Abraham came to mourn and weep for his wife – his dead.
Her life and marriage were far from easy and far from perfect.
Yet God remembered her faith…
Faith in God’s promises, even though she died without receiving them, she saw them in the distance.
She was persuaded that God would fulfill all He promised.
She welcomed those promises with great pleasure.
She repeated those promises to herself and God, knowing that her life was temporary on this earth but eternal in God’s city.
Her faith declared plainly that she was intensely seeking the Father’s-Land.
She stretched out for a better, that is, heavenly land.
This is the kind of faith that does not shame God.
God is not ashamed to be called Sarah’s God.
In Jesus, not only is He unashamed of us, He is making ready a city for us to dwell with Him.
(Isa 51:2; Deut 18:4; Lev 23:10; 1 Cor 15:20, 23; Jam 1:18; Rev 14:4; Rom 8:23, 11:16; 2 Cor 1:22, 5:5; Eph 1:14; Heb 2:11, 12:22, 13:14; John 14:2; Rev 21; Isa 41:8; Ps 105:42)
In Genesis Canaan the son of Ham was cursed.
In the Gospels a woman of Canaan cried out to Jesus for mercy and help.
Jesus called this woman a “little dog” because of who she was by birth. She did not take offense but persisted in her demand in humility, recognizing both who she was and who Jesus is – the Son of David.
Jesus granted her desire in response to what He called her “great faith.”
This account, along with many others, gives us hope that there is deliverance and salvation for “the little dogs” (the Gentile nations) along with “the children” (Israel).
Genesis 10 and 11 accounts for the nations that were divided on the earth after the flood into their lands, languages, and families.
This division and scattering were the result of God’s judgment of man’s repetitious rebellion. Rather than obeying God’s command and blessing to swarm the earth the sons of men sought to make a name for themselves, to build themselves, to ascend into the heavens.
When unified, mankind is capable of great things.
Apart from God, unification results in evil things.
In Jesus Christ, all good things are possible.
(Mark 7:24-30; Mat t 15:21-28; Isa 13-14; Jer 50-51; Rev 17-18; Isa 63:12; Gen 12:2; 2 Sam 7:9; Ac ts 4:12; Ps 14:1; Josh 24:2; Zeph 3)
We are presented with the genealogies of two men.
Cain’s line describes what seems to be city life – great technological advancements and moral decline.
Seth’s line describes death as the result of the reign of sin.
Nevertheless, we see two other men whose faith in God, whose walk with God, pleased God. As a result, Enoch never experienced death and Noah received grace and was saved from God’s judgment.
And, we hear another declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ buried in the definitions of the names in the Messianic line of Genesis 5.
(Heb 11:5-6; Ex 3:13-15, 6:3-4; Luke 3:38; Rom 5:18-21; John 1:1-18; Gen 6:9; Jude 14, 15 [1 En 1:9]; Jos 1:7-9)
How do you approach God?
There are only two options available.
The first is the way of Cain. Cain chose to worship God according to pride. He chose to worship God according to his desire. His choice was called evil.
The second is the way of Able. Able chose to worship God according to faith. He chose to worship God according to God’s desire. His choice was called righteous.
The way of Cain, in all its variety, hates the singular way of Able.
The way of Cain is the root of all religious violence.
The way of Able is the root of true worship
Worship God in truth. Choose faith in Jesus Christ.
(Heb 11:4, 12:24; Jude 11; Rom 6:12; 1 John 3:12; Mat t 23:35; Luke 11:51; James 5:4; Ex 13:12; Lev 2; Num 18:17; Ps 51:17; 1 Sam 2:17; Rev 3:20)
Here are the slides of Pamela Martinez's artwork that she describes in the first part of this message. (pdmartinez.com)
The main exhortation of this letter is to live by faith in Jesus.
Faith in Jesus is not an invisible vapor, but a solid foundation.
Faith in Jesus is not a wish, but a hope filled with confident expectation.
Faith in Jesus does not lack evidence, but abounds with convicting proof.
Faith in Jesus is not idle, but active.
By faith in Jesus we live.
By faith in Jesus we perceive that He created the heavens and the earth as described in Genesis.
Jesus did it.
(Ps 33:6, 9; Rom 1:20; Job 38:4-7, Ps 82; Heb 1:3; John 1; 2 Cor 4:4-6; 2 Pet 3:5; 1 Cor 15:38-39; Col 1:15, 3:10; Phil 2:7; Eph 4:24; Heb 4:4, 10)
Jesus is not a shadow. He is the very image of all that is real.
