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Those of whom the world is not worthy (1)

Manmin News   No. 754
607
November 19, 2023


쒋 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. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. (Hebrews 11:33-38)


There are many biblical figures who gave up everything for God셲 sake and glorified Him with such faith that the world was not worthy of. People of whom the world is not worthy have sincere love for God and thus spiritual boldness.

They are not afraid of anything in the world. They remain aloof in the face of irresistible force of authority and under the life-threatening situations. They are even at peace in front of fierce beasts. Nothing can take away their pure faith in God.

Let셲 look into a few pioneers of faith in Old Testament times who pleased God with the faith of which the world was not worthy.


1. There is no fear in true love

Those who say they love God but do not act boldly out of fear cannot be deemed to love God completely. This is how 1 John 4:18 reads, 쏷here 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.

Some parents jump into the fire or into strong waves without sparing their own lives to save their children in danger. They do not have any fear of death at that moment because of the sole thought of saving their beloved children.

The children of God who have faith in Jesus Christ also have less fear of death to the extent that they love God. Many believers in the early church neither denied Jesus Christ nor abandoned God even under the severe persecutions and when they fell a prey to hungry lions or were beheaded by swords. That was because they were perfected in love that cast out all fear.

The Book of Job 1:1 says that Job 쐗as blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. But he had anxiety and fear deep within his heart. He was afraid that his children might have sinned during the feasts and then betrayed God in their hearts so that he consecrated them with burnt offerings. When trials and tribulations came upon him, he said, 쏤or what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me (Job 3:25). This shows that he could not understand God셲 love.

The enemy Satan knew this and accused Job before God. Satan said Job had a reverent fear of God and served Him because God had given him many blessings. And Satan added that if everything was taken away from Job, he would not serve God. God accepted Satan셲 accusation and allowed Job to go through trials.

As a result of those trials, Job realized he didn셳 trust God셲 love from a corner of his heart. It was not until he went through trials that he fully understood God셲 love and cultivated more beautiful heart. Only after that did God give him twice as much as he had before.

What then should we do to have true love for God and act boldly without fear in all aspects? To obey God셲 commandments is to love Him truly; do whatever the Bible tells us to, do not whatever it tells us not to, keep whatever it tells us to, and throw away whatever it tells us to. To the extent we are perfected in such love, fear will depart from us and we can boldly do righteousness (1 John 5:3; 3:21-22).


2. Those of whom the world was not worthy in Old Testament times

1) Elijah brought down the answer of fire

Elijah was a prophet of God during the reign of King Ahab in the northern kingdom of Israel. At that time idolatry of Baal was rampant and widespread throughout the whole land so that God셲 judgment came upon the land and there was no rain for three and half an years.

King Ahab hated and tried to kill Elijah who had predicted a drought. God prepared a hiding place for Elijah. But when the time came, God told him to go before the king and convey God셲 will. Elijah boldly obeyed and told the king to send and gather 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah at Mount Carmel. He pronounced before all Israel and false prophets who gathered there that the God who would answer by fire is the True God.

In the end, Elijah brought down the answer of fire (1 Kings 18). He firmly believed that God is the only and true Deity and he had a fervent love for God as well. He had such an earnest desire to turn to God the hearts of people who had fallen into idolatry that he could boldly do righteousness that way. In the same way nothing is impossible with those who love the Lord fervently and have firm faith in God.

2) Elisha did not look at reality

Aram had hostility against Israel and invaded many times. But they failed in every attempt to attack Israel due to Prophet Elisha who had bright inspiration as a disciple of Elijah. So they planned to kill Elisha and sent numerous horses, chariots, and soldiers to surround the city where he stayed. Elisha셲 servant trembled in fear at that sight. Elisha told him not to be afraid because those who were with them were more than those who were with Aram.

God opened the servant셲 spiritual eyes and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Elisha prayed to God and God struck the Aramean army with blindness so that Elisha brought them to the king of Israel in the city of Samaria. Though the king wanted to kill them, Elisha let him treat them hospitably and send them back. After that Aram never entered Israel again (2 Kings 6).

