Isaiah 3-4 & Hebrews 11

Isaiah 3-4

    For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts
        is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
    support and supply,
        all support of bread,
        and all support of water;
    the mighty man and the soldier,
        the judge and the prophet,
        the diviner and the elder,
    the captain of fifty
        and the man of rank,
    the counselor and the skillful magician
        and the expert in charms.
    And I will make boys their princes,
        and infants shall rule over them.
    And the people will oppress one another,
        every one his fellow
        and every one his neighbor;
    the youth will be insolent to the elder,
        and the despised to the honorable.
    For a man will take hold of his brother
        in the house of his father, saying:
    “You have a cloak;
        you shall be our leader,
    and this heap of ruins
        shall be under your rule”;
    in that day he will speak out, saying:
    “I will not be a healer;
        in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
    you shall not make me
        leader of the people.”
    For Jerusalem has stumbled,
        and Judah has fallen,
    because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD,
        defying his glorious presence.
    For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
        they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
        they do not hide it.
    Woe to them!
        For they have brought evil on themselves.
    Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
        for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
    Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
        for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
    My people—infants are their oppressors,
        and women rule over them.
    O my people, your guides mislead you
        and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.
    The LORD has taken his place to contend;
        he stands to judge peoples.
    The LORD will enter into judgment
        with the elders and princes of his people:
    “It is you who have devoured the vineyard,
        the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
    What do you mean by crushing my people,
        by grinding the face of the poor?”
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
    The LORD said:
    Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
        and walk with outstretched necks,
        glancing wantonly with their eyes,
    mincing along as they go,
        tinkling with their feet,
    therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
        the heads of the daughters of Zion,
        and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts.
        In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

    Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
        and instead of a belt, a rope;
    and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
        and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
        and branding instead of beauty.
    Your men shall fall by the sword
        and your mighty men in battle.
    And her gates shall lament and mourn;
        empty, she shall sit on the ground.

    And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

    In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.


(Isaiah 3-4 ESV)

Hebrews 11

    Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

    By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

    By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

    These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

    By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

    By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

    By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

    And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

    And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

(Hebrews 11 ESV)

Hebrews 11: Faith rejoices and rests in God's promises that have yet to be fully revealed or received. Faith leads us to live life with a confident expectation that God will deliver in due time what He has promised to deliver. Faith believes God.

The Old Testament men of great faith lived their lives loving and rejoicing in God's promises although they were dimly understood from a distance and therefore remained a mystery to them. In Christ, this mystery has been fully revealed, and God's promises brought to light. As these great men of faith before Christ believed God with such a confident expectation, how much more should those of us after Christ believe God with even greater confidence in what He has promised?