Hall of Faith

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2

In the next few weeks I will be going through the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. I will spend at least one day on each of those mentioned in this chapter.

Entire libraries have been written about faith. We have a sure hope in Jesus although we do not see Him. A number of years ago, Larry King asked Billy Graham, “do you have any doubt about your eternal destiny?” Absolutely not. King asked the question a number of different ways, and Mr. Graham's response was the same: “I have a hope, and this hope is Jesus.” Without hesitation. Without fear. Period. Paragraph.

Those "cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us in Hebrews 11 have left us with a fantastic legacy. We would do well to remember their faith and courage. We don't have all the facts about end times and the future and what will happen when we pass on, but we do have enough information to see us through.

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Help Them We Should

A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away. Proverbs 13:23

If you do a quick search throughout the Scriptures, you’ll see that God has a special place in his heart for the poor and needy and those who cannot defend themselves. The poor rarely have an honest voice (when they have a voice at all) in government. In many lands, what they do have is ripped away by greedy bureaucrats and power-hungry officials.

Stop today to consider the plight of the poor and the needy. Many, through no fault of their own, are in desperate situations. We all need discernment in how to help. But help them we should.

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Our Strength

I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

The destruction is coming; Habakkuk senses it. He knows something horrible is approaching. He doesn’t know exactly when, but it’s coming.

And yet.

I love that.

And “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

God is Habakkuk’s strength, despite his trembling legs and cropless fields and non-existent animals. God is Habakkuk’s strength when the world has come crashing down all around him.

May it also be said of us that God is our strength, and He enables us to go to the heights.

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Praise Awaits

I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of
Midian in anguish.

Were you angry with the rivers, O LORD ? Was your wrath
against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode with your
horses and your victorious chariots?

You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. Selah

You split the earth with rivers; the mountains saw you and
writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on
high.

Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your
flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear.

In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you
threshed the nations.

You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed
one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from
head to foot. Selah

With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors
stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who
were in hiding.

You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great
waters.

The ten verses in this section of Habakkuk’s prayer
re-emphasize God’s glory and majesty. The Lord is worthy to be praised. It is a
good thing to praise God. There’s no greater time than the present to praise
Him because:

  1. it gives us perspective on who He is and what He has done
  2. it reminds us of our role in relation to Him (potter/clay, master/servant, Father/children)
  3. if we don’t, He could ask a few rocks to do the same (Luke 19:40)
  4. it acknowledges that it’s not really about us as much as we hate to admit it
  5. it peels away our subtle pride of desiring to be in control
  6. He's worthy.

Certainly life would go on if we didn’t stop to praise God. But we’d miss out in a big way if we didn’t.

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A Glimpse

God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal. Habakkuk 3:3-5

(FYI: According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Teman was originally the name of a tribe and then of a district of the Edomites. The Temanites were famed for their wisdom. And Moses repeated the Law to the Israelites "between Paran and Tophel" (Deuteronomy 1:1). Teman speaks to his Wisdom, and Paran speaks to his glory.)

Everything about these verses acknowledge the awe and inspiration of an Almighty God. Nothing we can fathom compares. Habakkuk speaks in terms that he understood. For instance:

  • How do you describe the nuances and color splashes of a sunrise or a sunset to someone who is not there with you?
  • How do you describe the Northern Lights to someone who has never seen snow or experienced zero degrees temperatures?
  • How can you comprehend a million galaxies when the Milky Way is beyond our current understanding? 
  • How is it possible to count the thoughts that God has about you (Ps. 139:17)?

Answer: you can't.

We get but a glimpse of God's power and majesty. For now.

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