Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
One of my first memory verses when I was in college. Our faith in God is as good as the actual thing He has promised because of who He is. I still haven’t gotten to the place of feeling complete peace with what I think He’s told me, due to me not trusting that what I heard was actually Him. My relationship with Him hasn’t been as close as it needed to be until the last year or so, and He’s working through me listening. I believe He told me something that He’s going to do for and with me at some point in the future, but so far nothing has happened in that area, so it’s hard for me to accept completely that I heard Him correctly. But I know that if He said it, it is going to happen, so I’m going with what I heard until He says otherwise.
3 “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed…”
We weren’t there. We have to take it on faith. Faith in God and faith in those who were led by Him.
4 “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…”
Both Cain and Abel knew God required a blood sacrifice, but only Abel expressed faith in God by offering what God wanted. Cain acted as though it didn’t matter.
6 “…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 diligently seek Him”
Very important verse. God’s big deal with us is not that we do things for Him, but that we love and trust Him. That’s the relationship. A personal one-on-one. Not random creatures petitioning some uncaring, unfeeling entity, but individually created humans communicating with their Father who loves and cares for them deeply. And our faith and obedience shows our love for Him.
7 “By faith Noah…”
He simply believed God.
12 “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead…”
In a sense, God raised Abraham, and Sarah too, from the dead to create Isaac. Even back then they were counted as beyond the normal age of child bearing. But man’s limitations are not limitations to God. All things in this universe are subject to His control. They are all His design, and they obey His every command.
13 “…having seen them afar off were assured of them…”
The people didn’t get to see the end result of the promises, but they did see something. Abraham was told what God was going to do with his descendants although he never got to see it himself. He knew what was going to happen. That’s in Genesis 15.
19 “concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead…”
Abraham knew that God could do the impossible as He had done so to produce Isaac. Just occurred to me that God told Abraham He was going to do something impossible, then made him wait twenty-five years for it. The first item of faith wasn’t small. I’ve been asking for something small as a test run of sorts, to make sure I’m hearing Him correctly. But so far nothing. Perhaps He wants to do what He said to show me I heard correctly and to anchor my faith. I’ll have no excuse to ever doubt His voice again if everything goes according to what I heard.
24 “…Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”
Moses knew who and what he was. He knew he was Jewish and not Egyptian.
25 “…passing pleasures of sin”
Heard someone mention this the other day. Sin is pleasurable, else people wouldn’t be attracted to it. But it is passing, and there is a cost which may not be seen until later. Moses chose to forgo the temporary in order to gain the permanent. Same decision we need to make.
31 “…the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe…”
This is such a good example of the mercy, grace, and love of God. Even a heathen sinner was given a chance when she expressed faith in the living God. God was not unfair to anyone. Everyone else in Jericho knew what Rahab knew, but she was the only one to believe and trust God.
39-40 “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”
Chapter 11 of Hebrews is called the hall of fame of faith as it lists so many from the Old Testament who expressed faith in God and went through incredible suffering and circumstances because of it. They did not see the final results of their faith as God wanted us to be able to participate in the promises too. The promises He made to them stretched from them all the way to the end of time. Now all we have to do is express the same faith they did.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.