Hebrews 11 Explained - Verse by Verse Commentary - God's Blessing (2024)

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
2 For by it the people of old received their commendation.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.
10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.
16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,
18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau.
By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—
33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.
36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated.
38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 11 Explained - Verse by Verse Commentary - God's Blessing (1)

The True Meaning of Hebrews 11

The Book of Hebrews was written by an anonymous author, though many scholars believe it was the Apostle Paul. The author was a devout Jewish Christian who sought to encourage fellow believers in their faith during a time of persecution and hardship. The author presents a remarkable account of the “Hall of Faith” in this chapter, highlighting the lives of numerous Old Testament figures who demonstrated unwavering trust in God. From Abel to Abraham, the author weaves a tapestry of faith, showcasing how these individuals overcame obstacles and endured trials through their steadfast belief in the Almighty. As we delve into this chapter, we will witness the power of faith to sustain and embolden God’s people, even in the face of adversity. The author reminds us that faith is the foundation upon which we can stand firm, for it is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). This timeless message echoes the words of the Apostle Paul, who declared, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Hebrews 11:1-3

The author delves into the essence of faith with profound insight in Hebrews 11:1-3. The opening verse, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see,” encapsulates the very nature of faith. It goes beyond mere belief and trust; it involves a deep conviction in the promises of God, even when we cannot tangibly perceive them. This definition provides a foundational understanding of the theme that will be elaborated on throughout the rest of Hebrews 11.

Moving on to verse 2, the author states, “This is what the ancients were commended for.” Here, the focus shifts towards the biblical figures who exemplified unwavering faith. The author sets the stage for a detailed exploration of heroes of faith in the ensuing verses by highlighting the commendation of the ancients. These individuals, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses, and others, demonstrated remarkable faith in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Their stories serve as timeless lessons that inspire believers to trust in God’s faithfulness and promises. “We understand by faith in verse 3 that God formed the universe at His command, creating what is seen from the invisible.”” This verse underscores the power of God’s spoken word in creating the world out of nothing. It reinforces the concept that faith is not blind but based on a firm understanding of God’s sovereignty and creative power. The author strengthens the readers’ faith in God’s ability to fulfill His promises, even in the midst of uncertainty by acknowledging the divine origins of the universe.

The concept of faith outlined in Hebrews 11:1-3 resonates throughout the Bible, with numerous examples further illustrating its importance. Abraham’s willingness to obey God and leave his homeland in search of a promised land, as recounted in Genesis 12, epitomizes faith in action in the Old Testament. Similarly, Noah’s obedience in building the ark despite ridicule and disbelief showcases unwavering faith in God’s word, leading to the preservation of humanity in the great flood (Genesis 6-9).

Furthermore, the New Testament provides additional insights on faith, with Jesus often commending individuals for their faith. Jesus highlights the transformative power of faith in salvation by telling a repentant woman in Luke 7:50, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” The Apostle Paul also underscores the centrality of faith in his epistles, particularly in Romans and Galatians, where he expounds on the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ. Hebrews 11:1-3 serves as a foundational cornerstone in understanding the essence of faith and its transformative power in the lives of believers. The author of Hebrews inspires readers to deepen their trust in God’s promises and walk in faith by exploring the stories of the ancients who lived by faith and acknowledging God’s creative power.

Hebrews 11:4-7

Verse 4 begins with the reference to Abel. Abel was the son of Adam and Eve, known for his righteousness and his offering of the best of his flock to God. This offering was accepted by God, showing Abel’s faithfulness and obedience. This act of faith is significant because it shows that Abel trusted in God’s provision and sought to worship Him sincerely. The story of Abel and his brother Cain, who offered an inferior sacrifice and became jealous of Abel, is a poignant reminder of the consequences of faith and obedience versus jealousy and disobedience. This story demonstrates the importance of having a sincere heart in worship and offering to God, as emphasized throughout the Bible.

Moving on to verse 5, we are reminded of Enoch. Enoch was a man who walked faithfully with God and was so close to God that he did not experience death; instead, he was taken up to heaven. This shows the intimacy and fellowship Enoch had with God, which was a result of his faith and righteous living. Enoch’s story is a powerful example of a life lived in constant communion with God, illustrating the benefits of faith and obedience in one’s relationship with God. Enoch’s faith pleased God so much that he was spared from physical death, serving as a testament to the rewards of living a life devoted to God.

