November 18 – Hebrews 11:1-3. Confidence. Assurance.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 18 – Hebrews 11:1-3. Confidence. Assurance.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. 

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

It really is fun to dig into the minutiae of scripture sometimes.  In the case of Hebrews, the author was quite bright and had an amazing grasp of vocabulary and language.  He used words that we don’t see in any other book of the New Testament.

But, in these two verses we see him do something a bit subtle.

In the first verse he describes faith as having assurance in what we do not see.  This is a commendable thing.

He continues the concept of seeing and not seeing throughout the third verse.  God made something visible out of the invisible.  There was absolutely nothing to see when God was ready to create the universe because nothing existed.

God couldn’t see anything … yet He created the universe.  We can’t see God … yet we must have faith in Him and have assurance that He exists.

This concept is important.

The Greek word for ‘world’ or ‘universe’ is generally ‘kosmos.’  Of course you recognize that word.  But, in Hebrews, the author uses a different word (aeon) – or one that we would recognize as ‘eon.’  It means ‘through the ages.’

The author used it both in this instance and at the beginning of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:2), in writing of the entirety of the universe – in both space and time.  Interestingly enough, He considers God to be continuing His creation … it encompasses all of space and time.

This author loves language, the study of using language, rhetoric and has an amazing vocabulary.  It would have been fun to get to know him personally … he challenged his readers to step outside their regular world and understand God in a big way.