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.
The writer of Hebrews has listed the history of God’s people by way of the Faith Hall of Fame as this chapter is so often called. I do love that Jenny called this “the story of God through everyday people.” That really awakens the idea that these guys were not super heroes. They were ordinary people that chose to believe God. Sometimes they got it right and sometimes they got it wrong – but they continued the walk of faith to the end. For me “to the end” means not just the end of their earthly lives, but rather to the end of their calling. God used each and every one of them to move His plan of redemption and rescue forward.
These Chapter 11 people persevered in their faith during a different age. They looked forward to a Messiah who had not appeared and I doubt they could even imagine the cross, the grave or the resurrection. God provided “something better for us”. Just as the Hebrew listeners, we who have believed have received the promise from a Savior that has already come. We stand now looking back and resting our hope on the work Christ has done. But, having different vantage points to faith does not separate us.
Just the opposite — “…apart from us they should not be made perfect.” In the Scripture, “be made perfect” usually means to complete or finish. If we consider Hebrews 11 as the story of God then we need to see that it is not finished just yet. We are called to stand on the shoulders of those Chapter 11 folks and continue being ordinary people who live by faith in an extraordinary God. Others may have to stand on our shoulders and so it will go until the day everyone has heard and Jesus returns.
God promises a day when the bride will be made ready.
My “ordinary life” of faith is needed because I am a part of God’s Story.
About the World?
“So faith comes from hearing the Good News. And people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.” Romans 10:17 (ICB)