The offering of His blood takes away sins. The offering of His body sets us apart as holy.
Through faith in Him, God does not remember our sins – in Him we abide in eternal remission.
Believe. Have faith.
Hold on. Have hope.
Stir up love and go to work in His will and in His way.
Do not cast Jesus away.
He is coming.
Jesus is better.
(2 Cor 7:1; Ps 40:6-8, 50:13, 51:16; 1 Sam 15:22-23; John 19:30; Ps 110:1; Jer 31:33, 34; 1 Cor 13:13; Matt 12:31-32; Deut 32:35-36; Hab 2:3-4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11)
Jesus is better because Jesus is rest.
Rest is the possession of His promises.
Unbelief does not enter His rest. Hearing His voice and intermingling His Word with faith enters His rest.
Hiding from His Word does not enter His rest. Nakedness and openness before His eyes and His Word enters His rest.
Open your eyes towards Jesus the Son of God, our great High Priest, and our great Physician. Expose every area of your life to Him. He is compassionate with your sickness and need. He is gracious, merciful, and helpful.
Ask Him boldly and confidently with faith to remove that inanimate heart of stone from your chest and to give you a new heart and a new spirit, a living heart of flesh.
This is how we enter and abide in His rest.
(Mat t 11:28-30; Ps 95; Gen 2:2; Deut 3:20; Jos 23:1; John 5:17; Rev 14:13; John 1:1-18; Rom 10:17; Jos 5:13-15; Isa 55:11; Gen 2:25, 3:7; Isa 53; Lev 16; Phi l 2:5-11, 4:6-7; Jas 1:12-18; Ezek 36; Jer 31)
i. God’s Word brings true health, fruitfulness, prosperity and success to what we do (Psalm 1:3).
ii. The Word of God has healing power and the power to deliver from oppression (Psalm 107:20, Matthew 8:8, Matthew 8:16).
iii. God’s Word cleans us. If we take heed according to God’s word, our way will be cleansed (Psalm 119:9, John 15:3, Ephesians 5:26).
iv. The Word of God, hidden in our hearts, keeps us from sin (Psalm 119:11).
v. God’s Word is a counselor. When we delight in God’s word, it becomes a rich source of counsel and guidance for us (Psalm 119:24).
vi. God’s Word is a source of strength (Psalm 119:28).
vii. God’s Word imparts life. It is a continual source of life (Psalm 119:93 and Matthew 4:4).
viii. God’s Word is a source of illumination and guidance. When God’s word comes in, light comes in. It makes the simple wise and understanding (Psalm 119:105 and Psalm 119:130).
ix. God’s Word gives peace to those who love it. They are secure, standing in a safe place (Psalm 119:165).
x. When the Word of God is heard and understood, it bears fruit (Matthew 13:23).
xi. The Word of God has inherent power and authority against demonic powers (Luke 4:36).
xii. Jesus Himself—His eternal person—is described as the Word. When we are into the word of God, we are into Jesus (John 1:1).
xiii. Hearing God’s Word is essential to eternal life. One cannot pass from death into life unless they hear the Word of God (John 5:24, James 1:21, 1 Peter 1:23).
xiv. Abiding—living in—God’s Word is evidence of true discipleship (John 8:31).
xv. God’s Word is the means to sanctification (John 17:17).
xvi. The Holy Spirit can work with great power as the Word of God is preached (Acts 10:44).
xvii. Hearing God’s Word builds faith (Romans 10:17).
xviii. Holding fast to the Word of God gives assurance of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:2).
xix. The faithful handling of the Word of God gives the ministers of the word a clear conscience. They know that they did all they could before God (2 Corinthians 4:2 and Philippians 2:16).
xx. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is equipment for spiritual battle, especially in the idea of an offensive weapon (Ephesians 6:17).
xxi. The Word of God comes with the power of the Holy Spirit, with “much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
xxii. The Word of God works effectively in those who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
xxiii. The Word of God sanctifies the very food we eat! (1 Timothy 4:5).
xxiv. The Word of God is not dead; it is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword. The Word of God can probe us like a surgeon’s expert scalpel, cutting away what needs to be cut and keeping what needs to be kept (Hebrews 4:12).
xxv. The Word of God is the Christian’s source of spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2 and 1 Corinthians 2:1–5).
Guzik, D. (2013). Hebrews (Heb 4:12–13). Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.
Mic 6:8; Heb 11:6; Num 11:2; Dan 3:17-18; Gen 49:18; Ex 14:13, 15:2; Heb 4:12