Faith That Delivers

Hebrews 11:27-31

Don’t believe it’s imagination – things the media chooses to report becoming increasingly outrageous. Words and actions by individuals, representatives of corporations or governments truly fit definition:

“Grossly offensive to decency or morality. b. Being well beyond the bounds of good taste; Violent or unrestrained in temperament or behavior.” From American Heritage Dictionary 4th Ed.

Sad reality is: response of Christian community more influenced by politics or emotion than what Bible has to say. One example:

INTRODUCING BODY ARMOUR CANADA TO US CHURCH SECURITY TEAMS 

After 27 years of front line operational experience within military, law enforcement and the private security sector we recognize the need for high quality, covert & overt, fully functional and reasonably priced bullet resistant vests.
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Protect yourself when protecting the parishioners and the church by wearing extremely lightweight & comfortable body armor. email to info@wrfbc.org

Problem is too many guns, radical Muslims, easy access to drugs, low or no-cost taxpayer funded abortions, not enough good jobs, paralysis in Congress, right? No, not even close! The problem is sin in the hearts and minds of men and women, boys and girls in every walk of life. The rest of the list – just symptoms or consequences of sinful people living in broken world. Probably safe to say then… solution not gun control, border control, drug rehab, defunding Planned Parenthood, creating jobs, and throwing bums out of Washington. Some of that maybe a good start but no more effective long-term than aspirin for headache caused by brain tumor.

Wise man once said: “the heart of the problem is that it is a problem of the heart”. Kind of faith that delivers from bondage in sin, that sets heart and mind free to obey God, delivers from other hazards as well. Is true whether individual is one who is behaving outrageously or living among those who do.

A. from unjust civil authority v.27

argument from silence, yes, but in light of this verse, no – nowhere from time of burning bush to crossing Red Sea and beyond does Exodus record say a word about Moses being afraid of Pharaoh

we do know – ran out of fear when was only 40; at 80, had come to understand more about God, know God better

wasn’t arrogance on Moses’ part – God’s on my side, take that Pharaoh, God won’t let anything happen to me!

recognized Pharaoh had real authority and power and there was even greater authority and power over Pharaoh

don’t fear wrath of Pharaoh, fear wrath of God – two parts to that, we mostly get only one

think of fearing wrath of God when we do what displeases him; must also think of our failures to do what pleases him

when we know what God expects of us and we avoid or neglect doing it, God absolutely just and justified in being displeased

let’s rise to next level – life isn’t simple, you can’t please all the people all the time; truth is there are many you will displease when you please God

so here is duty: do what we know will please God when we know it will displease civil authority and may cause bad reaction

bottom line – the one who has faith in God as the Sovereign, who has faith in King Jesus can rest 100% confident of deliverance

he will deliver all his subjects from all harm that civil authority might cause… in his time… in his way… for his purpose… which includes our good

B. from death v.28

God promised: if you do this with the lamb and the blood, the angel will pass over; Moses kept on doing it

to do as God instructed the first night, no problem – small bit of insurance to cover life of firstborn; besides, who doesn’t like lamb!

not that time in view here – focused more on successive years, after the initial threat had passed; not about to relax

Passover wasn’t one-shot deal – was permanent institution of Old Covenant, to be superseded by ceremonial meal of New Covenant… Lord’s Table

Moses covered that when told Hebrew children what to do the first time: “you shall observe this forever …when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised …when your children say to you…”

if God’s promises regarding the land had more in view than dirt and rocks in Palestine, Passover rituals must have more in view than one fearful night in Egypt… and perhaps more than just deliverance from Egypt

if he could see the invisible one and fear him, not Pharaoh, could surely see invisible one whose blood would deliver once for all

Moses must have understood: blood of bulls and goats and lambs by itself could never achieve forgiveness of sin for anyone

had to be suitable substitute – as lamb substituted for firstborn, so some kind of substitute must be found for all God’s people

faith in God who has promised – “the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37)

just as Moses had faith God would keep his promise regarding the land, so he had faith God would keep promise regarding everything Passover signified

