Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20110615.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part VI: The Response Of Faith To Christ's Superiority, Hebrews 11:1-13:19
F. Examples Of Living By Faith For Victory Under The Law
Lesson: By trusting God's Word under the Dispensation of the Law, men and women of a wide variety of walks of life, ethnicity and spiritual heritage achieved a wide variety of objectives by God's grace.
- God's call that we "live by faith" in Christ like the Hebrews 11:2 "elders," the Old Testament saints who trusted God's promises of future blessings unto them, expands in Hebrews 11:30-35a to include those who lived by faith for victory under the Dispensation of the Mosaic Law.
- Thus, we view the lives of these dear saints for insight in their testimonies on living by faith (as follows):
- Examples Of Living By Faith For Victory Under The Law, Hebrews 11:30-35a.
- Under the Law, the people of Israel trusted the Lord to see the walls of Jericho fall down, Hebrews 11:30. These walls consisted of one six-foot-thick wall running parallel to another inner wall twelve to fifteen feet away, with the inner wall being twelve feet thick, and both walls stood thirty feet tall with houses being built over the space between the walls (Merrill F. Unger, Archaeology and the O. T., 1973, p. 147). Thus, it took great faith in God's power to bring these walls falling outward and down (as archaeologists have since found) so that there would be spoil available to take from the city, Ibid., p. 148; Jos. 6:17-20.
- The first individual in the Dispensation of the Law (after the giving of the Law at Sinai) recorded in Hebrews as a hero of the faith was not a Hebrew, but a pagan prostitute from Jericho, Heb. 11:31. She did not perish with the rest of Jericho's population for receiving the Hebrews spies in faith, Jos. 2:1-14. That was some deliverance, for Rahab's house spanned the inner and outer walls that fell (Jos. 2:15), meaning God kept only that part of both walls upright so Rahab and her family could safely be retrieved from the house after the city was taken, cf. Joshua 6:21-24. A wonderful epilogue to Rahab's deliverance is the fact that she later married a Hebrew and became an ancestress of our Lord Jesus Christ, cf. Matt. 1:5 NIV!
- Hebrews 11:32-35a briefly recalls the exploits of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the other Hebrew prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, were valiant in battle, caused enemy soldiers to flee and whose women received their dead raised to life again. We briefly comment on a number these events as follows:
- Gideon by faith defeated the innumerable hordes of the Midianites with only 300 soldiers, Judges 6-7.
- Barak was summoned by the prophetess, Deborah, to defeat the Canaanite invaders, but since he refused to fight unless Deborah went with him, a woman and not Barak was given the honor of slaying the Canaanite general, Sisera, Judges 4-5.
- Samson as a Nazirite was used of God to perform great exploits in battle against the Philistines until he let the Canaanite, prostitute, Delilah know about his Nazirite vow, that his strength lay in being holy as signaled by his uncut hair. Nevertheless, by faith when his hair grew again, though a prisoner of the Philistines, he slew more in his death than in his life, being made strong out of weakness, Jud. 13-16.
- Jephthah was an illegitimate son of a Hebrew man, so he was rejected in Israel until the nation needed him to deliver her. Jephthah delivered Israel from her enemies by faith, Judges 11:1-12:7.
- The military exploits of David were many, and Samuel saved Israel from the Philistines via the prayer of faith with such force, the Philistines did not attack Israel all during his judgeship, 1 Samuel 7:3-17.
- Daniel stopped the mouths of the lions by faith (Daniel 6), Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego quenched the effects of the fiery furnace by faith (Daniel 3) and the widow of Zarephath in Elijah's ministry (1 Kings 17:8-24) and the Shunammite woman in Elisha's ministry (2 Kings 4:8-37) each by faith in God's ministry through the prophets received their sons back from the dead. Others incidents of victory by faith in the Dispensation of the Law are too numerous to mention in this lesson!
Application: May we read about and apply the examples of "living by faith" in God and His Word exhibited by the Old Testament saints under the Law that we, also, might enjoy God's victory in living!