Ezekiel 24:1-26:21, Hebrews 11:1-16, Psalms 110:1-7, Proverbs 27:14
Today is the 12th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor and a joy to be here in your presence and all of us together in the presence of God to take the next step forward as we hear from His word. This week we’re reading from the Voice Translation. And we’ll go back into the book of Ezekiel, which is what we’re working our way through right now. Ezekiel chapter 24 verse 1 through 26 verse 21 today.
Okay. So, as we continue our journey through the book of Hebrews we came to a very famous passage of Scripture today but also very, very important territory because we began to discuss what is necessary to enter into and continue to be engaged in a personal relationship with God. And that component is faith. So, like, not to be anti-climatic because we’ve been talking about…like this is not the first time that we’ve encountered this concept in the New Testament or in the Bible, right? We’ve examined it from all kinds of directions as we move through the writings of the apostle Paul. But Hebrews gave us this really succinct and, like I said, famous definition of exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about faith in the Bible. Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you have never seen. So, in other words, faith is what allows us to see a reality and begin to live into that reality even though it is not reached its fullness or completion. It gives substance to what is still incomplete or unseen. And if this is faith, which it is, then we have to admit that, as human beings, we’re equipped for this. We all have faith in things we cannot see. Like love. We can’t see love but who among us would deny that it exists? Or tomorrow. Like suns gonna come up tomorrow. Like, we can’t see that yet. We wouldn’t be able to say for a fact that’s gonna happen, but we don’t question whether that daylight will come to the earth in the morning. So, we’re a people of faith. Like, we’re constantly practicing faith every single day one way or another. So, but the point the writer of Hebrews was trying to make wasn’t whether or not faith existed. Then or now, few people would argue that there is a thing called faith. The point was that faith had always been part of the Hebrew story. It had always been the essential piece. It was something that preceded any law, rule, or ritual, or behavior. And, so, because of that, it must be a foundational thing to our existence with God. And that was a very important point for the writer of Hebrews. So, we began to be led down a corridor and we’ll continue down that corridor for a bit, like going into tomorrow and beyond. We just started walking down it today and it’s been lovingly named the hall of faith, right? So, it was by faith that Able brought a more acceptable offering to God. It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven without dying. It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. It was my faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go somewhere that was promised but somewhere that he’d never been before. It was by faith that even Sarah, who was too old to have children, had a child who was Isaac, the son of promise. So, the hall of faith is gonna continue, and that’s what we’ll be reading tomorrow when we get to the New Testament, but we can already see that the writer of Hebrews was starting at the beginning of Genesis, like was starting at the beginning of the story and started working forward through the stories that are found in Hebrew scriptures. And the point was to reveal that faith had always been the activator. Like it was always the essential piece. And, so, why is this point being brought up? Because it will take faith…it would take faith to enter into a new covenantal relationship with God through Jesus. And it would take faith to hold onto that relationship because people were suffering a lot of marginalization and persecution. And, so, it was gonna take faith. And the point was, this isn’t something new. It had always…faith was always required. So, the hall of faith that we’re walking down, this isn’t like the superhero list, right? We’re not just renaming people that did amazing things that we’ve already encountered in the Bible. These are not people who were exceptions. They’re people who are examples for all of us. Faith was the activator in their stories and we’re not going to get anywhere without faith in our story. Or to quote the writer of Hebrews, “without faith no one can please God, because the one coming to God has to believe that He exists and that He rewards those who come seeking.” So, you know, this is like foundational stuff to the Christian faith to the point that we just kind of gloss over or very easily take for granted something that seems bedrock, has always been a part of what we’ve understood our faith to be. But let’s take some time today to think about what exactly we have put our faith in because, like we said at the beginning of just talking today, we are a people of faith. We put our faith in all kinds of stuff, but slowing down enough to really ask ourselves functionally, what am I really putting my faith in? I mean, maybe you feel like your faith is just, you know, like paper thin, like you can see right through. Usually that’s because we put our faith in an outcome, like we’re expecting. Like, we have faith in God but we’re expecting Him to do something on our behalf and it’s something specific. And that’s not wrong. Like, we’re all forever going to be in need of God’s involvement in our lives. But when our faith is in an expectation, right? When it’s in a specific outcome, then it’s not in God, it’s in the outcome and what we expect God to do. And like, real, true, deep, abiding, honest, authentic faith, it will always take the long view that extends beyond what we may ever see in this lifetime. Like it hopes beyond our time that we get to reside on earth, beyond our mortality and it reaches for God alone. So, let’s invite the Holy Spirit as we consider the purpose of our faith, but also what it is we’ve put our faith in, where it is that our hope actually lies.
Father, we invite You into that. It seems trivial even, maybe simple at the outset. We’re here every day. We’re hearing from Your word. You’re speaking to us. So, it’s sort of like, our faith is in You and You alone. And we declare this in our prayers all the time. However, giving us the invitation to really consider all of the different components and compartments of our lives, all of the different places that we’ve put our faith in a person, in an outcome, in a thing, in an eventuality, we need to be able to see and name those things because we want to please You. And without faith in You we will not be able to. And if that is disconnected, then all of the other things that we put our faith in, they are going to vanish and disappear from us. It is only our faith in You and You alone that will give us hope forever. So, come Holy Spirit we pray. Lead us into all truth. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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