Today on the Bible for busy people, You and I are going to continue our tour through the Hall of Faith. You and I are exploring some of the most faithful people who ever lived. Are you ready to dive back into Hebrews chapter 11? We’re picking it up in verse 17.
I’ve actually been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and you can walk past exhibits featuring Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and all of the baseball greats. Today on the Bible for busy people, You and I are going to continue our tour through the Hall of Faith. You and I are exploring some of the most faithful people who ever lived. Are you ready to dive back into Hebrews chapter 11? We’re picking it up in verse 17.
It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice, when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Even though God had told him, Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again.
Who, and in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. Wow. You want to talk about faithfulness? Abraham exemplified it in so many different ways. He is a case study in faithfulness.
It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons Jacob and Esau. It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt.
And this is how he showed it. I love this.
He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left. Not if they ever left. When you guys leave, take my bones with you. That is faithfulness. It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.
At that time, the Pharaoh was like, throw the Hebrew baby boys in the river drowned them when they’re born. and Moses’ mom and dad were like, no, Pharaoh, we’re not doing that.
It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
He was adopted by her.
He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt. For he was looking ahead to his great rewards.
So often, faithfulness is about looking ahead at what God’s going to do and not judging it on what’s happening now. Woo. That’ll preach. Speaking to myself right there.
It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover, and to sprinkle blood on the doorpost so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons. It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea, as though they were on dry ground.
Amazing. What a picture of faithfulness. Right? Think about it, because there were walls of water on either side of them. Imagine how terrifying that would be. Right? And the trust you would have to have in God to keep walking through the Red Sea. Wow.
But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God, for she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
We’re going to talk about Rahab next time.
How much more do I need to say? The writer of Hebrew says, it would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon Barack, Samson, Jephtah…
I hope I’m saying his name right,
…David Samuel and all the prophets. by faith, these people overthrew kingdoms ruled with justice and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death.
You’re hearing what’s on the other end of faithfulness.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.
Right? Just like last time we were talking about a better country is ahead of heavenly homeland and a resurrection.
Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning. Some were saw in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.
This also is the other side of faithfulness.
They were too good for this world. Wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith. Yet none of them received all that God had promised, for God had something better in mind for us so that they would not reach perfection without us. Christ had not yet died when all of these amazing people lived out faithfulness in their lives.
And we’re going to talk about Christ’s death and what it means for you and me and how that’s the perfection. It’s the bookend of the deal. You and I are faithful to trust Jesus Christ to wash away our sins, and that is the great reward of our faith that cannot be taken away. Even if our lives are stripped from us. Our faith in Jesus Christ and our assurance of living with him forever cannot be taken away. That is what is guaranteed on the other side of our faithfulness. The faith that we put in Jesus Christ, and that is something to look forward to with all of our hearts.
Okay, next time. I am super excited because we are going to dive into the story of a prostitute who is an absolute, bonafide example of faithfulness in the Bible. Join me next time. Until then, you, oh you’re so loved.
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