Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy
by Michael Elder
(Memorial Day Sermon)
The heroes found in our text are not remembered for great battlefield victories. These heroes experienced heartache, pain, cruelty and suffering. They were tortured and imprisoned, afflicted and tormented.
This is not unlike the many who have served our great nation in times of war on the beeches of Normandy, islands of the South Pacific, hills of Korea, jungles of Viet Nam, mountains of Afghanistan, sands of Iraq, or any place where duty calls.
I. A Hero’s Obscurity
II. A Hero’s Obedience
- The unrecorded names of these saints have long been forgotten.
- The names of America’s sons & daughters who have fought for liberty need not ever be forgotten.
III. A Hero’s Objective
- The heroes of the Bible were not men and women of extraordinary ability or talent, but men and women of true faith. They were men and women who loved the Lord and realizing they were God's Creation they honored Him, loved Him and dedicated their very lives to His purposes and will.
- 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
- Every individual listed in Hebrews 11 took God at His word “by faith”.
- Every American who wears the uniform gives an oath of allegiance.
I (NAME), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
IV. A Hero’s Obeisance
- God's Heros are committed to God's will.
- Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
These looked forward to the promises of God. Note these promises were not immediate, but "far off." But not receiving immediate reward and benefit...they accepted that they were only strangers and pilgrims on this earth, and would in some unknown time in the future receive the promises of God.
Thus they accepted God's will for their lives, and lived godly lives, making God proud of them.
Someone once said, "A hero is someone who is sincere and does his duty. He is a man stands up to be counted, ethically, morally and humanly." Surely, no child of God should do less, for our Savior and God who suffered and died for our sins, who sacrificed Himself that we might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
- Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
We often read this noble statement of Joshua, but have we really made that same commitment. Have we committed ourselves to that aim, or only accepted it as a noble concept?
The most powerful combatant is not the one who is willing to die, but the one with something to live for. Every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine lives in a hometown called “freedom”, on a street named “liberty”.
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire for God. We are to be consecrated not to Christian work, but to the will of God, to be and to do whatever he requires to the absolute best of our ability.
Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
- (Webster) obeisance: to bow as a gesture of admiration or reverence. to salute, to display respect.
- Hebrews 11:38-39 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
- 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Some are decorated with ribbons and metals for their acts of bravery “beyond the call of duty”, but America’s heroes ask for no reward, but each deserve our recognition, our respect, our appreciation.
Who is a hero? A hero in the eyes of God is one who surrenders their own will unto God. He allows God to direct him. He seeks God’s plan. Surely each of us can do that.
"Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth." - John WesleyNote from Mark:
I like what John Wesley said. If we only had a hundred...starting with ourselves! Thanks Michael.