We live in a culture today that is on a continual quest for better things. For our younger generation in particular it is the quest for a better computer, a better cell phone, a better car, a better house, a better job etc. In a spiritual sense God has promised for us in this church age dispensation better things than the Old Testament saints enjoyed. God having provided some better thing for us& (Hb. 11:40)
What is the better thing that God has provided for us? It is a better relationship with God. One of the key words in the book of Hebrews is the word better . How is it that you and I have a better relationship with God than did the Old Testament saints? According to Hebrews 8:6 the believer today living after the cross has a better covenant established upon better promises. This is referring to Christ s covenant with His church, which is an unconditional covenant. God is saying I will love you irrespective of you loving me. God will keep His promise of pouring out His grace whether or not we respond to it. God will keep his end of the bargain irrespective of whether or not we keep ours.
The Old Testament saints had many priests and high priests, but the believer today living after the cross has just one High Priest (Jesus Christ) that gives us unlimited direct access to the very presence of God. (Hb. 4:14) The Old Testament saints had limited access to God when once per year the high priest would go into the Holiest of Holies where the presence of God dwelt. Today the believer can come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hb.4:16)
Pastor Randy Mason
Hebrews 7:19 tells us that the Hebrews had a hope, but we have a better hope by the way we are able to come to God through Christ. The Hebrew writer is saying that those of us who live after the cross have a much better relationship than those who lived before the cross. We have much greater advantages in our walk of faith than did the Old Testament saints.
The point is, we should be achieving greater things for God today than they did back in the Old Testament. If they persevered in less than ideal conditions, that is they did not have access to the very throne of God as we do, yet if they persevered in their faith what should you and I be doing in our faith when we do enjoy access to the very throne of God any time we come.
As it relates to the Old Testament saints, one might say that we today are not presented with the same opportunities as the Old Testament saints. For example, we have no Jericho s to go and march around where God can provide an opportunity to tear the walls down. However, that is not true. In II Corinthians 10:3-4 the Apostle Paul writes For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations and every high thing& We as New Testament Christians do have walls that need to be torn down. They are the walls of strong holds such as faithlessness, addictions, immorality, promiscuity, spiritual apathy and all things that exalt itself above God. Paul is saying we cannot pull down these strong holds in our own strength, but we too must depend upon God to give us the victory just a Joshua and the Israelites depended upon God to tear down the walls of Jericho and go in and conquer it.
We might look at Hebrews 11:33 and say they had kingdoms that they could conquer and I have no kingdoms that I can conquer. Is that really the case? Ephesians chapter 6 says that we wrestle against principalities, powers, the world rulers of darkness , which is satans control of this world. The Bible tells us in Colossians 1:13 that satan rules over the kingdom of darkness. Cannot we subdue the spiritual kingdom of darkness by faith? Yes we can through the Power of Christ.
One might say that God shut the mouths of lions according to Hebrews 11:33. I do not have the opportunity to exercise that kind of faith, as did Daniel. Is that really so? What does First Peter 5:8 say, your adversary the devil as a roaring lion goes about seeking whom he may devour. We have a need to shut satans mouth on a daily basis so that he does not devour us.
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:34 they quenched the violence fire. As New Testament believers what are we able to do through the empowering of the Holy Spirit? We can quench all the fiery darts of the devil through faith. (Ephesians 6:16)
Hebrews 11:34 out of weakness we are made strong. We are made strong through faith. The Apostle Paul says God s power was made perfect in weakness for when I am weak then I am made strong. (II Corinthians 12:10) We have lots of weaknesses that we can trust God to transform into strengths.
The point is, as believers we have a far better relationship with God today and through faith we can accomplish even more than did these Old Testament saints. If God accomplished miracles through the faith of these Old Testament saints should He not accomplish at least the same great works through you and I who know Christ as Savior?
Faith is something that works in our daily lives and the Hebrew writer has methodically gone through Hebrews chapter11 and proven for us that faith does really work and what s more, we have a far better relationship than did these great saints of God in the Old Testament. So, through faith lets allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to accomplish the impossible.