Verse 6 emphasizes the centrality of faith in pleasing God. It states that without faith, it is impossible to please God. This truth underscores the foundational role that faith plays in a believer’s relationship with God. Faith is essential in approaching God, believing in His existence, and trusting in His promises. Throughout the Bible, we see countless examples of individuals who demonstrated great faith and were commended by God, such as Abraham, Moses, and David. These individuals trusted in God wholeheartedly and were rewarded for their faithfulness. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, highlighting the deep trust and confidence that faith entails.

Verse 7 refers to Noah, who serves as a prime example of faith in action. Noah was instructed by God to build an ark in preparation for a coming flood, despite having never seen rain before. Noah’s obedience and faith in God’s warning of the flood demonstrate his unwavering trust in God’s command. Noah’s faith was not just theoretical belief but was put into action through his diligent work in building the ark, even in the face of ridicule and disbelief from others. Through Noah’s story, we learn the importance of listening to God’s instructions, obeying His word, and trusting in His faithfulness to fulfill His promises. Noah’s faith ultimately led to the preservation of his family and the animal creatures during the flood, showcasing the rewards of faithfulness and obedience to God. Hebrews 11:4-7 highlights the significance of faith in the lives of believers and its impact on their relationship with God. The examples of Abel, Enoch, and Noah serve to illustrate different aspects of faith – obedience, intimacy with God, and trust in action. These biblical characters exemplify the timeless message of the importance of faith in pleasing God and experiencing His blessings. Their stories encourage believers to walk in faith, trusting in God’s promises and following His commands, knowing that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Hebrews 11:8-12

A passage in Hebrews 11:8-12 highlights the faith of Abraham, one of the great patriarchs of the Old Testament. Abraham obeyed and went to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, even though he did not know where he was going, as the passage begins with this key point.” This demonstrates Abraham’s unwavering faith and obedience to God’s call, even when he did not have all the details laid out before him. This act of faith in stepping out into the unknown is a powerful example for believers throughout the ages, urging them to trust in God’s guidance even when the path ahead is unclear.

Abraham’s journey of faith is a central theme in the Bible, as seen in his willingness to leave his homeland and go to a land that God promised to show him (Genesis 12:1-4). This act of obedience set the stage for the covenant that God made with Abraham, promising to make him into a great nation and to bless all peoples through him. The author of Hebrews references this promise when he mentions that Abraham was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. This points to the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises in the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, where believers will dwell in God’s presence for eternity (Revelation 21:2). Sarah’s faith is highlighted in the passage, as it mentions that “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.” For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Sarah’s faith is often overshadowed by Abraham’s, but here we see her mentioned as well, emphasizing the unity of faith within the family. Sarah’s faith was tested when she was told she would bear a child in her old age, but she believed in the faithfulness of God and ultimately gave birth to Isaac, the child of promise (Genesis 21:1-7). Hebrews 11:8-12 serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of faith in the life of a believer. The examples of Abraham and Sarah encourage us to trust in God’s promises, even when they seem impossible from a human perspective. Their unwavering faith in the midst of uncertainty and adversity serves as a model for us to follow as we walk our own journey of faith, looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises in the heavenly inheritance that awaits all who believe.

Hebrews 11:13-16

The scripture in Hebrews 11:13-16 reads, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Identify the subject: breakdown

Rewritten sentence: The breakdown of this scripture is as follows: Living by faith when they died: This part emphasizes the lifelong commitment these heroes of faith had to trusting in God and His promises, even unto death. Their unwavering faith was evident throughout their lives and served as a testimony to those around them. It is a reminder for believers to persevere in faith until the very end, regardless of the circ*mstances they face.

  1. They did not receive the things promised: Many of the individuals mentioned in Hebrews 11, such as Abraham, Sarah, Moses, and others, did not see the fulfillment of all the promises of God during their lifetimes. This speaks to the nature of faith and trusting in the unseen. They held onto the promises of God without wavering, even though they did not see the complete fulfillment.

  2. Longing for a better country – a heavenly one: The faith of these individuals was not rooted in earthly desires or possessions. They understood that this world was not their final destination and that there was a heavenly inheritance awaiting them. This mindset set them apart from those who only focus on the temporary things of this world.

  3. God has prepared a city for them: This references the eternal dwelling place that God has prepared for His faithful followers. This “city” symbolizes a place of rest, peace, and eternal joy for those who have lived by faith. It echoes the concept of the new Jerusalem mentioned in Revelation, a place where God dwells among His people.

The message conveyed here is powerful and timeless. It reminds us that true faith is not about instant gratification or earthly rewards, but about trusting in God’s promises even when we do not see them fulfilled in our lifetimes. It encourages us to have an eternal perspective, knowing that our ultimate citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). Just like the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11, we are called to live in a way that demonstrates our belief in the promises of God, looking forward to the day when we will inherit the ultimate reward that He has prepared for us.

