Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 11, 2015

“For by it (faith) the men of old gained approval.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Chronicles chapter 11.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chronicles+11&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“10 Now these are the heads of the mighty men whom David had, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.  11 These constitute the list of the mighty men whom David had:  Jashobeam, the son of a Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty;  he lifted up his spear against three hundred whom he killed at one time.

12 After him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighty men.  13 He was with David at Pasdammim when the Philistines were gathered together there to battle, and there was a plot of ground full of barley;  and the people fled before the Philistines.  14 They took their stand in the midst of the plot and defended it, and struck down the Philistines;  and the Lord saved them by a great victory.

20 As for Abshai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the thirty, and he swung his spear against three hundred and killed them;  and he had a name as well as the thirty.  21 Of the three in the second rank he was the most honored and became their commander;  however, he did not attain to the first three.

22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, mighty in deeds, struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab.  He also went down and killed a lion inside a pit on a snowy day.  23 He killed an Egyptian, a man of great stature five cubits tall.  Now in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.  24 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and had a name as well as the three mighty men. 25 Behold, he was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three;  and David appointed him over his guard.”  1 Chronicles Chapter 11:  Verses 10-14 and 20-25.

——————-

David’s mighty men point us to the LORD’s faithful men and women in Hebrews chapter 13.  The true “All Stars” or “Hall of Fame” members are those who had faith in God and based their actions on their faith.

“1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  2 For by it the men of old gained approval.

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.  4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.  5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death;  and he was not found because God took him up;  for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.  6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”  Hebrew 11:1-7.

What does your faith cause you to do?

For some, your faith will cause you to put your children in Christian schools even though it requires great financial sacrifice and you don’t know how you will be able to maintain it.

For some, your faith will cause you to leave much better paying employment to enter some type of ministry or volunteer work.

For some, your faith will cause you to leave your church full of family and friends in order to attend a church full of strangers but where you believe sound doctrine is preached.

For some, your faith will cause you to take a politically incorrect stance.

For some, your faith will cause you to humble themselves in some way even though others may persecute you, ridicule you, or wonder why you do so.

For some, your faith will cause you to move to another place, sometimes far away, or otherwise prepare some figurative type of “ark for the salvation” of your household.

Hebrews chapter 11 are filled with very different examples of actions caused by faith.  And, you also see other examples of “Hall of Fame worthy” faith in your observations surrounding you.

Their faith encourages them to take such actions, believing that God “is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6.

In summary, men of old did not gain approval by their might, wisdom, riches, or by just trying harder.  Men of old gained approval by faith.

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