Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Ever since sin entered in the Garden of Eden, there has been a cross erected. An innocent creature had to be killed, its blood shed, in order for Adam and Eve to have clothing to shield them from the cold and from their newly acquired shame of nakedness. Each new generation of those who feared and reverenced God has had to face a cross whereon self has been crucified.
Abel recognized its principle and proclaimed his faith; what did he get for his sacrifice? Death at the hands of his older brother. But wait--he gets more! "He being dead still speaks" (Heb. 11:4), which means--Abel has been preaching a powerful, soul-winning sermon for all these 6000 years! If you want to talk about "stars in somebody's crown," look at that firmament!
All Isaac did was to be born as "the child of promise," and what does he get? Persecution from his older brother, Ishmael (Gal. 4:29). But there is more: God said, "Cast out the bondwoman and her son" (vs. 30). Isaac gets an eternal inheritance.
Joseph was simply being true to his conscience, and what does he get for that? A taste of the cross: sold by his older brothers into slavery in Egypt. But the story is not ended: he becomes prime minister of Egypt. This is not fiction; it's soul-saving.
David simply defends God's people against their oppressors, the Philistines; and what does he get for it? The constant enmity of "the anointed of the Lord," against whom he will not lift up his hand. But what blessing did David get? The throne? Think more deeply: his understanding of the cross as we can read in Psalms 22 and 69.
Elijah saves Israel from ruin, is hated by the king and queen; but he is translated.
Jeremiah is called from the womb to serve the Lord, and what did he get? An entire lifetime of rejection and defamation of character at the hands of God's people, with no respite or interlude of peace. But now the Jews regard him as the greatest of the prophets.
"Whoever loses his life for My sake," says Jesus, " will save it" (Luke 9:24). They did!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 30, 2005.
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