Hebrews 11 is that famous “Hall of Fame of Faith” chapter. Or simply “Hall of Faith.”
I don’t know about you, but when I read this list of people, I’m not impressed. Not with the people themselves at least. It’s quite the list of screwed up, character-flawed people with issues and multiple failings. I mean, I don’t know if I would hire any of these people to even do work at my house, as shady as some of them are.
This is our so-called “Hall of Faith.”
God help us.
What amazing things God did accomplish through them.
Because of their faith. Their trust in God. And their faith translated into some sort of action from that faith.
Not because they themselves were extra special or had unique qualifications.
So we see that these are not awesome special super human Bible characters that we can never aspire to. Rather, we see these are very ordinary people, many of whom would receive a diagnosis of some kind in today’s world, who did have enough faith at least at some point in their lives to act on what God asked of them.
We can never use the excuse that we’re just not one of “those people.” It is their faith we are to emulate, not their character necessarily. I don’t want to emulate running from God, having someone’s husband killed, killing a person myself, being deceitful, tricking my dying, ailing dad, etc.
What I do want to emulate is their faithful trust in God which translated (only after running away, for some of them) into action that was rewarded. We don’t look to others to be like them. We look to Jesus to become Him. But we do gain inspiration from others who have gone before us and acted in faith to God.
And by the way, the reward is not always a life of ease, blessing, and bounty. So be careful of the teachers and preachers who say that that’s what God always will reward you with here in this life. Unless you think being sawn in two is health, wealth, and prosperity. Hey, maybe it is prosperity in the kingdom, and when we see God. Who am I to say? The reward is God’s commendation, which is always worth dying for. Why else have so many gone through so much when they didn’t have to?
So in sum:
- God uses anybody with faith, and I mean anybody
- True faith always translates into action
- Faith is always rewarded, but in a variety of ways in which we may not think of, perhaps in this life, perhaps not until the next
God’s pilgrims look beyond the immediate to grasp the significance of the ultimate.
In its essence biblical faith involves people orienting their lives to God and his values against the “perceived” realities and values espoused by the world.