The writer of Hebrews turned to the faith of the ancients in a passage often called the “Hall of Faith,” or “Faith’s Hall of Heroes.” These were of the believing remnant spoken of throughout the Hebrew scriptures, who persevered in faith against great odds, and chose to believe in God’s promises, though they would not be fulfilled in their own lifetime.
Melchizedek is a fascinating and mysterious figure in the Bible. Here is the sum total of his appearances in the pages of scripture.
The writer had given nearly three chapters of exhortation, dire warnings in stern language. Now he turned to encouragement, feeling certain his audience would respond to God’s call through his letter.
Genuine living faith is costly, in selflessness, sacrifice, humility, obedience to God and godly love. Yet, James taught, it is this genuine faith that receives the crown of life from God.
Now, Peter would present his second and third examples, God’s cleansing the whole earth of abject wickedness, yet rescuing the tiny remnant of righteous ones.
Sarah’s character and faith were going to be put through several severe tests over the course of her marriage, trials that would include long years of travel, homelessness, risk to her life and to her honor, turmoil in her home, even internal soul-searching.
We are going to see God rescuing a very lonely person who had reached the very end of herself, literally all lone, without friend or family, without resources, and finally, without hope.
Hagar realized God had “seen” her, the Lord knew her just as she was, understood her with great compassion in her inmost depths and all that concerned her.
What we do reveals who we are and what we truly believe. What pulls you backward? What pulls you forward? Which seems stronger? What does what you say and do reveal about who you truly are and what you truly believe? How can God’s mercy triumph in your life?
They were beyond words, so enraged they were left with inchoate gutturals, and fury coursing like lava through their bodies. Snakes for arms, fangs for fingers, they struck their rocks like prey and hauled them up in one frenzied motion, a giant Medusa of raging Pharisees readying to hurl their judgment in a hailstorm of stones.