Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews 6:12’

A Triptych from Hebrews 6: Take a Look (Panel 3)

June 10, 2021

Today’s blog entry is the third of a series of three poems that form a triptych inspired by Hebrews 6:10-12. OxfordDictionaries.com defines a triptych as, “a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.” WordNet 3.6 provides this definition of triptych art, as “art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together).” Here is an example of one panel of a triptych carved from wood with three sections on each leaf. Each of the three poems that form my triptych is also accompanied by commentary and a musical selection related to that work.

ONE LEAF OF A TRIPTYCH IN CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE

For our discussion of the third panel of our triptych from Hebrews 6, we are going to look at Hebrews 6:12, but we begin with a statement from Brian Adams:

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”

As believers, perfecting the art of patience involves learning to wait on the Lord. The closing verses of my favorite psalm come to mind:

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Note this Biblical definition of patience which has also been translated endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord.

When we examine one of the words translated “patience”, we see a compound word meaning “to stay, remain, abide”, literally abiding under. The verb form means to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, to persevere — abide, endure, suffer, tarry behind.

The root idea of the noun is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting oneself to something which demands the yielding of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel.  It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it.

James 5:11 provides an excellent example of the word for patience being used as a verband as a noun. The New Living Translation offers this rendering containing a familiar phrase that encompasses a character trait most often associated with Job:

11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.

The Book of Job is a classic example of the principle of first usage and first spiritual principle, which highlights as particularly important the first time that a concept is mentioned in the Bible.  It is believed by E.W. Bullinger and other Bible scholars that the first book written was the Book of Job, believed to have been composed by Moses. Job, whom Chuck Swindoll described as a “man of heroic endurance,” was, indeed, a real person, and his story is one of the first demonstrations of many spiritual principles, one being that God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that he rewards those who demonstrate “patience.” Although it is said that “Patience is its own reward,” God also rewards patience, as so clearly demonstrated at the end the Book of Job. Recall Job 42:10:

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends: also the

LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Hebrews 10:36 (AMP) also reinforces the message that patience precedes what one is striving to achieve:

For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.

Previously, while working on a teaching related to patience, I read about an apple orchard run by “Farmer Johnson” in Washington State, an individual with whom I spiritually identified. Reading about the apples produced by this individual also inspired the following poem which opens with Hebrews 6:12, another reference using “patient endurance” or patience.

Farmer Johnson

Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.

Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going

to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

Hebrews 6:12

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.


Lyrics by Joseph H. Gilmore

Farmer Johnson owns orchards in Washington State.
His apples are renowned and said to be the best.
As scriptures remind us to labor and to rest,
This Farmer Johnson is patient and learns to wait
For the bountiful fruit of his harvest season.
Patience now abounds to complete and perfect me,
As I walk by faith, despite all that I may see.
I assess my times and unfold the real reason
For all the trials and seeming setbacks that came.
At times I felt as though being torn asunder
But like Job, I still abide and bear up under.
God yet delivers those who call upon His name.
Committed to go wherever the Lord shall send,
A faithful follower, I endure to the end.

As a youngster I recall singing this hymn “He Leadeth Me” countless times, performed here by the Michael Curb Congregation.

A Reminder: God is faithful

May 18, 2015

Hebrews_6-10

The Verse of the Day for May 18, 2015 is found in Hebrews 6:10 (NIV):

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

While reflecting upon this particular verse, I recall a poem that I had written inspired by verse 10 of Hebrews 6. As I was preparing to send a framed copy of the poem to two of my cousins, I realized that I had also written poems inspired by Hebrews 6:11-12 as well.

These three poems formed what is called a “triptych,” which OxfordDictionaries.com defines as, “a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.” WordNet 3.6 provides this definition of triptych art, as “art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together).” Here is an example of one panel of a triptych carved from wood with three sections on each leaf.

triptych altar

Each of the three poems that form my triptych is also accompanied by a musical selection related to that work.

A Reminder: God Is Faithful

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 6:10

The good deeds that you have done may not be extolled

When the fervor of God’s love has long since grown cold.

Some quickly forget all the good that you have done

And fail to recall that you were the only one

To answer the call, seek the Lord and intercede.

Time after time you were the one to meet the need.

When others were busy and chose to walk away,

You were there and remained in the thick of the fray.

In dark times when words of thanks are distant memories,

Recall that God knows all things, for He alone sees

Your labor and saves all the tears that you have shed.

Our Father is ever mindful of how you serve,

And He shall reward you beyond all you deserve.

