And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Hebrews 11:36-37)
MUCH OF THE BIBLE'S TREASURE is invested in its many phrases. Some of the best preaching and teaching comes from expounding Bible phrases. I learned this from reading Charles H. Spurgeon and Arthur Pink who were both master weavers of Bible phrases. Today’s title: “And Others…” towers over many other phrases.
SINGLE WORDS AE ALSO INVALUABLE IN DIGGING BIBLE TREASURE. Dr. Mark Cambron, Dean of Tennessee Temple Bible School stopped many times in his lectures to remind us that anytime we see the word: “Therefore” in the Bible, we must stop and see what it’s “there for.” There’s a place for speed reading through the Bible. But we also need to bring our pick and shovel and patiently compare Scripture with Scripture, study, meditate.
PASTOR KENT KELLY WAS KNOWN FOR HIS CONSTANT REMINDER that a Bible subject is not known until it has been studied in every place it occurs in the Bible. This one-page devotional is too short for such digging. And alas, I fear that some may bring only a thimble to get a morning snack and cannot tolerate many paragraphs. So, we do what we can with one page.
OUR TEXT TODAY FOLLOWS 35 VERSES IN THE GREAT FAITH CHAPTER: Hebrews eleven. For thirty-five verses we have heard all the great things from the hand of God to His humble servants in various kinds of trouble. I love to hear about the dead being raised back to life, of Noah building the ark and Abraham and Sarah having a child when they were too old, and Sarah burst out in laughter. Hebrews eleven ought to be read often while we live on this earth. It can rub off on us and help us to trust God better.
BUT SUDDENLY, TWO WORDS CONFRONT US LIKE A GREAT MOUNTAIN SLIDE blocking the road: “And others,” at verse 36. Some of God’s people are being laughed at; some are being whipped or beaten with sticks and clubs until they are bloody and shaking violently in excruciating pain! Others are being stoned to death. The prophet Isaiah is there. He’s in a wooden box and two men are sawing him in half. “Isaiah what are you doing in that box?” “I’m dying by faith!”
OTHERS HAD GREAT FAITH. I’d rather see people being healed and miracles all around, and people being helped. I’ve seen some people healed and I’ve been healed against the expectations of the doctor. I enjoy that kind of faith much more than the “And others” kind of faith.
JESUS TOLD PEOPLE: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23) We should expect God to do things but we shouldn’t be surprised when He takes a different road than the main highway. I think it takes more faith to lay your child or other family member in a grave than it does to get them healed. It took me a long time to think that way.
IT'S TOUGH TO BELIEVE THAT GOD'S WAY IS THE BEST WAY when His way is for your loved one to be laid in the grave. You know about others being healed but at your house the death angel came. You have to decide if you’re going to get mad at God.
I WOULD LIKE TO DO ALL MY DEALING WITH GOD IN THE FIRST 35 VERSES where good things are happening, and people are rejoicing and shouting. Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to drink from the “and others” cup as she stood at the foot of the cross and watched her firstborn push his feet against the nails to get another breath. Jesus prayed to be delivered from the “cup” if it was the Father’s will. It wasn’t the Father’s will.
THEN WE READ: (OF WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:38-40)
THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH WITHOUT HAVING RECEIVED THE THING PROMISED TO THEM. Not long ago, Christians in Iraq lined up on their knees in orange suits to have their heads cut off, as did the Apostle Paul. Peter was crucified upside down. In Oregon, students confessed they were Christians knowing they were going to be shot (as they did in the Columbine school several years ago.) We may have to be “And others.” God furnishes grace for dying that we don’t need on an ordinary day. Meantime, we want to walk with God each day as did Enoch, Noah, and all those who have gone on before us.
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 31, 2018 - FRIDAY
A.M. 2 Chronicles 1-3 P.M. John 12:1-19
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Song for Today:
Surely Goodness and Mercy (3:20) (Dick Anthony & Singing Men)
You can let it play and several more songs are in the album. (I think...)
You may have to adjust the volume or delete an ad.