The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He cried out to God to
save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. But then
The author of Hebrews wants to tell about many others who were great men and women of faith, but time will not permit it. So he just lists a number of people in Biblical history who did mighty deeds of faith. From this variety of personalities we can see how faith can operate in the life of any person who will listen to God’s Word and surrender to God’s will.
We can see that not all men and women of faith experienced miraculous deliverance (vv. 35-40). They had faith, but God did not choose to deal with them in the same way he dealt with Moses, Gideon and David. Many men of faith were not delivered from difficult circumstances; yet God honored their faith. In fact it takes more faith to endure than to escape. Rather than asking, “Why me?” it is more helpful to ask, “Why not me?"
I am thankful for the example of these Old Testament saints that were faithful during difficult times, but had God’s witness that one day they would be rewarded. Having a steadfast faith in God does not guarantee me a happy carefree life. Instead it almost guarantees some persecution from the world.
Women received back their dead by resurrection. 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. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Hebrews 8:1-6The Better Sanctuary In Which Christ Ministers
Hebrews 8:7-13The Promise of The New Covenant in The Old
Hebrews 9:1-10Limitation in The Earthly Sanctuary
Hebrews 9:11-15Christ Opens The Inner Sanctuary
Hebrews 9:16-22Christ’s Death is Necessary
Hebrews 9:23-28Christ is The Perfect Sacrifice
Hebrews 10:1-10Animal Sacrifices Are Insufficient
Hebrews 10:11-18Christ’s Death Perfects The Sanctified
Hebrews 10:19-25Hold Fast Your Confession
Hebrews 10:26-31The Just Live By Faith
Hebrews 10:32-39A Call to Persevere
Hebrews 11:1-6The Definition of Faith
Hebrews 11:7-12The Demonstration of Faith
Hebrews 11:13-19The Promises of Faith
Hebrews 11:17-29The Champions of Faith
Hebrews 11:30-35By Faith They Overcame
Hebrews 11:35-40Obtaining a Good Testimony Through Faith
Hebrews 12:1-8The Discipline of God
Hebrews 12:9-15Renewing Your Spiritual Vitality
Hebrews 12:16-24The Glorious Company
Hebrews 12:25-29Hearing The Heavenly Voice
Hebrews 13:1-8Moral Directions
Hebrews 13:9-14Religious Directions
Hebrews 13:15-25Prayer Requested