Hebrews 11 – Our Faith-Family Tree (Part 3)

Hebrews 11 – Our Faith-Family Tree (Part 3)

Part three of five in the series, “The Disciple’s Race.” Catch up with parts: 1 & 2.


Ultimately, the readers of Hebrews were being tempted to go back to Judaism and put their faith in Moses.

They were beginning to revert to their old way of life. But in today’s passage we’ll see what the author of the letter did.

He showed them that not only is faith the bedrock of our relationship with God—but that even the greatest examples of biblical faith, Moses included, hoped in the future provision of God in Jesus Christ.

So, if they were slipping back toward Judaism, they were slipping away from the one in whom their spiritual fathers and mothers put their faith.

Hebrews 11 is often called the Hall of Faith because it includes an incredible list of God’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And all were empowered by faith.

However, I think the author of Hebrews meant for his original readers something even more amazing than these faith examples. And it means the same for us today.

I think he wanted us to understand that we are encountering our family tree.

our-family-tree

Hebrews 11 isn't simply the hall of faith—it's our family tree. Click To Tweet

So, in today’s devotion, I want to simply give some highlights of the faith family whose legacy we are part of.

I encourage you to dig deeper into their stories. Meditate on their faith. And ask the Holy Spirit how he is drawing you into a life of deep, abiding, and radical faith like theirs…

…and when he speaks to you, respond to his leading.

Our Faith-Family Tree

The chapter begins with a picture of what faith looks like:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Hebrews 11:1–3 ESV

You see, this is more than a textbook definition of faith.

It goes beyond theory and into practice.

Faith isn’t blind, pie-in-the-sky belief in invisible fairytales. The substance, weight, and quality of faith is found in its object…

…and the object of our faith is none other than the Almighty Creator God.

So the strength of these men and women’s faith wasn’t first measured by their great deeds, but by the great subject of their faith.

I love how commentator Warren Wiersbe puts it: True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. [1]

 

Let’s look at two examples from Hebrews 11 to finish.

Abraham’s Faith Example

By faith, Abraham obeyed God, offering up his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22). Abraham’s loyalty and obedience to God’s word was total.

Why?

Because he believed that God’s promise would be kept no matter what. Even if Isaac died, Abraham believed God would raise him back to life.

(Look at how that prefigures Jesus!)

Moses’s Faith Example

By faith, Moses refused to lose his identity as part of the people of God. He left Pharaoh’s household and chose mistreatment alongside of God’s people rather than the “fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25).

Why?

Because Moses decided the “reproach” of Christ was greater than the treasures of this world.

  • What is the measure and quality of your faith?
  • Does it look like Abraham’s and Moses’s in action?
  • What steps of faith is God calling you to walk in today?

Footnotes:

[1] Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996. Print.