As you strive to finish your course, have no regret:

Our God is faithful–He will never forget.

Here is a graphic illustration of Hebrews 6:10:

Growing up in the 1950s in Gary, IN, I have fond musical memories from the “Golden Age of Gospel Music.” One of the most popular songs of this period was “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” a selection often used a processional for morning services at countless black churches across the country. The opening line of the renowned gospel favorite is part of the inspiration for this poem:

This Far by Faith

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence  

to the full assurance of hope until the end,                                                    

Hebrews 6:11

“We have come this far by faith.”  

Traditional Black Gospel Song

 

Though we see truth, there is still the rest of the story,

As we strive to be all that God called us to be,

Created to be to the praise of His glory,

We walk by faith and not by what we can see.

We now rise above to view life from God’s grand scope:

Each day our faith will increase and not diminish.

With diligence to the full assurance of hope,

We will complete our course, striving toward the finish.

A great cloud of witnesses surround us to cheer

Us on from faith to faith and victory to victory.

The mighty hand of our gracious God brought us here,

For such a time as this—behold our destiny.

As we press toward the mark, we must not lose our gait.

Lyrics remind us “We have come this far by faith.”

Voices of Hope, a choir from Los Angeles under the direction of Thurston Frazier, offer a rendition of one of the most popular gospel songs of the Fifties and Sixties.

While working on a teaching related to patience as an illustration of the fruit that was in season at that particular time of my life, I read about an apple orchard that was run by Farmer Johnson in Washington State. Reading about the apples produced by this individual also inspired the following poem:

Farmer Johnson

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who

through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:12

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Lyrics by Joseph H. Gilmore

Farmer Johnson owns orchards in Washington State.

His apples are renowned and said to be the best.

As scriptures remind us to labor and to rest,

This Farmer Johnson is patient and learns to wait

For the bountiful fruit of his harvest season.

Patience now abounds to complete and perfect me,

As I walk by faith, despite all that I may see.

I assess my times and unfold the real reason

For all the trials and seeming setbacks that came.

At times I felt as though being torn asunder

But like Job, I still abide and bear up under.

God yet delivers those who call upon His name.

Committed to go wherever the Lord shall send,

A faithful follower, I endure to the end.

As a youngster I recall singing this hymn “He Leadeth Me” countless times, performed here by the Michael Curb Congregation.

His faithful follower

September 17, 2014

Ephesians-5 1-2

Taken from Ephesians 5:1 (KJV), the Verse of the Day for September 17, 2014, offers this exhortation:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

 

The idea of being followers or imitators of God brought to mind something that I had written five years ago when I was attempting to more fully grasp the significance of the season of life in which I found myself. I recognized that I was and continue to be in the autumn of the years and that apples are among the produce currently in season. The idea of harvesting produce in their season is to pick the fruit at the peak of their flavor—not too soon, when, in the case of apples may be hard and not be sweet enough, and not too late when the fruit may be overripe and begin to spoil. I read this statement from an orchard that is known for its tasty apples: “One of the reasons that Ela Orchard apples are so good is that they often pick the apples later in their season than most orchards. This increases the flavor of the apple although it means that there is more risk of apples dropping off the trees.”

Most remarkably, I also came across this endorsement from someone who had sampled the apples from, of all places, “Farmer Johnson Apple Orchards” in Washington State. The individual commented, “I have had the opportunity to try all the varieties of Farmer Johnson apples, they are the best apples I have ever tasted. Fresh, crisp…. the perfect apple.” I couldn’t help but smile, as I reflected upon my desire to be “neither barren nor unfruitful” but to be productive and highly fruitful in all my endeavors. I was inspired to write this poem which most amazingly makes reference to being a “follower”:

Farmer Johnson

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who

through faith and patience inherit the promises.    

Hebrews 6:12

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Lyrics by Joseph H. Gilmore

Farmer Johnson owns orchards in Washington State.

His apples are renowned and said to be the best.

As scriptures remind us to labor and to rest,

This Farmer Johnson is patient and learns to wait

For the bountiful fruit of his harvest season.

Patience now abounds to complete and perfect me,

As I walk by faith, despite all that I may see.

I assess my times and unfold the real reason

For all the trials and seeming setbacks that came.

At times I felt as though being torn asunder

But like Job, I still abide and bear up under.

God yet delivers those who call upon His name.

Committed to go wherever the Lord shall send,

A faithful follower, I endure to the end.

 

The poem opens with lyrics from the hymn “He Leadeth Me” which is the perfect way to end this blog entry: