Our last reading this week is from Hebrews 11:28-40
v28: Kept the Passover: The Passover deals with the eating of the lamb – the body.
- And the sprinkling of blood: It is extremely important that Yeshua died, but equally significant that He shed His blood. The Heavenly Father looked upon His blood and it was sufficient for purchasing eternal redemption for us. If the Israelites had killed and eaten the lamb but had not dealt with the blood correctly they would not have been saved. The destroyer was not looking for the lambs when he passed over that night (the lambs were consumed/eaten) but He was looking for its blood upon the doorframes of their houses. The correct application of the blood gave them deliverance from death (Ex 12:21-23).
v29: The Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned: The Egyptians did not enter the Red Sea by faith. They saw the same miracle that the children of G-d saw. They believed in the ability of G-d to part the Sea. They saw the children of Israel passing through it and thought that they could too. However, they were not pursuing the will of G-d, but trying to stop the purposes of G-d from being fulfilled. G-d caused them to be swallowed up. Faith is not only about believing G-d can, but it is also about doing what He has enabled us to do so that His will can be fulfilled and not ours (Ex 14:23-31).
v30: Seven: Seven has to do with purpose. The children of Israel surrounded the walls because they were interested in the purposes of G-d. Seven also speaks of holiness. Holiness is always related to the purposes of G-d. The purpose of G-d was not just to bring about the destruction of the people of Jericho, but, part of the process, to also unify Himself and His people. Submitting to the Word of G-d leads to greater intimacy with Him (Joshua 6:12-21).
v31: Those who did not believe: Those who did not have faith. The people of Jericho had heard about G-d and His deeds. In Joshua 2:8-14 Rahab told the two spies that a great fear of G-d and the children of Israel had fallen upon the people of the land when they had heard what G-d had done. What Rahab had heard impacted her life and, unlike the other people in Jericho, she responded properly and with faith.
- Peace: Peace has to do with the will of G-d. Rahab wanted the purposes of G-d to be fulfilled and that is why she hid the spies.
v32: The time would fail me: Time is running out. The author of Hebrews didn’t have time to go through all of these people, but, if we have time, it would be good to study them for ourselves. All of them have testimonies. None of them were perfect individuals but they repented. Sometimes repentance does not restore back the things we lost by our lack of faith, but we can begin anew.
v33: Stopped the mouths of lions: Like Daniel in the den of lions.
v34: Out of weakness were made strong: In the flesh (our own intellect and abilities) we are inadequate to accomplish the things of G-d. This causes us to rely upon Him, trust Him, seek His wisdom, His power etc and He empowers us (2 Cor 12:9).
- Became valiant in battle: They became strong for that spiritual battle against satan.
- Aliens: Foreigners. Those who did not have a relationship with the Living G-d.
v35: Women received their dead raised to life again: Women always bring the context of redemption into a text. Their loved ones were put to death and this passage tells us that they received them back to life. By faith, these women had a foretaste of a resurrection experience.
- Not accepting deliverance: They rejected deliverance and chose to rather suffer, in order to store up for themselves greater treasure in the Kingdom.
v36: Scourgings: They were flogged, whipped, with various things.
v37: These people underwent terrible torture, but G-d was faithful to them. Not everyone receives deliverance in this life, sometimes our deliverance comes by means of death.
v39: Obtained a good testimony through faith: They had a testimony that they were faithful. These individuals were suffering because of faithfulness and because they wanted to be a blessing and encouragement to others. They did not want to receive the promises in this life, but wanted to receive them in the Kingdom of G-d – where they will have eternal benefit.
v40: Our faithfulness can impact others. These individuals who were willing to be martyrs, who lived faithful and obedient lives, wanted to share their great rewards with others in the coming Kingdom, when all is made perfect. They wanted to be a blessing to others not just in this life but also in the one to come.