Daily Thought for: 26th November

REMEMBER THEM WHICH HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU

Hebrews 13. 7

Three times in this chapter the apostle refers to ‘them that have the rule over you’, vv. 7, 17 and 24. He is contemplating the ordered structure of a New Testament local assembly within which were those who would lead, guide and teach the believers. Such men were essential for the well-being of the assembly, especially as these Hebrew believers were being assailed by ‘reproaches and afflictions’, 10. 33, as a result of which their faith in the Lord Jesus was being severely tested.

In verses 17 and 24, the exhortation to obey and salute (or greet), obviously has in view those leaders who were presently active among the believers. The words of verse 7, however, suggest a remembrance, or calling to mind, of those who had been responsible for bringing the word of God to them, who had established them in the faith, but who now had finished their course. Such leaders were to be remembered not just for sentimental reasons, but with a view to following or imitating their faith. Furthermore, the readers of this epistle were to consider carefully the good which resulted from their manner of life; the blessing brought to others who heard their teaching and observed their testimony.

There is a danger of underestimating the value of the legacy left by saints of God in previous generations. Good it is when their influence is still felt. We recall that Israel served the Lord not only in Joshua’s lifetime, but also ‘all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua’, Josh. 24. 31, such was the authority of the man! No doubt most of us can recall with affection dear saints, now with the Lord, to whom we owe so much. Maybe there were times when they corrected or reproved us. At the time, perhaps we resented the admonition, or even rebelled against it. Yet now, through His grace, we realise that they only had our best interests at heart, and we thank God for their loving care as they watched for our souls. May the fragrance of their testimony be an incentive to us, that we too may follow their faith and, if the Lord has not come, leave an inheritance which will be a blessing to future generations.

 

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