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 am Brian and it is a pleasure to be here with you today. As we come around the global campfire and…well…come in out of whatever’s going on and just set it aside and allow this to be a safe place for God’s word to wash into our lives and that will take us back into the book of Ezekiel as we continue that journey. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Ezekiel chapter 24, 25 and 26 today.
Okay. So, as we’ve been moving our way through the book of Hebrews, we’ve been seeing this argument and the implications of what’s being said laid out very meticulously. So…so, the implications of the good news or the gospel have become clear. Because of Jesus, who is our great and final high priest, through Him we can…we can, with boldness, enter God’s presence as a son or a daughter righteous before God. And, so, today we started talking about what it is that must be present in order for that to happen. Faith. So, like, just because we’re reading the book of Hebrews, like this is not the first time we’ve ever talked about faith. We’ve examined it from every angle because we’ve been reading the writings of the apostle Paul and this is a primary theme for him, but Hebrews gives us a definition and its famous and it’s memorable and it’s quotable, right? “Faith reveals the reality of what we’re hoping for. Faith itself is the evidence of what we can’t see.” So, in other words, faith lets us see a reality and begin moving into that reality and living in that reality even though it’s not reached its full completion. Faith gives substance to what is yet unseen. And it’s often that we’re praying for more faith, right? We hear it on a can annual basis, “increase my faith. I need more faith.” But if this is what faith is, if it is a substance of…of what we can’t see…a reality of what we hope for, then we have to understand that it’s baked into our experience as human beings. We are all living by faith because we all have faith in things we can’t see, right? So like…so like, we all probably have somebody in our lives that we love. Can you see it? Right? Can you see the love? You can’t. You can see the evidence of the love, you can see the implications of the love, the repercussions of the love, but you can’t see it. Or how about your next breath? You have faith that it’s going to come, so much so that you don’t even think about it. So, we’re exercising faith all of the time, every day, somehow. It’s a part of our experience, but when it comes to our spirituality and our union with God all the sudden it becomes some sort of different category. So, the writer of Hebrews isn’t trying to prove that faith is a real thing, that it actually exists. Who’s gonna argue with that? The point was, faith had always been a part of the Hebrew story and we have to remember, Hebrews is written from a Hebrew context to Hebrews and this had always been a part of their story, in fact this had always been essential to the story. Faith, as Paul so constantly laid out, came before any law, before any ritual, before any behavior, before any tabernacle, before any temple. Faith was the beginning of the story. It’s the centerpiece. It’s the cornerstone. And making that point is very, very important to the writer of Hebrews because they lead us down a path that we have begun to walk today and will continue to walk over the next couple days. It’s famously known as “the hall of faith”, right? Because the writer of Hebrews is showing this point to be true - all of these famous important characters found in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament - all of their stories could not have happened without faith, right? It was my faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain. It was my faith that Enoch was taken into heaven without dying. It was by faith Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. It was my faith that Abraham obeyed God when God called him to leave his home and go somewhere he didn’t even know. He went even though he didn’t know where he was going. It was by faith Sarah had a child even though she was too old to have children and through that child this promise has been brought to fruition. The people are like the sand on the seashore. So, we see what’s happening here. The author of Hebrews is simply going back to the beginning, back to Genesis, and started working forward through the stories that are there, revealing that faith is the thing that activated the stories. Faith is the essential piece. But why? Like, why was the apostle Paul pounding this theme home throughout his writings? And why is the author of Hebrews pounding this home almost to the point of redundancy? It’s because the people, in order to accept, in order to see the revelation that a new covenant with God through Jesus was being offered, the only way that anyone could have participated, could’ve come into that covenantal relationship was going to be by and through faith. It would take faith to enter into that relationship and that is no less true today. So, as we read these stories starting with Genesis and continue walking down this hall of faith, we…these are…these were not the exceptions to the rule. They’re simply a list of people that serve as the examples for everybody, including you, and including me. Faith activated their story and we’re not gonns get anywhere without faith in our story. I mean, the writer of Hebrews put it clearly, “it is impossible to please God without faith.” So, that leaves us with an understanding that we probably already had, but it puts it really front and center because now we have to think, “where is my faith?” Right “What have I put my faith in?” Like, when I leave this little oasis around this global campfire and I have to go back out into that world and complete my day. “What have I put my faith in?”
Holy Spirit, we invite You into that question. Sometimes it’s those sorts of questions, they’re just simple, and they seem easy enough to answer until we sit with them and realize that You have begun to unravel us, that You begin to peel back the layers, that You are after things inside of us that are keeping us in fear and doubt and not faith. And, so, reveal those things to us. We open ourselves to You completely and fully declaring nothing is off-limits here. Nothing is off limits to You. We trust You, we love You and we believe that it is our good, that it is our freedom, that it is our sanctification that You are after, and we are after that to. And, so, we collaborate, we surrender. Come, Holy Spirit show us the places throughout the rest of this day that we’ve put our faith in things that aren’t You, and that can’t deliver. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.