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:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises,
stopped the mouths of lions,
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.
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of
bonds and imprisonment:
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;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Heb 11:32-38
Hebrews chapter eleven is referred to as the hall of faith-I recommend reading the entire chapter. In this study, verses 32-38 will be focused on.
We can get a lot of encouragement and insight in these verses, some commentary notes will be used to help open these verses up for us; along with a quote from Charles Spurgeon-the prince of preachers.
Albert Barnes brings clarity to these verses as we begin:
Of whom the world was not worthy - The world was so wicked that it had no claim that such holy men should live in it. These poor, despised, and persecuted people, living as outcasts and wanderers, were of a character far elevated above the world. This is a most beautiful expression. It is at once a statement of their eminent holiness, and of the wickedness of the rest of mankind.
They wandered in deserts ... - On the Scripture meaning of the word “desert” or wilderness, see the notes on Mat_3:1. This is a description of persons driven away from their homes, and wandering about from place to place to procure a scanty subsistence; compare 1 Macc. 1:53; 2 Macc. 5:27; 6:7. The instances mentioned in the Books of Maccabees are so much in point, that there is no impropriety in supposing that Paul referred to some such cases, if not these very cases. As there is no doubt about their historic truth, there was no impropriety in referring to them, though they are not mentioned in the canonical books of Scripture. One of those cases may be referred to as strikingly illustrating what is here said. “But Judas Maccabeus with nine others or thereabout, withdrew himself into the wilderness, and lived in the mountains after the manner of beasts, with his company, who fed on herbs continually lest they should be partakers of the pollution;” 2 Macc. 5:27.
The JFB commentary confirms this view:
Of whom the world was not worthy — So far from their being unworthy of living in the world, as their exile in deserts, etc., might seem to imply, “the world was not worthy of them.” The world, in shutting them out, shut out from itself a source of blessing; such as Joseph proved to Potiphar (Gen_39:5), and Jacob to Laban (Gen_30:27). In condemning them, the world condemned itself. JFB commentary
From F.B. Meyer, we get some rich insights:
“THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS”
Strong faith is consistent with very different views of religious truth. The conception that Abel, Enoch or Noah had of so-called Christian truth was very slight; but the faith with which they grasped the scanty truth revealed to them was mighty, soul-transforming and world-moving.
Walk through this long corridor of statuary. These persons were of every age and temperament; shepherds, statesmen, prime ministers, psalmists, poets, border chieftains, prophets, women martyrs-but they are all trophies of faith. The variety is extraordinary, but the unity is undeniable. The beads are many, but there is one golden thread uniting them all. Their circumstances and trials were widely different, but in all the talisman of victory was faith’s watchword-God is able. There is no kind of need, trial, persecution, experience, for which faith is not the sufficient answer. It is the master key for every lock of difficulty. Fit your case into one of the clauses and what once was, shall be again. F.B. Meyer
On the issue of temptations and trials-an excerpt from the Bible Illustrator:
“They were tempted”: it does not say how. If one form of temptation had been mentioned, we should have surmised that they did not suffer in other ways, but when the statement is, “they were tempted,” we shall not be wrong in concluding that they were tried in any and every form. Whatever form temptation may take, in some or in all the saints, that temptation has been endured. We may say of Christ’s mystical body as we may say of Christ’s self—“tempted in all points like as we are.” The saints who are in heaven were tempted in all ways. They were tempted by threats, but they were equally tempted by promises. They were equally deaf to either form of solicitation: they could not be driven, and they could not be drawn; however the net might be spread they could not be taken in it. They have been tempted in subtlest fashion: reason and rhetoric, threat and scorn, bribe and blandishment, have all been used, and used in vain. They were tempted both with trials peculiar to themselves, and with trials common to us all.
On the issue grievous persecutions, Charles Spurgeon gives encouragement and counsel:
Temptations That Drive Us to Our Knees
God’s Esteem of His People
I. LET THE WORLD THINK AS WELL, AS HIGHLY, AS PROUDLY OF ITSELF AS IT PLEASETH, WHEN IT PERSECUTES IT IS BASE AND UNWORTHY OF THE SOCIETY OF TRUE BELIEVERS, AND OF THE MERCIES WHEREWITH IT IS ACCOMPANIED.
II. GOD’S ESTEEM OF HIS PEOPLE IS NEVER THE LESS FOR THEIR OUTWARD SUFFERINGS AND CALAMITIES, WHATEVER THE WORLD JUDGETH OF THEM. They cannot think otherwise of them in their sufferings, than they thought of Christ in His. They did “esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted” (Isa_53:4); as one rejected of God and man. Such is their judgment of all His suffering followers; nor will they entertain any other thought of them. But God is of another mind.
III. OFTTIMES IT IS BETTER, AND MORE SAFE, FOR THE SAINTS OF GOD TO BE IN THE WILDERNESS AMONG THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD, THAN IN A SAVAGE WORLD, INFLAMED BY THE DEVIL INTO RAGE AND PERSECUTION.
IV. Though the world may prevail to drive the Church into the wilderness, to the ruin of all public profession in their own apprehension, YET IT SHALL BE THERE PRESERVED UNTO THE APPOINTED SEASON OF ITS DELIVERANCE—the world shall never have the victory over it.
V. IT BECOMES US TO BE FILLED WITH THOUGHTS OF, AND AFFECTIONS UNTO, SPIRITUAL THINGS, TO LABOUR FOR AN ANTICIPATION OF GLORY, THAT WE FAINT NOT IN THE CONSIDERATION OF THE EVILS THAT MAY BEFALL US ON THE ACCOUNT OF THE GOSPEL. (John Owen, D. D.)
Some Insights From Paul
"I was crushed...so much so that I despaired even of life, but that was to make me rely not on myself, but on the God who raises the dead" (2Co_1:8-9).
"Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
"Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured."
The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them.
There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. This is what Paul meant when he said, "Death worketh in you."
Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine, and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the winds and waves. -- A. B. Simpson
"Out of the presses of pain,
Cometh the soul’s best wine;
And the eyes that have shed no rain,
Can shed but little shine."
Following Jesus-Wherever He Leads
In this page there will be devotions/poems
music and inspirational material
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Madame Guyon - A Short and Easy Method of Prayer / Christian Audio Book (1 / 2)
Union With God By Jeanne Guyon Chapter
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Brother LAWRENCE (1614 - 1691)-