I love the hall of fame of faith, don’t you? It’s a little scary to think what it takes to become a member, though.
Verses 17-31 talk of the faith of the patriarchs through to Joshua – how they trusted God’s promises and obeyed despite the odds
Verses 32-34 discusses the Judges to the prophets – how they “conquered kingdoms’ through faith
And then there are verses 35-38. These verses cover the rest of the faithful. Here’s what THEY did by faith:
…Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 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—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:35-38 ESV)
Now that’s the crowd of faithful I want to follow, those “of whom the world was not worthy.”
The writer tells us that these sufferers were “commended” for their faith, yet:
[they] did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40 ESV)
Boy, am I glad we got the something “better” — Jesus, and the transformation He brings through the Holy Spirit.
And yet —
Maybe we need a bit more of the same kind of faith in our lives – that which suffers and endures because of God’s promises.
Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 25:1-26:21, Psalm 128:1-6, Proverbs 28:25, Hebrews 11:17-40. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).