The Joy in Responsibility
(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)
Faithful Love of God
It would be easy to get lost in the number of names of Old Testament saints that pepper the final thoughts of the author of Hebrews as we come to the closing verses of chapter 11. I believe it would be a mistake to focus too closely on each person of faith mentioned even though their stories unfold in thrilling fashion. Instead, I feel our author is making a much needed point at a level much higher than any one individual mentioned.
The picture painted in these verses is of our God and how he works in the lives of his faith-filled and loved people. This look at who our God is and how he works in our lives is as valuable as any practical understanding can be. This passage is tremendously important at shedding light on what faith is and what kind of life it guarantees.
I see these final verses as icing on the cake. I also see them as a crushing blow to the corrupt thinking that if you have enough faith you would be healthy and wealthy. Our author wants us to know that despite our external circumstances, the faith-filled heart is loved by God, approved by God, and ultimately rewarded by God.
God provides escape from suffering (vs 29-35a)
By faith we see:
Miracles and Deliverance
Amazing Efforts and Victory
God does NOT provide escape from suffering (vs 35b-38)
By faith we see:
Killed by stoning
Killed by being sawn in two alive
Example from Acts chapter 12:
James is killed
Peter is set free
Having faith is not the ultimate factor in whether you live or die; God is!
The Faith-filled believer NEVER need think:
I’m dying because my faith is lacking…
The Faith-filled believer always knows:
To live is Christ, to die is gain! (Phil. 1:21)
God rewards ALL people of faith
People of faith are a gift to the world