A Great Cloud Of Witnesses
By June Stein
In Hebrews, Paul relates to us a wondrous and comforting story…
That of a ‘great cloud of witnesses’, who call to us from Glory,
They walked the earth with faith in God, and left a legacy,
Of standing firm in the assurance of things hoped for,
The conviction of things not seen.
The long line of those who walked in faith include many of great renown…
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah and Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses, to whom God said, “I Am Who I Am”,
Paul said time would fail him to tell of all those who through faith did great things,
Among them Gideon, Samuel, the prophets, and David, the greatest of earthly Kings.
They received promises; conquered kingdoms; enforced justice; put armies to flight;
Won strength out of weakness; became mighty in war… all of this through God’s might.
Through faith, they stopped the mouths of lions and quenched raging fire,
The price they paid on earth for this, no one could desire:
Some were tortured; suffered mocking and scourging;
were chained, imprisoned, stoned;
Sawed in two; killed with sword; went about in skins of sheep and goats, alone,
Wandering deserts and mountains, ill-treated, afflicted and destitute,
With dens and caves of earth for their home.
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses to their faith,
Let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings closely,
and with perseverance, run our own race.
Looking to Jesus Christ our Lord, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
Who, for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross, while despising the shame,
And is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Praise His Holy Name!
So that we may not grow fainthearted or weary, in our own struggles against sin,
We must remember His agony and death on the Cross, and center our thoughts in Him,
For we have not yet fought to the shedding of our blood, as He did, our souls to win!
So we lift our drooping hands, and strengthen our poor weak knees,
Make straight paths for our feet, and with all men strive for peace,
We let no bitterness spring up, by which to become defiled,
But forever look to our Lord and King with the faith of a little child.
For we have not come to what may be touched; a blazing fire, and darkness and gloom;
Nor tempest; the sound of a trumpet; or a voice that made hearers fear doom.
We come to Jesus, Who by His blood, opened for us the gates of Heaven,
We will live with Him, in the Light of His Love, now and forever forgiven.
[Hebrews, chapters 11 and 12]