Page 5 - July 2021 - Truth & Tidings
P. 5

Israel’s deliverer from the giant Goliath   as offered by their tormentors, looking
        and the Philistine army. David brought   beyond death to “a better resurrection.”
        Israel out from under oppression and   What does this imply? God will recom-
        established a powerful kingdom with   pense suffering and loyalty for His Name.
        supremacy over their enemies (“subdued   Other faithful believers have been exposed
        kingdoms,” v33).                      to cruel contempt and whippings, and
          Samuel is an amazing link in the history   have been thrown into prison and held
        of Israel: he closed the period of the judg-  in confinement (v36).
        es, and introduced the period of the kings,   Jewish tradition holds that Isaiah was
        anointing Saul, then David. Samuel was,   sawn apart by the wicked king Manasseh;
        in his amazing career, a judge, a deliverer,   other prophets were also murdered
        acting priest, and prophet. The faith of his   (Act 7:52). The path of faith has always
        mother Hannah was replicated in him,   included martyrs and suffering saints.
        and Samuel was used of God to bring   Some were forced to flee for their lives,
        about a far higher standard of righteous-  leaving everything behind and existing
        ness in the leadership of God’s people than   as wandering vagabonds, clothed in ani-
        witnessed under Eli and his two wicked   mal skins, being “destitute, afflicted, tor-
        sons (“worked righteousness,” v33).   mented” (vv37-38).  We who have peaceful
          An illustrious line of faithful prophets of   and secure conditions of life can hardly
        God is on record, each bringing something   enter into the pathos of these verses (“of
        of God’s presence and purposes into the   whom the world was not worthy,” v38).
        midst of His people, often in very adverse   So despised, humiliated and oppressed
        conditions. God revealed glimpses of His   on earth were these individuals, yet they
        final purposes, while also dealing with   were the nobility of heaven, and approved
        immediate issues.                     of God (v39).
          The victories of faith listed (vv33-35a)   God’s Pleasure and Pledge – Final
        embrace all areas of life, and trigger   Perfection (11:39-40)
        memories of many thrilling Old Testament   Though now safe and at rest in the di-
        stories of God’s interventions on behalf of   vine presence as “the spirits of just men
        those who trusted Him, even His power   made perfect” (12:23), these heroes of faith
        over death itself. Should it be a surprise   are still waiting for the ultimate fulfilment
        that “women received their dead raised to   of God’s promise, because we, as “the
        life again” (v35; 1Ki 17; 2Ki 4)?     church of the firstborn [ones]” (12:23), take
        Great Trials of Faith – No Divine     priority in God’s great program. Christ
        Intervention (11:35b-38)              will bring us to final perfection first at the
          While the life of faith may seem adven-  Rapture of the Church. Resurrection is an
        turous and thrilling (in vv32-35a), faith   important part of God’s eternal purpose
        may result in conflict, persecution and   for man, as is reigning with Christ. They
        suffering at the hands of the enemies of   cannot receive their completeness until we
        God. Instead of death being revoked, oth-  receive it! This is the delightful assurance
        ers went into death under extreme torture   given to weary Jewish Christians under
        in faithfulness to the living God. “Not   persecution from their fellow country-
        accepting deliverance” (v35b) means that   men. May we also endure in our faith till
        they would not compromise to escape,   He comes!

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