Lesson 17: Examples of Faith (2) (Heb -40)
Faith of Abraham (-19)
Faith of Isaac and Jacob (-21)
Faith of Joseph ()
Faith of Moses’ Parents ()
Faith of Moses (-28)
Faith of the Israelites (-30)
Faith of Rahab
Faith of Other Ancients (-38)
Triumph through faith (33-34)
Sufferings through faith (35-38)
Rewards of Faith (-40)
Faith, Abraham, promises, God was
able, Isaac, blessed, things to come, Jacob, worshiped, Joseph, Moses, were not
afraid, refused, choosing, suffer affliction, esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches, looked to the reward, forsook, seeing Him who is invisible, Rahab, did not perish, of whom the world was not worthy,
obtained a good testimony, did not receive the promise, something better,
should not be made perfect apart from us.
had waited for the promise, and he finally received it. But now God tested his
faith by asking him to surrender what he had received (17). It is one thing to
wait for something you love very much, it is quite another to give it up after
you have received it!
God’s test was also designed to see
how much Abraham feared God and whether he would obey Him unconditionally (Gen ).
believed that even if Isaac died, God would be able to raise him up from the
believed in God’s promises to Abraham concerning having numerous descendants
and possessing the land of Canaan.
believed that God would surely fulfill His promise and bring
the Israelites out of Egypt
back to Canaan (Gen 50:25). Joseph’s instructions are
all the more remarkable when we consider the fact that he had spent most of his
life living in Egypt.
gave them the courage to defy the king’s command at the risk of death, for they
trusted in God’s promise that He would preserve and deliver His people. Such
courage is something unbelievers cannot possibly have.
called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter (24) vs. becoming a Hebrew slave; Enjoying
the passing pleasures of sin vs. suffering affliction with the people of God
(25); Inheriting the treasures of Egypt vs. enduring the reproaches of Christ
looked to the reward (26). He saw Him who is invisible (27).
5c. It may surprise us to note that Moses, who lived before
Christ, chose to suffer for Christ. But this confirms Christ’s preexistence
before He birth into this world. In retrospect, the
writers in the New Testament would link the events of the OT directly to
Christ, for the salvation history pointed to the Savior and His salvation (cf.
1Cor 10:1-4). In this sense, Moses’ choice to suffer for God was a choice to
suffer for Christ.
esteemed it greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
In other words, he placed the highest value on suffering for Christ.
6a. As believers God is the most important factor in all our
decisions. While the people of this world make choices based only on what can
be seen, we base our choices on Him who is invisible, for we walk by faith, not
by sight (2Cor 5:7). Through our eyes of faith, we are able to see the the reality of God’s promises, even though others cannot
like Moses, we can see Him who is invisible, then we would endure as we wait
for God’s promises to come true. We would choose what is eternal rather than
what is temporary, even if our choice means suffering.
had a life that the people of time could only dream of. As an heir of the most
powerful king on earth, he had access to the highest education, the greatest
treasures, and all forms of pleasures. But by faith he chose to suffer with the
people of God because he looked to the reward. If we have faith in God, our
goals in life should be different from those of the people of the world. We
will consider Jesus Christ our greatest treasure, and we will forsake
everything that stands between the Lord and us (Php
3:8). By faith, we will regard the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures of this world.
faith, we know that sin is passing, and that we have to stand before God’s
judgment seat to give an account for our sins. This knowledge and conviction of
the future enables us to make the wiser choice—suffering temporarily for
obeying God in order to receive eternal glory rather than enjoying temporarily
but reaping eternal condemnation.
believed that the Lord was God in heaven above and on earth beneath, and she
knew that the Lord had given the promised land to the Israelites (Josh 2:9,11).
9b. She was a gentile and a harlot. Even a sinner and one who
had no part in God’s covenant like Rahab was saved by
faith along with the people of God. This tells us that God does not remember
the sins of a repentant sinner who has come to Him in faith. He justifies them
freely through faith regardless of their background or past.
first list is about triumph, whereas the second is about persecutions.
faith in God’s promises, we can do great things. If God has purposed to carry
out something, we know that no obstacle can hinder His will. Faith gives us the
strength and courage to face all odds and do the impossible in order to
accomplish God’s will.
10c. Faith in God does not guarantee
a favorable outcome. In fact many of the people of faith went through severe
trials and even gave up their lives for the faith. Faith can cost us our
comfort, popularity, possessions, and even our lives. But that is what true
faith is about—being willing to give up what is seen for what is unseen.
Furthermore, faith means trusting God to the end, even through the most severe
sufferings. Our faith should not reside in temporary material blessings but in
our heavenly inheritance.
obtained a good testimony through faith (39).
did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that
they should not be made perfect apart from us (39b-40).
we have seen in previous chapters of Hebrews, “the good things to come” denote
the salvation of Jesus Christ and the blessings that it brings, and to be “made
perfect” refers to justification which results from the atonement of Jesus
Christ. The word “we” or “us” are Christians. What the author is saying here is
that the believers of the OT, although they were commended by God for their
faith, did not live to see the coming of the Messiah. It is only when Christ
had come to fulfill salvation that they received the promise of justification
and remission of sins, and they do so with believers in the NT era.
Note: In one sense, some of the
people of faith did receive the promises of God (33). But what the author has
in mind in 39 is “the promise,” not promises in general. This promise,
therefore, is the ultimate promise—the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.