Those who have faith do not look at reality but look to the Almighty God. They have no fear when they are attacked on every side. As they believe that God will answer whatever they ask for, they can ask boldly and solve any kind of problems by drawing down God셲 power through the prayer of faith.

3) Esther saved her people

Esther 3 onward shows that Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite found a great favor from King Ahasuerus and became very angry with a Jew Mordecai who neither bowed down nor paid homage to him. And he plotted to destroy all the Jews. Then Mordecai asked Queen Esther, his cousin, to go in to the king to plead with him for her people.

Esther was a queen but could not boldly go in to the king to make supplication because she had not been summoned to go in to the king for long. The law of the kingdom read that anyone who goes into the inner court to the king who is not summoned, they have but one law, that they be put to death.

They couldn셳 survive unless the king held out to them the golden scepter. In this life-threatening situation, Esther asked all the Jews in the city to fast for her for 3 days and she fasted in the same way and then went in to the king, which was against the law, saying, 쏧f I perish, I perish. By God셲 grace, she found favor in his sight and he extended to her the golden scepter. Finally, Haman셲 evil scheme was revealed to the king and her people were saved and moreover she gained even greater favor from the king.

By the same token, when we believe God solves all our problems, we will fully rely on God in a life-or-death situation. Then, God will be pleased with our faith and cause all things to work together for good; afflictions turn into blessing and God셲 glory appears.

4) Daniel never compromised before the threat of death

King Darius planned to appoint Daniel over the entire kingdom. Then, the commissioners and satraps were jealous of him and plotted to kill him. They came to the king and asked him to establish a statute and enforce a decree that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides him for 30 days shall be cast into the lions den. Daniel knew it had already been signed but he prayed without ceasing.

When faced with the threat of death, he neither abandoned his faith in God nor compromised to save his life. His love for God was so sincere and perfect that he was not afraid of death.

Daniel was finally thrown into the lions den, but God sealed the lions mouths through His angel. He was saved without any injury (Daniel 6). The glory of God was greatly revealed through Daniel who did not compromise but kept righteousness before the threat of death.

5) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego kept their faith unwaveringly

Daniel 3 tells us that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made a golden statue and announced that anyone who did not bow down to it would be thrown into the furnace. Daniel셲 three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved God so that they could not break His Commandment, saying, 쏽ou shall not worship [idols] or serve them. In the end they were brought before the king and he gave them a chance to spare their lives if they bowed before the golden statue. But they did not compromise at all.

They were so strong and bold in the face of death because their love for God was perfect and cast out all fear. They were thrown into a furnace that was seven times hotter than usual; God protected them and they survived without a single hair on their head being scorched. Rather they gloried God greatly and were promoted by the king.

6) Gideon, young David, and King Jehoshaphat of Judah

Judges 7 says that the Midianites outnumbered Israel as grains of sand on the beach and Israel was very disadvantageous. But Judge Gideon reduced the army obeying God셲 word by faith and finally defeated the enemy by boldly doing according to God셲 instructions. 1 Samuel 17 depicts the battle of the young David. He went to the battlefield to look into the welfare of his brothers who were in the war against the Philistines and saw Champion Goliath defying the armies of Israel and mocking the name of God. Still, no one came forward as all were greatly afraid.

David boldly approached the Philistine with the faith in God, and when he slung a stone against him it struck him on the forehead. He fell to the ground and Israel won the victory.

When neighboring countries became united and attacked the southern kingdom of Judah, King Jehoshaphat fasted and prayed with his people. Then God said to him, 쏽ou need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you (2 Chronicles 20:17). Accordingly, instead of preparing to go to war, King Jehoshaphat had a choir dressed in holy robes lead the way and offer praise of thanks relying on God셲 words. God was pleased with this act of faith and gave him victory (2 Chronicles 20).

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I pray in the name of the Lord that you may accomplish perfect love that casts out fear, do boldly in all aspects and possess such strong faith as makes all things possible.


 

 

 
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