Updated 4 Oct 2019
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This is probably the most famous chapter in the book of Hebrews. It is a chapter which emphasises the need to faith and surrender to God. The sort of faith that God honours is illustrated in this chapter by a very wide range of people.
What is Faith?
Faith in God is all about hearing God’s word, obeying God’s word and moving in the direction that God points you to move. Such trust in God enables such confidence and conviction in the way in which we live our lives.
The writer tells us very clearly that the word was made by God, He formed it and put it together, when He spoke things began to happen. We may not understand how God made the earth but our faith in God rests totally on the fact that God did it.
The whole purpose of life is to please God. Many people live to please themselves but this is not the way of the believer. What pleases God greatly is when we hear His voice and obey His will. He graciously reveals Himself to us as we step out for Him. We do not understand all the implications and purposes of moving in God’s will. Our desire to please Him is something that He will honour and bless.
Men and Women of Faith
Hebrews lists a large number of people and records for us ways in which their lives bring about the greater purposes of God. When we look through the list we see ordinary men and women who, because of their obedience to God, become significant in His purposes. For example, Noah building the ark was a prophetic statement to the rebellious world in which he lived, reminding us that God is a God of love but also judgement. Abraham will receive all the promises that God made to him and Hebrews gives us an insight which the Genesis record does not tell us.
Abraham was a man of vision; he saw that God was going to build in the future something very great. He would not have used words like "the church" or "the Kingdom of God", but it is remarkable that he knows in his spirit something far more wonderful than the chaos and confusion of paganism is going to immerge. We also discover that he amazingly believed that Isaac would be raised from the dead. Therefore, he was able to offer Isaac, trusting God to work things out. Moses again is seen in a powerful light in the Hebrews record. We discover that he was aware and he was a Hebrew and God was his God. Although he had many difficulties deep down, he had a sense of God's salvation plan. The deliverance of the Hebrew people from Egypt was a powerful picture of Jesus, our saviour and deliverer.
Partnership and Hardship
Hebrews 11 makes it very clear that people of faith will be greatly tested. That when we walk God's path it may involve suffering, persecution and even death. God's eternal plan assures us that our ultimate destination will be glorious.
Points to consider
- When we look at our lives do they illustrate the definition of faith that Hebrews gives us?
- How important is the Word of God in your life, are you responding to it by living and growing in your faith in God?
- How conscious are we of wanting to please God in our lives?
- What do you consider to be the best examples of Abraham and Moses demonstrating their faith in God?
- When we are being tested and going through trials do we respond by trusting God or rejecting God?
God bless you!
Bible Study: Hebrews 11
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