By Faith... History is Laid (pt. 2)

Faith of Our Fathers  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:26
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For the last few months on Sunday mornings we’ve been studying on the topic of faith using Heb. 11 and the patriarchs in the Old Testament listed there as our examples.
Just as a side note - Justification in the eyes of God has always been by faith. They weren’t justified by works in the OT and by Grace in the New. It’s always been by faith - trusting in the promise of the Christ TO COME, OR trusting in the Christ THAT CAME. This is the basis for this chapter is to explain that so there is no question.
In our series, we began by looking in depth:
God’s Definition of Faith: Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The Importance of Faith in the Eyes of God: Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
And so as we consider Faith in God specifically, this chapter deals with the Faith of our Spiritual forefathers, AND WHAT IT MOVED THEM TO DO.
Messages in this Series:
v4 ‘By Faith… Abel Sacrificed’
v5 ‘By Faith… Enoch Walked with God’
v7 ‘By Faith… Noah Feared God’
v8-10;17-19 ‘By Faith… Abraham Obeyed, Became an Outcast & Offered’
v11-12; 20-22 ‘By Faith… Come Blessings & Bones’
v24-29 ‘By Faith… Moses Walked’
v30-32 ‘By Faith… History is Laid pt. 1’
Faith Secures Victory (v30) - The COI @ Jericho
Faith Separates (v31) - Rahab
Faith Seizes Opportunities (v32a) - Gideon & Barak
Faith is Strong (v32b) - Samson
Today we are continuing our message titled ‘By Faith… History is Laid’. We left off in v32, which is where we will pick it up today.
So we spoke the COI, Rahab, Gedeon, Barak & Samson - now we’re going to look at the story of Jephthah for pt. 5 and that is: Faith Sets Things in Order

V. Faith Sets Things in Order (v32c; Jg. 11-12)

How many by show of hands are familiar with the story of Jephthah? (Jg. 11-12)
The Setting
In Judges 11-12, we have the story of Jephthah. Jephthah was a Judge who delivered Israel.
To Summarize his story:
The Bible tells us that a couple facts in Jg 11:1 “Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.”
He was a mighty man of valour
He was Gilead’s son
BUT - he was the son of an harlot
(v2) His daddy had other sons from Gilead’s wife - and because Jephthah was the son of an harlot, they essentially disinherited him - so Jephthah goes & dwells in the land of Tob.
It comes to pass that the Ammonites wage war against Israel - and Gilead’s brothers now see that they need Jephthah, so they send for him.
Jephthah says (in essence) if I come home & whip them, will I be your head? (v9), then they agree.
So Jephthah begins ‘negotiating’ with the Ammonites and they come to no peaceful solution, so the Bible tells us: Jg. 11:29 “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.”
Jephthah is going to fight, but then the Bible tells us: Jg. 11:30-31 “And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
So this is what’s going on with the Setting. Next let’s look at the Sacrifice
The Sacrifice
So, Jephthah goes over and whips up on them, then he comes home. Who do you think greets him when he comes home?
Jg. 11:34 “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.”
His DAUGHTER! She greets him with joy & song - her daddy has went and whipped a people and came home triumphant, and she’s overjoyed! But Jephthah is not when he sees her - because he remembers his vow. Jg. 11:35 “And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.”
If you read on - Jephthah did as he’d vowed. He did sacrifice his daughter unto the LORD.
But what I want to focus on next is the Submission itself.
The Submission
Without getting into all the specifics of this story - Yes it was a foolish vow, but it was a vow unto God nonetheless. He was committed unto God - and took that commitment seriously. Do you know why? Because of his faith in his God.
His God wasn’t some distant fairy tale that because He was out of sight, He could be treated as ‘out of mind’. He made a promise unto God - and that promise unto God was MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE LIFE OF HIS CHILD!
With that let me say - Faith Sets Things in Order.
Let me say this: We all have a (virtual) totem pole. (Not in the Spiritual sense, but in the logistical sense). And in too many Christian homes, the top of the totem pole resides their children. Their schedule revolves around their children, their activities revolve around their children… but know this: God is greater than your children - and God should be higher on the totem pole than your children. Your lives should not be organized in such a way that your children are your priority - it should be that your GOD is your priority - and the only way to set that in order is to BY FAITH see God differently.
This may seem strange to you - and although the circumstances were a little different, all Jephthah did to completion is what Abraham was willing to do with Isaac. Jephthah’s faith in God let him to put his word unto God as priority over even the most precious thing to him in this world. That’s faith.
So we see how that Faith Sets Things in Order. Next looking at David (What do you think David’s would be)? Faith Slays Giants

VI. Faith Slays Giants (v32d; I Sam. 17)

Of course, the first thing that came to mind concerning David and Faith was the story of David & Goliath, so we’ll look at that for just a moment:
David’s Vision
(Background of the story) So David goes out to take dinner to his 3 older brothers who are at an impasse against the armies of the Philistines.
David sees Goliath mocking Israel and he’s like ‘Is there not a cause??? Someone go down there and give him what-for!’
Finally, David said ‘King, let not thy heart fail thee, I’ll go’ - when Saul’s like ‘you just a baby’, David tells him the story of him killing a bear & lion, then says: I Sam. 17:36-37 “Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.”
Then David goes down there to Goliath & as he’s running to Goliath he says: I Sam. 17:44-46 “And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
Question: What was David trusting in? David trusted in the LORD! That’s faith! He simply believed that God was going to use him to take down this giant.
Let me fill you in on something. David believed that the LORD could have and WOULD have used anyone to take down this giant - that’s why he went trying to get someone to stand up for the LORD.
Might I say: God can use anyone to take down a giant… all He needs is for someone to STEP UP and put their faith in HIM.
Faith Slays Giants
David’s Victory
Of course we know what happens next. David takes the stone & sling and takes that giant down.
A meager weapon & a ruddy boy took down the champion of an army of people. ALL THROUGH FAITH!
Yes sir - Faith Slays Giants.
But this is just one example. I thought of another that is (I think) more profound and a little less obvious, and it concerns his affair with Bathsheba and the aftermath of that sin.
So we see in David that Faith Slays Giants, but also that Faith Submits to God’s Will

VII. Faith Submits to God’s Will (v32d; 2 Sam. 12)

David w/ the death of his first son from Bathsheba
We cannot place our faith in the Outcome, but in the God who is in control of the Outcome
David’s Reality
Without spending much time on the backstory (because it’s irrelevant for our point here), David has an infant child that is sick - nigh unto death, in fact - God has said that the child will die.
So David is living through every parents nightmare. And this is what it tells us about where David’s heart is for his child. 2Sam. 12:16-17 “David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.”
David is fasting & praying prostrate before the LORD day & night day after day. His heart is broken for this situation and for his child.
This is David’s reality
David’s Realization
On the 7th day, David’s baby died. The Bible tells us: 2Sam. 12:18-19 “And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.”
So David - in his heartache & sorrow… Fasting & praying begged God for the life of his child - and God said ‘no’.
Let me say this: The Christians who are in the right fellowship with God will never have a prayer go unanswered. It’s just that sometimes, the answer is ‘no’. God DID answer David’s prayer. David at this point WAS in the right standing with God (v13 - Yes David sinned, but I’m thankful for: 1Jn. 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ). Even though David got his heart right, fasted and prayed, God said no & the baby died.
But what happened next was unexpected in the eyes of his servants.
We see David’s Realization, then we see David’s Resignation
David’s Resignation (to the Will of God)
The Bible tells us: 2 Sam. 12:20 “Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.”
When they asked him that, he said: 2 Sam. 12:21-23 “Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
David was resigned to God’s Will - even though it wasn’t what he wanted himself. Church that’s faith. That’s faith in God.
Christians we need to be as David was right here. We cannot place our faith in an outcome we cannot control, but in a God who is in control. He is in control, and He’s knows what’s best for us and knows how it will all work out in the end. We must place our faith in what God said in: Rom. 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” - Because they do! And if we have faith in that, we can be resigned to His Will as well.
Faith Sets Things in Order. Faith Slays Giants. Faith Submits to God’s Will above their own. Next, Faith Seeks People

VIII. Faith Seeks God’s People (v32e; I Sam. 16)

I Sam. 16:1-4a - Looking at the life of Samuel
Samuel was the last judge & was a prophet as well. The people cried out for a king ‘like everybody else’ - which led to Saul. (!) But God is done with Saul and is sending Samuel out to anoint a NEW King.
Samuel Had a Command (v1)
After God rejected Saul to be the King of His people, God had a task for Samuel. Samuel was going to be the one to IDENTIFY and ANOINT to be the next King over Israel.
So we see that God had given him a command to ‘Go’.
God has given us a command as well - much like the one He gave Samuel. Mar. 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Samuel had a command - ‘I have someone that I need you to get! I have need of you Samuel, as my prophet as my own, I need you to go!’
Church, there’s people out there that God wants us to go get! God has need for us — and it’s not a request, IT’S A COMMAND!
Samuel had a command
Samuel Had Concerns (v2a)
Now, God gave Samuel a command, and God wasn’t questioning the command - he simply had concerns about how it was going to be carried out. He didn’t know if he was going to be capable to do it. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
There’s many Christians out there that knows it’s their responsibility to go - they understand that… but they have concerns:
‘What if they ask me something that I don’t know the answer to?’
‘What if I can’t remember all the stuff that I want to say?’
‘What if they think I’m some ‘Bible-thumper’?’
‘What if they don’t like me anymore?’
These are some of the concerns that Christians have - and I will say #1: If you’re concerned about what they think of you, then that’s just rotten pride and you need to get over yourself. However, for those who have more legitimate concerns, look at what God did for Samuel.
Because Samuel had concerns, but God Made Samuel Capable
God Made Samuel Capable (v2b-4a)
God gave unto Samuel that which he needed for Samuel to do what he was called to do.
And what God did for Samuel, He’ll do for you!
Faith Seeks God’s People. God has called us to a work, and if we truly believe that God meant what He said - IF WE HAVE FAITH IN THOSE WORDS - then we’ll do what God has called us to do. You go and see if God doesn’t equip you for the battle!
He equipped Moses with a Rod and a Mouthpiece
He equipped David with a stone & sling
He equipped Gideon with pitchers & a plan
He equipped Shamgar with an ox-goad & opportunity
He equipped Samson with a jawbone from an ass
He equipped Joseph with Divine Dreams
He equipped Solomon with wisdom
He equipped a little boy with 5 loaves & 2 fishes
Whatever God has for you to do - He’ll equip you for it!
God’s called us to go - Faith seeks God’s People
Faith Sets Things in Order. Faith Slays Giants. Faith Submits to God’s Will. Faith Seeks God’s People & lastly - Faith Speaks God’s Words

IX. Faith Speaks God’s Words (v32f)

Speaking of the prophets
Their Purpose
The purpose of God’s prophets was to take God’s Word & deliver it to the people. That was their function.
The prophet had inside information directly from God to the people. This was their purpose
Their Prominence
What I mean by that is the importance.
Imagine what would happen to the people if the prophets failed to do their job.
If Moses failed - a people would have been exterminated
If Joshua failed - a nation would have withered in the wilderness
If Stephen had failed - we’d have no Paul
If Paul had failed - we’d have no Scripture
If Jesus had failed - we’d have no hope!
And if we fail - our friends and neighbors will lift their eyes in Hell.
Faith Speaks God’s Words.
Church, where’s you faith?


Church, are you getting the importance of Faith yet? I have given you through this series a number of things that Faith accomplishes - and then the Bible goes on and speaks various other things that Faith does: Heb. 11:33-35a “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again:
There is no greater attribute you could hope to have as a Christian that faith. Faith moves mountains!
Faith is tremendously important… but the question is: Is it important to you?
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