Moses was commended for that kind of faith; still the right kind today, and only kind of faith that will deliver from death – not physical death, but spiritual death

C. from earthly peril v.29

should not have been surprised that God parted Red Sea – think about what he had just finished doing

call them 10 plagues – could call them 10 power strokes issued by God: one by one true God challenged false gods of Egypt, last of all Pharaoh, and showed absolute superiority over them

think of Red Sea as God demonstrating his power over creation, like he did at Jordan River later on – is true

the Rev. @ church up the road: read account of Red Sea crossing from Bible, closed, put under lectern, spoke from notes only

“should think of it as Reed Sea, not the Red Sea; Hebrew children crossed where marshy, only a few inches deep; if God wanted to drown Pharaoh in six inches of water, suppose he could”

if we take record in Ex. 14 at face value, only God has power to make wall of water on both sides of dry ground across Red Sea

is greater power at work than “simply” that – God used same means for two contrasting ends: deliverance of his people and destruction of his enemies

the Sea that God parted didn’t simply move out of the way; it defined the specific and safe path to life for Hebrews, sure path to destruction for Egyptians

God does that sort of thing on regular basis – clearly showing the way his child or children should go, at same time way to defeat for their enemies

faith in God who has power

God who parted Red Sea has greater power still – to safely deliver us in ways that use evil for good, that show his absolute sovereign governance over all of his creation, not just the Christians

D. from obstacles to spiritual progress v.30

the way God led his people, ford across Jordan was flooded; again God showed safe path to land of promise on other side

as at Red Sea, water of Jordan stopped flowing and ground instantly dry – obstacle they could not overcome by human strength moved out of the way by gracious God

but God’s purpose not for them to stick toe in water, then go sit down; intended for his people to fill Canaan – they had arrived, but only just barely

had been living in tents, wandering around wilderness for 40 years; God’s purpose that wandering should end

obstacle to further progress – walled city of Jericho, strongly defended, serious hindrance to further progress by Hebrews

could not expect to pass by Jericho unmolested – Canaanites not interested in a resettlement program, would resist it strongly

had no resources of their own to be sure of prevailing over Jericho – inadequate weapons and training for that kind of assault

faith in God who has triumphed

important note: faith often requires confidence in God to use means that don’t make sense to us – like marching silently around the fort, then blowing the trumpets

are obstacles like Jericho in the way of our spiritual growth – ones we have absolutely no resources adequate to overcome

God the Son has triumphed over all our enemies, by faith in him we can overcome insurmountable obstacles also

E. from previous lifestyle v.31

ever heard someone say “God can’t ever save me; I’ve been too bad, I’m too old, I’ve done too much”, etc.

often an excuse, cover for “I don’t want God to save me, I like my favorite sins”

there is an answer for person who seriously doubts: look at Rahab, or any number of other scoundrels in the Bible

here we are, nearly 3500 years later, Rahab still has her reputation; known as much or more by early career choice than by later heritage in line of Jesus

God certainly has power to save us from our choices or even their consequences but he doesn’t always do that

God saves us from our sin, often in our circumstances; gives new priorities and lifestyle choices right where we live

Rahab got relocated, for obvious reasons; but in every way an outsider she was brought into family

faith in God who invites

spies told Rahab – put the red rope in the window, you will be safe; she put the rope in immediately, trusted in God’s invitation

not a stretch to think red rope went in the window, red light at door went out… permanently; same God still invites, has power to deliver from any kind of previous lifestyle

just like Rahab was delivered from old environment, God gives repentant sinner new environment – community of Christ-followers

Jesus is the Best! He endured injustice of civil authority for us; he experienced and triumphed over death on our behalf; Jesus stilled the storm; he resisted Satan’s temptation; Jesus was obedient to his Father to death that he might deliver us from our sinful past. Jesus invites: Matt. 11:28-30“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” That is message we need to be reminded of daily, and lost world needs to hear.

 

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