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쏛nd He said, 쁈f you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.쇺 (Exodus 15:26) ...

Men of Whom the World Was Not Worthy (1)

Manmin News   No. 587
April 15, 2018

Senior Pastor Dr. Jaerock Lee

"Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground" (Hebrews 11:33-38).

The 11th chapter of Hebrews is called 'The Chapter of Faith'. It depicts the forefathers who pleased God with their faith. They did not fear for death as a result of their love for God. They could give up everything for God and boldly practiced righteousness with faith of which the world was not worthy to observe.

Let's delve into the forefathers of faith who appear in the Old Testament. They pleased God with the faith of which the world was not worthy.

1. Perfect love that drives away fear

The Early Church members did not deny Jesus Christ nor forsake God even though they were eaten by hungry lions and beheaded in severe persecutions. How could they do so?

This is because they had perfect love for God as 1 John 4:18 reads, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

In the Old Testament time, Job was innocent and upright in the sight of God. He was called 'a man of righteousness'. However, he had fear and anxiety deep in his heart (Job 3:25). Only after he realized the love of God completely through refinement could he gain boldness and receive the blessing twofold.

Then, what should we do to act boldly without fear and with love for God? We have to obey the Word of God telling us to do, not to do, to throw away, and to keep things. It is true love for God, and as the love is perfected more, fear will go away and we can practice boldly the righteousness (1 John 5:3; 3:21-22).

2. The Forefathers of Faith of whom the world was not worthy to observe

1) Elijah brought down the answer of fire.

Elijah the prophet of the Northern Kingdom of Israel brought down the answer of fire in the confrontation against 850 false prophets of Baal and Asherah (1 Kings 18). He boldly practiced righteousness. Though he was by himself against such a large number of people, because he had an earnest desire to get the heart of the Israelites who had fallen in the idolatry, back to God. He had the strong belief that the one and only true Deity is God and he had fervent love for God. If you love God and the Lord fervently like Elijah did, nothing is impossible.

2) Elisha did not see the reality of a situation.

Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, received a double portion of Elijah's spirit. On numerous occasions he caused the strategy of Aram, the enemy nation against Israel, to fail. Knowing this, the king of Aram schemed to kill Elisha. He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. Elisha's servant was afraid of them.

However, Elisha told him not to fear since those who were with them were more than those of Aram. God opened the servant's spiritual eyes and he could see the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. In the end, Israel defeated Aram and they never invaded Israel (2 Kings 6).

Those who have true faith see the almighty God, so they are not fearful when surrounded by hardship in every direction. They have faith in God who answers any prayer of theirs, so they boldly ask and solve their problems by bringing down the power of God by the prayer of faith.

3) Esther saved her people.

In the 3rd chapter of Esther, Haman was loved by the king Ahasuerus. However, he sought to destroy all the Jews who were living throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. So, Mordecai told Esther the Jewish queen of the country to ask the king to save her people.

After learning about this, Esther fasted for three days for her people and came before the king with the determination of "If I perish, I will perish." By the grace of God, she disclosed the scheme of Haman, saved her people, and came to receive more love from the king.

Even between life and death, she completely relied on God who is our problem solver. God was pleased with her deed and caused all things to work together for good. He turned misfortune into fortune and worked greatly so that the glory of God could be revealed.

4) Daniel did not compromise even in the face of death.

King Darius of Babylon planned to appoint Daniel over the entire kingdom though he was from the kingdom of Judah serving God. Then other commissioners and satraps were jealous of him and plotted an evil scheme: they told the king that he should enforce an injunction that anyone who made a petition to any god or man besides the king should be cast into the lions' den.

Daniel's love for God, however, was truthful and perfect, so he kept praying to God without fear for death. He ended up being cast into the lions' den, but God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths. He was perfectly protected and was not hurt at all (Daniel 6). Even in the threat of death, he did not compromise, but held fast in his righteousness before God. As a result, he could greatly reveal the glory of God.

5) Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, unchangingly kept their faith.

Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon made an image of gold, and he proclaimed that whoever did not fall down before the golden image and worship should be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire (Daniel 3). Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, would not violate the command of God who tells us not to worship idols. They did not fall down before the image and were eventually taken to the king. The king, then, gave them another opportunity saying that he would save them if they bowed down now. But they did not compromise at all.

They were bold even in the face of death because their perfect love for God drove away their fear. They ended up being thrown into the furnace of fire that was heated seven times more than it had been usually heated. However, God protected them, so the fire had no effect on the bodies nor was the hair of their head was singed. This way, they revealed the glory of God and gained more recognition.

6) Men of Gideon, the boy David, and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah

In Judges 7, the war seemed to be unfavorable to Israel because the Midianites were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. But God told the judge Gideon to reduce the number of men who were going to the war with him. Gideon obeyed Him, cut down the number, and courageously fought as instructed by God. As doing so, he eventually achieved a victory.

1 Samuel 17 describes David when he was a boy. Since he believed God, he boldly came before Goliath who was a giant man in the armies of the Philistines. At his first attempt he slung a stone and struck the Philistine man in his forehead. Jehoshaphat the king of Judah also fasted and prayed to God with his people when the united army of neighboring countries invaded the Southern Kingdom of Judah. And in obedience to the word of God, he appointed those who praised God in holy attire and made them go out before the army. God accepted this deed of faith with joy and gave them a victory (2 Chronicles 20).

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope you will boldly act with perfect love that drives away any fear. I pray in the name of the Lord that by doing so you will possess faith by which nothing is impossible.




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