I am nearing the end of my year-long study of the book of Hebrews and it has been so rewarding. Challenging at times, but mostly rewarding as I have gleaned greater depth of understanding into the word of God which so masterfully illustrates why and how Jesus became the better sacrifice allowing us to enter God’s presence. I entered chapter 11 this week where the author begins recounting the faithfulness of past individuals who lived in faithful expectation of receiving God’s promise. I love this chapter. It is motivating, encouraging and renewing. Too often I get bogged down in thinking about how hard or miserable my situation is when in reality I know my situation is pretty sweet compared to Old Testament times. I don’t have much more to say in light of the scripture I share below, but I pray you also are encouraged by reading it today.
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.