Hebrews 11:17-19

The verse in Hebrews 11:17-19 reads that Abraham, when tested, offered up Isaac, as it says, “By faith he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”‘”‘ He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

This particular passage delves into the profound faith and obedience of Abraham, a foundational figure in the Bible, known as the father of faith. The story of Abraham and Isaac is a crucial one in the Bible, showcasing ultimate trust in God even when faced with the most difficult and heart-wrenching decision. God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, whom he had been promised by God and through whom God had said his descendants would be named.

Abraham’s obedience and willingness to carry out this command reveal the depth of his faith. Abraham made preparations to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, believing in God’s promise so strongly that he reasoned God could raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill his covenant. This level of faith is truly remarkable and sets Abraham apart as a model of faith for believers throughout generations.

This story not only demonstrates Abraham’s unwavering faith but it also foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus is referred to as the only begotten Son of God in the New Testament, in the book of John 3:16, similar to Isaac’s status as Abraham’s only son. Isaac carrying the wood for his own sacrifice on his back parallels Jesus carrying the cross for His sacrifice. The parallels between Abraham offering Isaac and God offering Jesus as a sacrifice for humanity are profound and speak to the sacrificial love of God and Jesus’s willingness to lay down His life for us.

Abraham’s faith in God’s promise and his willingness to obey, even in the face of what seemed like an insurmountable test, serves as an example for believers today. This story challenges us to trust in God’s faithfulness, even when circ*mstances seem impossible, and to be willing to surrender everything to Him. It reminds us of the importance of obedience and faith in our relationship with God, knowing that He is faithful to His promises and will provide for us even in the most challenging of situations.

Hebrews 11:20-22

The author in Hebrews 11:20-22 continues to highlight the faith of various individuals in the Old Testament, providing readers with examples of how faith played a crucial role in the lives of these heroes of faith. Let’s break down these verses and explore their significance in the broader context of Hebrews 11.

Verse 20 focuses on the faith of Isaac, the son of Abraham. Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come by faith.” This verse refers to the incident when Isaac, despite his old age and failing eyesight, blessed his two sons, Jacob and Esau, according to God’s divine plan. Isaac’s act of blessing his sons was not merely a customary gesture but a prophetic declaration of their future destinies. Through faith, Isaac acknowledged God’s sovereignty and the fulfillment of His promises to Abraham regarding the future of his descendants. This act underscores Isaac’s trust in God’s plan, despite his physical limitations, and serves as a testament to his faith.

Moving on to verse 21, we encounter Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. Jacob blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff when he was dying, as the verse states.” This verse refers to the poignant moment when Jacob, nearing the end of his life, blesses Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and worships God with profound reverence, leaning on his staff. Jacob’s act of blessing Joseph’s sons not only reflects his faith in God’s promises but also demonstrates his recognition of God’s faithfulness across generations. Despite his earlier deceptive ways and the challenges he faced, Jacob’s faith in God’s providence and redemption is evident as he blesses the next generation, thereby continuing the lineage of faith.

Verse 22 closes this section by mentioning Joseph, the son of Jacob. Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel and gave instructions concerning his bones by faith.” This verse alludes to Joseph’s unwavering faith in God’s promise to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. Even as Joseph faced trials and tribulations, including being sold into slavery by his brothers and enduring imprisonment in Egypt, his faith remained unshaken. Joseph’s request to have his bones carried out of Egypt when the Israelites eventually left for the Promised Land demonstrated his firm belief in the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham. Through his faith, Joseph expressed his assurance in God’s faithfulness to His people, underscoring the importance of remembering God’s promises and trusting in His deliverance. These verses in Hebrews 11 remind readers of the exemplary faith exhibited by Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, despite their imperfections and struggles. Their stories showcase how faith sustained them through various trials and how they relied on God’s promises for future generations. Their inclusion in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11 emphasizes the enduring relevance of faith in God’s promises and the importance of trusting in His faithfulness throughout the ages. Readers reflecting on the testimonies of these Old Testament figures are encouraged to deepen their own faith and trust in God’s providence, knowing that He is faithful to fulfill His promises to those who believe in Him.

Hebrews 11:23-29

The author focuses on several key figures from the Old Testament who exhibited great faith in God in Hebrews 11:23-29. The passage begins by highlighting the faith of Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed. Despite the dangerous circ*mstances surrounding the birth of Moses due to Pharaoh’s decree to kill all Hebrew male babies, they did not fear the king’s edict but trusted in God’s plan for their child. This act of faith is exemplary as they defied an earthly ruler for the sake of obeying God’s divine will, which underscores the theme of faith triumphing over worldly concerns.

