Consider Him: Do Not Be Angry With God -- By: Scott Souza
RAR 8:4 (Fall 1999) p. 107
Consider Him: Do Not Be Angry With God
“Consider Him who has endured such hostility” (Heb. 12:3).
The encouraging witness in our trials (Heb. 12:1).
The Cloud Of Witnesses
As a lead in to its consideration of Christ’s sufferings, Hebrews 12 begins by drawing a conclusion from chapter 11, which gives many examples of people who have triumphed by faith and have not given themselves over to anger against God. The subject of our anger with God for our suffering is not brought up until 12:5, but it is a force to be reckoned with throughout the whole chapter. Some obtained triumph and deliverance by faith. Others endured various forms of defeat in a manner pleasing to God. All “gained approval through their faith” (Heb. 11:39). On the basis of these facts, the writer of Hebrews draws the conclusion that we should heed their witness and, like them,” run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1).
The witnesses, says the writer, surround us (12:1), or spread around us like spectators in the Olympic Games. They are there not just to watch us but also to bear testimony to how they triumphed by faith and to encourage us to do the same.
As Adam Clarke says in his commentary:
Here is another allusion to the Olympic games: the agonistae,
RAR 8:4 (Fall 1999) p. 108
or contenders were often greatly animated by the consideration that the eyes of the principal men of their country were fixed upon them; and by this they were induced to make the most extraordinary exertions.1
The idea is that there are so many who
have triumphed through faith that it is
impossible to count them. So triumph by
faith, though difficult, is not something
that only a select few can accomplish.
The witnesses are called a “cloud of witnesses.” The Greek word used here is the type of cloud which does not have definite borders, so it is impossible to tell where it ends. The idea is that there are so many who have triumphed through faith that it is impossible to count them. So triumph by faith, though difficult, is not something that only a select few can accomplish. Many (in fact an uncountable number) do it. “After these things I looked, ...
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