“Men of Faith”
by R. J. Rushdoony
In Hebrews 11, we have a catalog of Old Testament saints who manifested true faith and were greatly used of God. In Hebrews 11:33–40, we have a summary statement which reminds us that to serve God means also to face the hostility of a fallen world. These men who conquered kingdoms, administered justice, shut the mouths of lions, and routed the enemy (Heb. 11:33–34), also suffered greatly in the process. David did subdue kingdoms, but he was also a hunted man in the mountains. Isaiah was a very great statesman and prophet, but he was sawn asunder. Daniel did stop the mouths of the lions, but he suffered enmity and imprisonment.
These and others illustrate the truth of the old saying, “No cross, no crown.” Our faith at times requires us to stand against hostile forces who want no truth spoken, nor any good done.
Because we live in a fallen world, it is childish thinking to expect our faith to flourish without contradiction. It is fairy tale thinking to believe that wishing will make it so, or that by passing a law we can change men, or usher in a new paradise on earth.
Men pretend to love justice, and to work for it, when their true dedication is to getting their will done. Remember, the men who fought against David, Daniel, and Isaiah were often men in high places, the important and supposedly “good” men of their day. Few of the people in Scripture had problems with the criminals of their time. More commonly, their opposition came from “important” people who were supposedly the champions of law and order.
What we have in Hebrews 11 is a list of men of faith, not practical men. Their enemies were people who moved in terms of human realities, not God’s realities. However, as Disraeli once observed, “Practical men are men who practice the blunders of their predecessors.” Men of faith move in terms of the Word of God.
Taken from “A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, Vol. 6,” p. 136.