I’ve enjoyed the sermons and my daily devotional readings on Hebrews 11. This is a wonderful chapter on faith.
To show how God’s servants were faithful, the author chose to portray the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab. One of the footnotes in my NLT translation describes these men and women as Old testament “Hall of Famers.” I love that!
Each paragraph begins “It was by faith that [insert name]….” The rest of the paragraph then described how each person put his or her trust in God by following His instruction.
“All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promise of God [emphasis mine].” Verse 13
Again in Verse 39, the author repeats: “All of these people we have mentioned received God’s approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised [emphasis mine].”
Verse 40 reads: “For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”
According to a blog from Juli Camarin (JC Blog), “To die in faith, believing God until the very end was a privilege that the patriarchs shared. Their ultimate promise was the Messiah and they looked forward in faith until the time of Jesus. God had planned this for us, so along with these heroes of faith, we would be the recipients of this promise. We now live in the time they saw from a distance. God truly had something better planned for us.”
So, the Hall of Famers looked forward to Jesus, while we can look at it from behind. When Jesus finished his work, we all may receive the promise of salvation.
Finally, my favorite verse of Chapter 11, which may be yours as well,
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. Let us, by faith, set aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and look to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who has taken his seat at your right hand. Amen (paraphrased from Hebrews 12:1-2)