[reaction to OYB’s Nov. 12-17]
The giant selection is two fold. First, I want to catch up so that I can have a shot of finishing on Christmas. Second, Ezekiel has had a run of really boring lists of all the nations God is going to smite. Finally, I wanted to finish Hebrews.
In this reading, chapter 11 of Hebrews illuminates faith, one of the most important concepts in Christianity. The chapter lists all that was accomplished through faith. I emphasize accomplished because the point is that faith is not simply believing something that is hard to believe. It is about trusting in something and that gives one courage to do that which is good.
Faith involves trusting in God as you would a Good Shepherd. Indeed, there is a break in the ugliness of Ezekiel’s prophesy to talk about knowing God through his love, as a Good Shepherd, in Ezekiel 34. It closes with this, “Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’” And again, as Hebrews says, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”