Saturday, July 14, 2012
Welcome to Day 195 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Isaiah 19, an oracle of judgment against Egypt, symbolic in nature.
19:20b, “When they (Egypt) cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.”
Isaiah 20, the oracle of judgment against Egypt continued, more historical in nature.
20:3, “Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame.”
Isaiah 21, a prophecy against Babylon, “the desert by the sea.” Also against Edom and Arabia…
Hebrews 11:1, “Now, faith is…”
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” NIV
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” NASB
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” KJV
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” NLT
11:6, “And it is impossible to please God without faith.”
33 “By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.
… others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith…”
I like verses 33-35a much more than 35b-38!
A while back, I quoted an ad that I had worked on years ago for Huntington Bank. “Wealth, like a good reputation, is more easily made, than kept.”
Relate it to this verse, 39 “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith…”
Seems there is more than one way to earn a good reputation.
By being victorious… and by being humiliated or even killed for what we believe.
I certainly like the victorious path much more! Overthrowing kingdoms, ruling with justice, and receiving what God has promised, shutting the mouths of lions, quenching the flames of fire, escaping death by the edge of the sword. My weakness turned to strength. Becoming strong in battle, putting whole armies to flight!
That’s the good stuff right there!
That makes me want to jump up and down and shout!
The other part… not so much.
But I’m not sure I get to choose… I seriously doubt I’ll ever have to shut the mouth of a lion, or have the opportunity to route foreign armies… or even be in a place where I would possibly ever have to die for my faith.
But no matter, we are all still building our reputation… We are all known for something.
And a reputation is built over the long haul. Not in a day.
The difficulty is faith is not seen. What is seen is the evidence of our faith. The works that we do. How we live it out.
I’m convinced that walking day by day, in humility, trusting in him every step (as much as is humanly possible) along the way, making a difference, steady as she goes, is a great strategy.
Help me to walk it out as did all those mentioned in Heb 11. They didn’t receive the promise…
But we have!