrews 11:32-40 and 13-16 “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again.
“There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect…
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
Faith that the Messiah would come had inspired the children of Jacob for hundreds of years. But, it appears that they had interpreted the promise of the Messiah in their own way . They read that a “virgin would conceive” and “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” And, after reading those passages and making up some things on their own, they decided that the Messiah would come to defeat the Romans! The Messiah would bring an army to defeat their current enemy!! The Messiah would restore Israel on their timeline and in the fashion that they had decided!!!
How wrong they were.
I am learning more and more that my faith is not in “when” or in “what” but in “whom.” I believe that we each must come to the point with God where we can honestly say, I trust You no matter what.
As we gather together this holiday, let’s trust more. Let’s trust God with that burden, that loved one, that need. We may not live to see the end of the story, but we have every assurance that God knows our hearts and He has a plan.
Don’t decide what the Messiah is supposed to do. Just trust Him.
Merry day before the day before Christmas!!!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
Merry Christmas Dr Jill….and best wishes for a peaceful New Year. Gary and Tammy
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