The introduction for the lectionary comes from the dread ilk, and it is accurate. What it misses is that if you don’t play, you don’t bow the knee to the servants of this age, you will be coerced into compliance.
Sometimes compromise destroys our ability to seek God.
I’ve personally seen this sort of thing play out in music, media, politics, and publishing. I’ve heard about it from those who were offered the ticket in Hollywood, both in television and in movies. David Chapelle has spoken openly about the latter… hence Africa. And the modus operandi is always more or less the same. One little knee, one little submission, is all they initially ask of you to give you whatever you want and more.
They are success dealers, and the first hit is almost free….
Keep this in mind if you’re tempted to accuse people of being jealous of those who are wealthier, more famous, or more successful. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I’m not jealous of anyone who has taken the ticket. I know the price they are paying and it isn’t one that I was willing to pay.
Why this when the passage is about the heroes of faith? Because without faith, you won’t see the compromise. You will merely think people are doing their business.
“They have ventured into sin where they thought the stream was shallow, and, fatally deceived by its depth, they have been swept away by the strength of the current to that cataract which is the ruin of such vast multitudes of the souls of men.”
Charles Spurgeon, 1859
The cost of being in the success class is too great. Faith is too precious.
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, [h]in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.