Our series from Day by Day by Grace by Bob Hoekstra continues today.
Time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness. (Heb_11:32-33)
With time and pages running out in his epistle, our divinely inspired writer summarizes the testimonies of specific servants of the Lord (Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel), as well as one general category (the prophets). In his summary, we see more consequences of accessing grace through faith.
The first consequence of their faith given here is they “subdued kingdoms.” As with Joshua, David was exceptionally effective in defeating enemy nations. “David attacked the Philistines, subdued them . . . Then he defeated Moab . . . And David defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah as far as Hamath, as he went to establish his power by the River Euphrates . . . Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus . . . He also put garrisons in Edom” (1Ch_18:1-3, 1Ch_18:6, 1Ch_18:13).
The next consequence of their faith is they “worked righteousness.” These terms speak of walking in righteousness before the Lord and calling others to the righteous ways of the Lord. Samuel had a reputation of walking in righteousness before his God. “There is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man . . . Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate” (1Sa_9:6, 1Sa_9:18). The prophets persistently called the people to forsake their ungodly ways and to turn to the Lord’s righteous ways. Isaiah preached powerful warnings concerning unrighteousness. “Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward” (Isa_1:4). He also held forth the Lord as man’s only hope of righteousness. “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa_55:6-7).
The kingdoms we are to subdue today are the kingdoms of self and flesh, as well as the kingdom of this world (with its millions of bound and lost, who are perishing in darkness). The righteousness we need and that we proclaim is the righteousness of Christ, who lives in us! The means is ever the same—by faith.
Lord God of power and righteousness, teach me to rely upon Your power, that the kingdoms of self and flesh might be subdued in my life day by day. Lord, I want to abide in You, so Your righteousness might shine through me in my daily situations. Enable me to cry out against the ungodliness of these days, while at the same time, pointing people to You for the forgiveness and righteousness they need to find, Amen.
As always my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ may the Father bless and keep you.