A Lesson In Hebrews: Accounting 101 Part 1
In our study of Hebrews 11:1 we have looking at the meaning of the definition for faith. We have examined the words faith, substance and evidence. We now come to the word “things”.
Many years ago I used to be a property account. In commercial property rentals, the lease is the guiding document. In other words the landlord’s billings and the tenant’s remittance are dictated by the terms of the lease. In other words it is the covenant agreement between two or more parties.
I remember discovering one account where nothing was correct. What the tenant was paying did not match what the landlord was billing. And apparently this had been going on for many years. So, I brought this to my Manager’s attention. He asked me how did this happen? My reply was “I don’t know.” Then he said something to me that has had a lasting impact. He said “I don’t know is an unacceptable answer. I need you to find out what happened; and when you do I want you to tell me the story.”
In order to see what had happened, I had to reconstruct the entire history of the account. I went all the way back to the beginning. I went month by month and year by year. By reviewing the entire account history and comparing it to the lease I could determine:
• Were the billings correct?
• Were the remittance payments correct?
I could see who was faithfully keeping up there end of the agreement. Where ever there was an issue, I would properly apply the debits and credits to bring the account current. Once I reconciled one month, I marked it as complete and correct. I then moved on to the next month. As I went from month to month and year to year I was learning the story of that account. Once I was finished, I was able to tell the manager the story of who, when, where and what had happened.
When we think of accounting we do it strictly in terms of numbers. What most do not realize is that even numbers paint a picture. Data tells a story.
In Hebrews 11:1 we come across an accounting term. In the Writer’s definition, he uses the word “things”. This particular word is the single most important word in the entire definition. Therefore, contextually it becomes one of the most important words in all of scripture. The word means:
Accomplished; and is being accomplished. In other words what has already been done and what is now still being done. It also carries with the connotation of a business transaction that has been completed or is in the process of being completed.
The Writer is telling us that something has been accomplished on our behalf. We have faith and hope because of the thing that has been accomplished. The question is who accomplished it?
We will take a look at the who, when and what in the next part of the lesson.