Hebrews 11:17-40 – September 17-18
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Hebrews 11:17-40 – Faith in Action
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
By Faith We Overcome | Rebecca Hoyt
Having mentioned only faithful men and women from Genesis to Joshua, the writer begins to summarize the stories of other known heroes of faith. He lists six more faith champions by name — four judges (Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah), a king (David), and a prophet (Samuel)-‘and the prophets.’ Then the author tells about many things they and others encountered and endured as they walked by faith in God. Some subdued kingdoms (David), while others stopped the mouths of lions (Daniel). Others were stoned (Zachariah) for their commitment to God. The writer attested ‘the world was not worthy’ of these heroes of the faith. Though they obtained a good testimony through faith, they had not yet received what had been promised to them through the Messiah. They longed for Him, believed in Him, and yet did not live to see His appearance. They would receive their rewards with Christian believers.
Others also mentioned for their faith: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Moses’ parents, and Rahab. I counted 13 times the writer used the word faith in verses 17-40. I think they’re trying to tell us something 🙂 These people were not perfect by any means, but they trusted God and put their faith in Him. God was really working on me today to put my full trust/faith in Him. When it comes to my kids, it’s hard for me to hand over all control to God. (A hard lesson God taught me last year with my youngest ‘letting go and letting God’). Last night I didn’t trust God completely, because I was in full worry mode. And I know that when I worry I’m not fully putting my trust that God can and will handle it so much better than I can.
Dear Lord, thank You for each new day You give us. Thank You for working on my heart. Please help me not to worry about anything, but lift it up to You and pray about everything.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.