People come and go and are remembered for various contributions to society. However, the "huge crowd of witnesses" spoken of in Hebrews 12:1 are remembered for their mighty faith.
Think of the rich heritage recorded in the Scriptures of faith-filled believers. They were great men and women of character, endurance, vision, and accomplishment who "overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice . . . shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. . . ." (Hebrews 11:33-34).
Some were raised from the dead, and others chose death over betraying God, desiring a better resurrection (v. 35). They were unafraid of the saw, the sword, or the shame. They were willing to live in caves, mountains, and deserts and to clothe themselves in sheepskin or goatskin. Their powerful testimonies inspire us all.
Of course, the greatest Hero of faith is Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. His one, solitary life exemplifies a life of the greatest courage in adversity. "He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward" (Hebrews 12:2).
Follow Jesus. Live for Him, and die for Him-and you also will be remembered forever.
29 In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, the word of the Lord came to me:
“‘I am against you, Pharaoh
You say, “The Nile
I made it for myself.”
and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales.
I will pull you out from among your streams,
with all the fish sticking to your scales.
5 I will leave you in the desert,
you and all the fish of your streams.
You will fall on the open field
and not be gathered
I will give you as food
6 Then all who live in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.
“‘You have been a staff of reed
8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will bring a sword against you and kill both man and beast.
“‘Because you said, “The Nile
13 “‘Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered.14 I will bring them back from captivity and return them to Upper Egypt,
17 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me:
21 “On that day I will make a horn
30 The word of the Lord came to me:2 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“Alas for that day!”
a day of clouds,
a time of doom for the nations.
When the slain fall in Egypt,
her wealth will be carried away
and her foundations torn down.
6 “‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘The allies of Egypt will fall
and her proud strength will fail.
From Migdol to Aswan
they will fall by the sword within her,
declares the Sovereign Lord.
7 “‘They will be desolate
among desolate lands,
and their cities will lie
among ruined cities.
8 Then they will know that I am the Lord,
and all her helpers are crushed.
9 “‘On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush
10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt
11 He and his army—the most ruthless of nations
will be brought in to destroy the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt
and fill the land with the slain.
and sell the land to an evil nation;
by the hand of foreigners
I will lay waste
I the Lord have spoken.
13 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
and put an end to the images in Memphis.
No longer will there be a prince in Egypt,
and I will spread fear throughout the land.
14 I will lay
set fire to Zoan
and inflict punishment on Thebes.
15 I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
the stronghold of Egypt,
and wipe out the hordes of Thebes.
16 I will set fire
Pelusium will writhe in agony.
Thebes will be taken by storm;
17 The young men of Heliopolis
will fall by the sword,
and the cities themselves will go into captivity.
18 Dark will be the day at Tahpanhes
there her proud strength will come to an end.
She will be covered with clouds,
and her villages will go into captivity.
19 So I will inflict punishment
and they will know that I am the Lord.’”
20 In the eleventh year, in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the Lord came to me:
29 On January 7,
“I am your enemy, O Pharaoh, king of Egypt—
you great monster, lurking in the streams of the Nile.
For you have said, ‘The Nile River is mine;
I made it for myself.’
4 I will put hooks in your jaws
and drag you out on the land
with fish sticking to your scales.
5 I will leave you and all your fish
stranded in the wilderness to die.
You will lie unburied on the open ground,
for I have given you as food to the wild animals and birds.
6 All the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord,
for to Israel you were just a staff made of reeds.
7 When Israel leaned on you,
you splintered and broke
and stabbed her in the armpit.
When she put her weight on you,
you collapsed, and her legs gave way.
8 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will bring an army against you, O Egypt, and destroy both people and animals.9 The land of Egypt will become a desolate wasteland, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.
“Because you said, ‘The Nile River is mine; I made it,’10 I am now the enemy of both you and your river. I will make the land of Egypt a totally desolate wasteland, from Migdol to Aswan, as far south as the border of Ethiopia.
13 “But this is what the Sovereign Lord also says: At the end of the forty years I will bring the Egyptians home again from the nations to which they have been scattered.14 I will restore the prosperity of Egypt and bring its people back to the land of Pathros in southern Egypt from which they came. But Egypt will remain an unimportant, minor kingdom.15 It will be the lowliest of all the nations, never again great enough to rise above its neighbors.
16 “Then Israel will no longer be tempted to trust in Egypt for help. Egypt’s shattered condition will remind Israel of how sinful she was to trust Egypt in earlier days. Then Israel will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
17 On April 26, the first day of the new year,
21 “And the day will come when I will cause the ancient glory of Israel to revive,
30 This is another message that came to me from the Lord:2 “Son of man, prophesy and give this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“Weep and wail
for that day,
3 for the terrible day is almost here—
the day of the Lord!
It is a day of clouds and gloom,
a day of despair for the nations.
4 A sword will come against Egypt,
and those who are slaughtered will cover the ground.
Its wealth will be carried away
and its foundations destroyed.
The land of Ethiopia
5 Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all Arabia,
and all their other allies
will be destroyed in that war.
6 “For this is what the Lord says:
All of Egypt’s allies will fall,
and the pride of her power will end.
From Migdol to Aswan
they will be slaughtered by the sword,
says the Sovereign Lord.
7 Egypt will be desolate,
surrounded by desolate nations,
and its cities will be in ruins,
surrounded by other ruined cities.
8 And the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord
when I have set Egypt on fire
and destroyed all their allies.
9 At that time I will send swift messengers in ships
to terrify the complacent Ethiopians.
Great panic will come upon them
on that day of Egypt’s certain destruction.
Watch for it!
It is sure to come!
10 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
By the power of King Nebuchadnezzar
I will destroy the hordes of Egypt.
11 He and his armies—the most ruthless of all—
will be sent to demolish the land.
They will make war against Egypt
until slaughtered Egyptians cover the ground.
12 I will dry up the Nile River
and sell the land to wicked men.
I will destroy the land of Egypt and everything in it
by the hands of foreigners.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I will smash the idols
and the images at Memphis.
There will be no rulers left in Egypt;
terror will sweep the land.
14 I will destroy southern Egypt,
set fire to Zoan,
15 I will pour out my fury on Pelusium,
the strongest fortress of Egypt,
and I will stamp out
the hordes of Thebes.
16 Yes, I will set fire to all Egypt!
Pelusium will be racked with pain;
Thebes will be torn apart;
Memphis will live in constant terror.
17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis
and the women
18 When I come to break the proud strength of Egypt,
it will be a dark day for Tahpanhes, too.
A dark cloud will cover Tahpanhes,
and its daughters will be led away as captives.
19 And so I will greatly punish Egypt,
and they will know that I am the Lord.”
20 On April 29,
29 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt:
3 Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.
4 But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.
5 And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.
6 And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.
7 When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand.
8 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee.
9 And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.
10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
12 And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
13 Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered:
14 And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom.
15 It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
16 And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord God.
17 And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
18 Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.
20 I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God.
21 In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the Lord.
30 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!
3 For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.
4 And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.
5 Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.
6 Thus saith the Lord; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord God.
7 And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.
8 And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.
9 In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.
10 Thus saith the Lord God; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.
12 And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the Lord have spoken it.
13 Thus saith the Lord God; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.
14 And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.
15 And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No.
16 And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily.
17 The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity.
18 At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
19 Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
20 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
21 Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.
22 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand.
23 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
24 And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man.
25 But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt.
26 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the Lord.
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon,
39 These were all commended
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.
32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons.37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half,
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches
4 Even in darkness light dawns
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
who conduct their affairs with justice.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
their righteousness endures
1 Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.
112 Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.