Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some Young Punk Wrote the Book of Hebrews

Here's some more from a recent Sunday morning at my church. 

This episode with Isaac was just one example of Abraham’s faith. We read other biblical writers referring to Abraham’s story. One example is in Romans. Another is found in Hebrews, whom I think had to be written by some young punk. We don’t know who wrote Hebrews but my money is on a young punk.

Hebrews 11:12 is the proof. He's talking about the people of God who lived by faith when he comes to Abraham. As you may know, Abraham is the guy that God called when Abe was a spry 75 years old. Good ol' Abe moved to another land and kept trying to make babies with his wife Sarah, simply because God said He would give Abe a new land to call home and he would become the father of a large nation.

And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. ~Hebrews 11:12

You can almost hear the author cry out, 'Dead Man Walking!' as he talks about Abraham. Yeah, Abraham was a bit older than the average dad, but its all perspective. We may not hear of 75 year old fathers, but Abraham wasn't far removed from a time when such was not the case.

If you turn over to Genesis 5, you will find the riveting story where we learn the ages of Adam and the next 7 generations, when they had their first baby boy and when they died. Yeah...riveting.

If you actually sit down and focus on the numbers, it's kind of interesting. Adam had Seth when he was 130. Even if you account for Cain and Abel being around 20-30 when 'the incident' happened, that means Adam became a father first at around 100 years old.

Seth was 105 when he had Enosh.
Enosh was 90 when he had Kenan.
Kenan was 70 when he had Mahalalel.
Mahalalel was 65 when he had Jared. I imagine there was some unrest when this happened. Only 65? Are you sure you're ready to be a dad, Mahalalel? After all, you're only 65.

But then Jared waited until 162 to have Enoch. That's more like it. Become stable and live a century and a half before settling down and having a family that will depend on you.

Oh, none of this accounts for how long they lived. Adam lived to be 930. He became a grandpa at 235. At least he was still young enough to get down and play with the grandkids. I'm sure Eve appreciated that.

Of course, Seth became a grandfather before he turned 200. Imagine the energy he still had!

Why do I tell you all this? Flip on over to Genesis 11 and you can read the timeline between Shem, son of Noah, all the way to Abraham. While Shem had his kid at 100 years of age, the next 5 or 6 generations started their families at ridiculously young ages. They were all in their 30's. Who starts a family at that age? (never mind the fact that I was 26 when I started mine.)

But Terah was at least a more respectable 70 years old when he had Abraham.

But for anyone reading this over the age of 75, rest assured we don’t get our ideas about age and usefulness from this young punk writer of Hebrews. God had plans for Abraham and I believe God has plans for everyone, no matter their age.

This simple truth here is that Abraham was not deterred from his goal. Everything he did, however imperfectly, was based on his faith, which gave him a singular goal in chasing after God.

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