Temple Baptist Church - 5-27-2020
Hebrews 11:32-40 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: (33) Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, (34) Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (35) Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: (36) And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: (37) They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (38) (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
A. As we begin to “wrap up” chapter eleven of Hebrews, “The Hall of Faith,” we look at this statement by the great Apostle Paul. “And what shall I say more?’ God has given us numerous examples of the faith of these Old Testament saints.
1. Though they did not have the completion of the Word of God in their hands, they had great faith in their God! From the blood of Abel that continues to speak in our day to the faith of Rahab whose conversion brought her into the Messianic Line of Christ, we have seen examples of faith that should encourage us and inspire us to live for Christ.
Hebrews 11:1-2 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report.
2. The unfortunate thing is that when “that which is perfect” has come, the completion of the Word of God that we hold in our hands tonight, we see less and less of people with such faith! There is an anemia of faith in the children of God in these last days that should not be.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
3. The Bible says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required,” therefore, our responsibility and accountability are much greater.
Luke 12:47-48 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (48) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
B. For Paul to either expound upon or just mention all the Old Testament “giants” of faith, would require many volumes of writing. He names six men in verse 32 along with “Prophets” of which there were many and then terms for faith that are ascribed to men in general.
1. With some, their faith brought victory in this life.
a. Subdued kingdoms.
b. Wrought righteousness.
c. Obtained promises.
d. Stopped the mouths of lions.
e. Quenched the violence of fire.
g. Escaped the edge of the sword.
h. Out of weakness were made strong.
i. Waxed valiant in fight.
j. Turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
k. Women received their dead raised to life again.
2. With others, their faith brought persecution and death in this live but victory in the life to come.
a. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance.
b. Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings.
c. Bonds of imprisonment.
e. Sawn asunder.
g. Slain with the sword.
h. Wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins.
3. We find that there were an equal number of saints that saw victory here and who did not see victory in this life BUT, they ALL saw victory in the life to come.
a. We have seen, through the annals of Church History, a myriad of brethren who have exercised such faith and the end of their faith was not found in victory in this world but rather victory in the world to come.
b. There will be times:
1) When your “Red Sea” will not open and you cannot see either the other side or the depths of the sea. Then you must stand on the shore and face the sea, not knowing the outcome in this life. It is THEN that you must sometimes just “stand still” and wait for the salvation of the Lord.
2) When your “wall of Jericho” will not fall flat. Your problems will be humanly unsurmountable, with no visible way to breach the wall. You will have to trust the Lord for His time and His way.
3) When your “Goliath” will not die and nor will he go away. He will curse and mock you and your God without fear. Choose your “5 smooth stones” carefully and charge him in faith. while at other times you must “go forward” anyway.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
c. There will be times when you must “run through a troop” or leap “over a wall.”
Psalms 18:28-29 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. (29) For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
d. “And these ALL, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing” for them!
Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
e. God let some remain because the world needed them. The world needs to see people of faith to contrast their lack of thereof.
f. God let some die because the world was not worthy of them. Oft times, God will remove His people and take them home because of the world’s rejection of righteousness.
4. We also find the reversal of chronological order in these names mentioned in verse 32. I have often wondered why because:
a. Barak is found in Judges, chapter 4, while Gedeon is found in Judges, chapter 6.
b. Jephthae is found in Judges, chapter 11, while Samson is found in Judges, chapters 13-16.
c. Samuel is found in 1 Samuel, chapter 1, while David is found beginning in 1 Samuel, chapter 16.
d. I believe that the reversal teaches us that things are not always as they seem to be.
1. Some people that seem to be first in faith are last in faith.
2. Some people that seem to be last in faith are first in faith.
Conclusion: Hebrews 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
1. “Some better thing for us” is not always found in physical comfort or blessing. Our greatest reward for righteousness and faith is “that where I am, ye may be also!”
2. Chapter 12 begins with the word “Wherefore.” We are not complete with the Old Testament’s examples of faith and neither are the Old Testament saints complete without us!
3. The “better thing for us” is that we follow in the Old Paths of example, making their victories and sacrifices worth it all!