Devotional

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Daybreak: Hebrews 11:23-40

Apr 20, 2021

“By faith Moses, when he was come of years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Hebrews 11:24-25)

My brother-in-law tells of his father’s conversion in Romania when it was under Communist rule. Petru was the superintendent over several schools. In order to be in a leadership position in education, he had to become part of the Communist Party. His mother was saved and diligently prayed for her son. She was on her deathbed, and Petru prayed that if God would heal her, he would serve Him. When God touched her, Petru kept his word and yielded his life to God.

Every several months, an administrator from the government would meet with each principal to see how things were going. As ritual had it in the past, Petru was expected to pull out a bottle of wine and serve it to his guest before they got down to business. This time, however, Petru did not offer the wine. 

The administrator, who had already begun to suspect the change in Petru, asked him, “You didn’t become one of those Christians, did you?”

Petru answered, “Yes.” 

The administrator gave him a chance to denounce his faith and to accept the values of the Communist Party or he would lose his job. Petru, however, had faith in a higher Authority and chose to “suffer affliction with the people of God.” Because of his stand, he was soon replaced by another superintendent and dismissed from the education field. He ended up working for a railroad system, going from a position of authority to a menial labor job.

There may be times when we must choose to accept affliction, persecution, and reproach for doing the right thing. Like Moses, who forsook all the riches of Egypt to become poor and exiled, Petru sacrificed his earthly status because he saw what really mattered. God supplied his basic needs, but the world would say he lost everything. Petru however saw the invisible reward and believed in a greater call. He has “obtained a good report through faith” and expects one day to receive his “recompence of the reward.”

Background

Hebrews 11 contains only a partial record of those who triumphed through faith. Moses had faithful parents, who taught him in faith during his first years. In time, Moses chose to suffer with God’s people; his faith made him see the invisible and imperishable. With his human eyes, he could see reproach and poverty as a result, but through faith he saw beyond to the “recompence of the reward.”

The other individuals listed as great models of faith also saw past the visible elements of this earthly life. Rahab believed the God of Israel and chose to serve Him even at the sacrifice of her own city. Although she was a heathen harlot, she was saved through faith, and later became an ancestor of Christ.

Gideon was a simple farmer, initially frightened at the Lord’s call, but through faith he obtained one of the most memorable victories in the Bible. Barak obeyed the direction of the prophetess Deborah, and led Israel to victory. Samson was willing to give his life to defeat the enemy. Samuel and David both brought Israel closer to God and both withstood persecution for it.

There are many more stories of faith where miraculous victories were won. There were also those followers of God who were not delivered on earth. Even though they suffered torture and death, their accounts are as victorious as those of deliverance because they received a good report through faith. The writer of Hebrews declares the world was not worthy of these people.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III.   The application: the life we should live because of His life and work
      B.   Exhortation to endurance in faith
            2.   The efficacy of faith
                  c.   In the exodus and conquest (11:23-31)
                  d.   In numerous trials (11:32-38)
                  e.   The victory of faith (11:39-40)

A Closer Look

  1. What are some of the results of faith listed in verses 33-37?
     
  2. Does exercising faith in God always mean that God will deliver one from a current affliction? Why or why not?
     
  3. If the writer of Hebrews were to write today, what things could be written about your life?
     

Conclusion

There is an old hymn that says, “Faith is the Victory.” If we see the invisible things of God through eyes of faith, we will have victory whether we experience affliction or deliverance. Let us pray that God will open our eyes and increase our faith!

Reference Materials