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The word "hard" is pala, and is rendered "wonderful", "marvel", and the like. It is used
of the plagues of Egypt and the future day of restoration (Psa. 78: 12; Zech. 8: 6);
it is associated with the wonder of child-birth (Psa. 139: 14, 15); it enters into the
name of the Angel who appeared to Samson's mother (Judg. 13: 18), and above all in the
name of that "Child born and Son given" of whom Isaac was but a type--"His name shall
be called Wonderful" (Isa. 9: 6). Is anything too wonderful for the Lord of resurrection?
Have we not allowed ourselves to be robbed of a full apprehension of God's grace and
power by reason of the limits imposed by translation? The word usually rendered
"miracle" is dunamis. This word occurs twice in Heb. 11:, viz., "Sarah received
strength, (11), and "quenched the violence of fire" (34). The only reference therefore to
God's power in this chapter has to do with resurrection. When Paul said: "That I may
know Him, and the power of His resurrection" he actually said, "the miracle of His
resurrection". Sarah knew this miracle, Abraham knew it, Jonah experienced it, and
Israel anticipated it (Hos. 6: 2). This miraculous power of resurrection lies behind every
promise of God, and however dark and apparently contrary to all reasonable expectation
the present path may be, faith (as in the trial of Abraham) goes on beyond even the power
of death, and believes in God Who quickeneth the dead.
When Abraham heard the call the first time, he obeyed and went out not knowing.
When he responded the second time, he obeyed, still not knowing, but assured that God
was faithful that promised. He obtained promises, he patiently endured, and could like
Paul say, "I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded". Sarah "judged Him
faithful Who had promised". Abraham "accounted Him able to raise up Isaac, even from
the dead". These are but variants of the same act of faith.
Members of the One Body too, have a promise to keep in mind, a promise made
before age times (Titus 1: 2), a promise sealed, for which an earnest has been given
(Eph. 1: 13), a promise which forms a precious feature of their peculiar calling
(Eph. 3: 6), a promise which likewise looks forward to the day of resurrection, the day
of redemption, for its fulfillment, and which they may anticipate as they walk in the
power that is to usward who believe, a power which is nothing short of the power of His
"For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God
by us" (II Cor. 1: 20).