“…the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains,
living in caves and in holes in the ground.”
Hebrews 11 has been called the “Hall of Fame” of the faithful. It is an interesting collection of names and stories. For some only a name is given. For others various facts and events are related. Then at the end of passage we find the writer essentially give up on trying to record all those who had given so much. The writer of Hebrews reveals it would be impossible to capture or highlight the lives of so many. Rather, there is an attempt to help us, the readers, understand what has taken place.
Verse thirty-eight serves as the epilogue for the string of lives that are woven together to help future believers. The tapestry of faith is both majestic and common. And yet, we are told that these saints of the past were of a different sort. They were not cut from the same cloth as we might want to believe. It is interesting how they are described, isn’t it?
“…the world was not worthy of them.”
The question that this raises in my mind is this: Am I living a life that would be described not worthy of this world? Maybe this should be the driving motivation of our lives. We should strive to live counter-culturally, living out those realities that others would consider odd, strange or even crazy.
Would we even want it to be said of us that the world is not worthy of our labors? Do our lives reflect such piety of life, humility of heart and sincerity of service as to be deemed “too good for earth” (in a good way).
The persecution of the faithful has been a part of the life of the church from the beginning. Christians rounded up and thrown into the pit with lions for the sport of it was so common as to be expected. The church in the West has grown accustomed to being accommodated and it believes the lion has been tamed. The lions of culture, society and the world can not be tamed. We might be able to train them and give ourselves a sense of comfort. The truth of the matter is that given the opportunity a lion will only do what lions do.
We should not allow ourselves to believe that “we have things under control.” The second we do we have failed to stay alert and vigilant. We will have been mauled before we know it.