Abraham’s faith is shown here in that he was willing to offer up Isaac. Note that this was his “only begotten son.” Sound familiar? I am sure that most of us would NOT have included Rahab the harlot among the heroes of the faith, but God did. This should remind us that there is room for us in the list as well – IF . . . !!
Did you notice the list of things that the faithful accomplished in their faith? Many of these are not things that most of us would volunteer to do: tortured, mocked, scourged, stoned, sawn in two. We would rather sit back and watch and perhaps many wouldn’t even volunteer to be those who escaped the edge of the sword, or were mighty in battle. God calls us to obey, and part of that is exercising your faith, wherever, whenever He decides.
It is for discipline that you endure (12:7). Discipline is learning, a training of the body and mind. You endure in order to learn. You learn better how to handle life, and sometimes how to suffer for Christ. ALL of God’s children must have discipline (12:7-8). All discipline seems for the moment not to be joyful but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (12:11).
Most times when I read 13:2 I am reminded of an incident during Bible School years ago. It was dark and the dog barked. By the moonlight Kristy (my wife) saw someone run between the house and the church. Being the country boy I am I grabbed a handgun, a flashlight, and let the dog loose. We ended up feeding a long-haired “traveler” with hay in his beard. I was prepared to let him sleep in the house if he so desired (but I was going to sleep on the stairs guarding where the kids and wife were). His name was Merle and he was traveling to San Francisco by night and sleeping by day. For years afterward the kids could tell you exactly what (and how much) he ate. I don’t think Merle was an angel, but one never knows! I’ve often wondered about his journey. It’s a long way from north-central Ohio to Frisco.
Verse four needs to be trumpeted across this nation and folks reminded that marriage is one man and one woman united together in the sight of God [PERIOD].
Verse five reminds us that we CAN be content with much less than we often want. It all goes back to our attitudes and we CAN control them as well. He commands us to be content with little, not with ever desiring more (and better).
It sounds as though this letter was written from Rome (13:24b, see also 18-19).
Proverbs: The one who gets rich by illicit means will lose that wealth to those who will use it gratefully. God does not listen to the “doers of iniquity.” Be responsible, admit your faults and correct them.