The mention of Moses in Hebrews 11:24-28 signifies his prominent role in the history of God’s people. Moses, who was raised in the Egyptian palace as a prince, willingly chose to identify with his Hebrew heritage and suffer with his people rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin in Egypt. This decision exhibits Moses’ deep faith in God’s promise of deliverance for the Israelites. The author emphasizes how Moses “considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt,” highlighting the eternal significance of faith in God over temporary worldly comforts.

The passage goes on to recount the events leading up to the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt through the Red Sea. The author vividly describes how Moses, by faith, instituted the Passover and sprinkled the blood on the doorposts as a sign of faith and obedience to God’s command. This act of faith was pivotal in the Israelites being spared from the final plague and ultimately freed from slavery. The crossing of the Red Sea is cited as another profound demonstration of faith, as the Israelites followed Moses through the parted waters, trusting in God’s power to deliver them from the pursuing Egyptian army.

Hebrews 11:29 encapsulates the faith of the Israelites as they passed through the Red Sea on dry land, while the pursuing Egyptians were drowned when the waters returned. This event underscores the theme of divine deliverance through faith and obedience, illustrating God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises to those who trust in Him. The Israelites’ journey from slavery to freedom serves as a powerful testament to the importance of unwavering faith in God’s sovereignty and provision, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Hebrews 11:23-29 showcases the transformative power of faith in the lives of ordinary individuals like Amram, Jochebed, and Moses, as well as the entire nation of Israel. Their stories inspire believers to persevere in faith, even in the most challenging circ*mstances, knowing that God is faithful to His promises and capable of performing miracles on behalf of those who trust in Him. The passage reinforces the overarching message of Hebrews 11, which celebrates the triumphs of faith throughout salvation history and encourages readers to emulate the faith of these biblical heroes in their own walk with God.

Hebrews 11:30-31

The Bible states in Hebrews 11:30-31 that the walls of Jericho fell after the army had marched around them for seven days by faith. Rahab, the prostitute, was not killed with those who were disobedient because she welcomed the spies by faith. The author of Hebrews refers to the story in the book of Joshua where the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, conquered the city of Jericho in the first part. God instructed them to march around the walls of the city for seven days, and on the seventh day, after the seventh time around, the walls came tumbling down. This act of faith by the Israelites demonstrates their obedience and trust in God’s instructions, even when they may have seemed unusual or impossible. It teaches us the importance of obedience and faith in God, even when we may not fully understand His ways. This event also highlights the power of God to deliver His people and fulfill His promises, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

The second part of the verse mentions Rahab, a prostitute from Jericho who aided the Israelite spies when they came to scout the city before its fall. Rahab, despite being a foreigner and living a sinful life, demonstrated great faith by hiding the spies and expressing her belief in the God of Israel. Because of her faith and actions, she and her family were spared when Jericho was destroyed. Rahab’s story reflects the theme of redemption and the inclusivity of God’s grace. It shows that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love and mercy, regardless of their past or background. Rahab is even mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, emphasizing how God can use anyone, no matter their history, for His purposes.

These verses in Hebrews 11 emphasize the transformative power of faith in the lives of believers. The examples of the Israelites and Rahab illustrate the importance of trusting in God’s promises, following His guidance even when it seems unconventional, and the extension of His grace to all who turn to Him in faith. The faith of these individuals led to significant victories and ultimately played a part in the fulfillment of God’s greater plan for His people. This serves as a reminder for us today to trust in God wholeheartedly, knowing that He is faithful to His word and that He can use anyone, regardless of their past, for His glory.

Hebrews 11:32-38

The author provides a quick summary of some of the heroes of the faith and their remarkable acts of faith in Hebrews 11:32-38. This passage highlights the diverse experiences of these individuals, illustrating the different forms that faith can take and the varying trials believers may face as they walk in faith.

The mention of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets emphasizes the importance of faith in the lives of these Old Testament figures. Each of these individuals faced significant challenges and yet exhibited unwavering faith in God. Gideon, for example, overcame his doubts and led a small army to victory against a much larger force through faith in God’s promise of deliverance (Judges 6-7). Barak’s faith enabled him to trust in God’s word through the prophetess Deborah, leading to victory over the Canaanite forces (Judges 4-5). Samson’s faith, though flawed and tumultuous, ultimately led to his final act of faith and the destruction of his enemies (Judges 16). Jephthah, a rejected son turned judge, trusted God even in the face of his own sorrowful vow (Judges 11). David exemplified faith through his boldness in facing Goliath and in his repentance after his grievous sins (1 Samuel 17, Psalm 51). Samuel faithfully served God as a prophet and judge from his youth (1 Samuel 3). The prophets, though unnamed here, endured great suffering and persecution for their steadfast commitment to delivering God’s messages to His people, often at great personal cost.

