Friday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 11:8-16 (NKJV)
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
How solid was the faith that Abraham possessed! He followed God’s directions to the letter, even when there was no evidence to give him assurance. In fact, what Abraham could see and perceive only gave him reason to doubt God’s Word. He left his sure and tangible homeland to head for a place he didn’t know. Even the directions on how to get there were left up in the air. And things wouldn’t get much better. Abraham would live the life of a nomad, moving his tent from one place to another. Even his first descendants, Isaac and Jacob, wouldn’t fare much better. And yet, the Patriarchs would pave the way for descendants and generations yet to come, culminating in the birth of the Messiah.
So how could Abraham and the others move forward with so little of the promise realized? The text tells us: “by faith.” “By faith, Abraham obeyed…” “By faith, Sarah herself also received strength…” But lest the reader think this family somehow had the “inside track” on faith, we must remember they were born of the same stock as we: sinners descended from Adam and Eve. As such, they faced the same struggles and temptations that you and I face. But they were also given the same Holy Spirit you and I possess, and therefore we can join them also as “great people of faith,” because God has made us so.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the faith given to Your chosen people of times past and present. Keep us always in the true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.