Thursday, September 01, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 47

To start at the beginning of this series, click here.


The Writer moves from Moses to the first battle for the land of Canaan:

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. (Hebrews 11:30, NASB 95)

The normal way to lay siege to a city is to encamp around it and wait for dwindling supplies within to take their toll. If need be, siege engines can be built to pass the time. The Lord commanded Joshua to have his army march around the city seven times over the course of seven days. In front they marched the Ark and at the end of seven days it was the priests who sounded the trumpets. All this was to show the children of Israel that their victory came from the Lord and not from themselves. It also announced to the inhabitants of the land, that the new owners had arrived.

Through faith, God can ask us to take risks and do things out of the ordinary. He can ask us to do things which will make us look silly--unless He does His part--and we never know beforehand that He will do this--that is where faith comes in. Faith obeys and accepts the consequences.

Test everything. Cling to what is good.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 46

To start at the beginning of this series, click here.


What is most interesting about the vignette of Moses is what the Writer of Hebrews leaves out:

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned. (Hebrews 11:23-29, NASB 95)

Here we have allusions to Moses' birth and the essentials of his upbringing. We read of the difficult life that he endured leading a stubborn and stiff-necked people. We have reference to the Passover and the rescue at the Red Sea.

There is no mention of the Law that Moses received from the Lord on Mt. Sinai. That is the old covenant which failed by bringing curses rather than blessing. No that the new covenant has come, mediated by the Son of God and His blood, Moses' greatness lies in the faith that he had and showed.

By leaving out all reference to the giving of the Law, the Writer of Hebrews underscores faith and the greater glory of the new covenant.

Test everything. Cling to what is good.