The passage also delves into the trials and triumphs faced by these faithful individuals. They experienced victories, like conquering kingdoms, shutting the mouths of lions (referring to Daniel in the lions’ den, Daniel 6), quenching the fury of the flames (alluding to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Daniel 3), and escaping the sword. Conversely, they also suffered great hardships, enduring jeers, flogging, chains, imprisonment, and even death by stoning. These contrasting experiences showcase the reality that faith does not always shield believers from trials and tribulations, but rather enables them to endure and overcome through God’s strength.

Hebrews 11 as a whole is known as the “Hall of Faith” or the “Faith Hall of Fame,” listing numerous individuals who demonstrated exemplary faith throughout the Old Testament. The passage serves to encourage and inspire believers to persevere in faith, even in the face of adversity. It reminds Christians that faith is not just a creed to be recited, but a living, active trust in God that sustains us through all circ*mstances. The examples of these Old Testament heroes of faith continue to resonate with believers today, reminding us of the timeless truth that faith is the key to pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6) and overcoming the challenges of this world (1 John 5:4).

Hebrews 11:39-40

The verses in Hebrews 11:39-40 read, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”” This passage serves as a conclusion to the famous “faith chapter” in Hebrews, which lists numerous individuals in the Old Testament who demonstrated remarkable faith in God.

The first part of the verse acknowledges the people mentioned in the preceding verses of Hebrews 11 – the patriarchs, prophets, and many others who exhibited unwavering faith despite not seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises in their lifetimes. These heroes of faith endured hardships, persecution, and struggles, all while holding on to their belief in God’s faithfulness. The author of Hebrews commends them for their steadfastness and their ability to trust in God even when circ*mstances seemed bleak.

The second part of the verse brings attention to the fact that despite their powerful faith, these individuals did not see the complete fulfillment of God’s promises during their lives. They waited and hoped for the coming Messiah, for the fulfillment of the covenant promises, and for the establishment of the kingdom of God. This speaks to the reality that often in our own lives, we may not see the complete fulfillment of God’s promises and plans in our lifetime. It requires a deep trust and faith to continue believing in God’s goodness and faithfulness even when we do not see immediate results. The passage ultimately concludes by stating that God had planned something better for all believers, both past and present. The faith of those who came before us is intertwined with our own faith journey, and together, as a collective body of believers, we are made perfect. This idea of interconnectedness in faith serves as a unifying theme in the Bible, emphasizing the importance of community, continuity, and partnership in the faith journey.

This passage in Hebrews 11:39-40 echoes the sentiment expressed in Romans 8:28 where it says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It highlights the overarching theme of trust in God’s timing and His ultimate plan. It reminds us that our faith is not just a personal journey but part of a larger narrative of believers across time, all working towards the fulfillment of God’s promises.

After Hebrews 11

Our ancestors displayed powerful examples of faith in Hebrews 11. Their unwavering trust in God’s promises led them to overcome great challenges and achieve remarkable victories. Let us reflect on their stories and cultivate a similar faith in our own lives, trusting that God is faithful and will fulfill His promises to us as well. Abraham, Moses, and countless others who faced trials with courage because they believed in the unseen, let us remember their faith. Their stories serve as a reminder that faith is the key to pleasing God and receiving His blessings. We should hold fast to this truth and walk in faith as we continue our journey, knowing that God is always with us, guiding and strengthening us along the way.

Hebrews 11 Explained - Verse by Verse Commentary - God's Blessing (2)

Reverend Michael Johnson

Reverend Michael Johnson is an experienced Church Minister with a profound expertise in spirituality and guidance. With a serene presence and a compassionate heart, he has faithfully served his congregation for over 20 years, leading them on a spiritual journey towards inner peace and enlightenment. Reverend Johnson’s extensive knowledge of religious philosophies and profound understanding of human nature have made him a trusted confidant and mentor to many, as he seamlessly weaves his profound wisdom into life teachings. Reverend Johnson’s calming demeanor and empathetic nature continue to uplift and heal souls, nurturing a sense of unity and tranquility within his community.

Hebrews 11 Explained - Verse by Verse Commentary - God's Blessing (2024)
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