Do you think Abraham realized when he was living, approximately 4000 years ago, that he would leave a legacy of faith? We have the opportunity to pick up our Bible and read all about his faith and how he lived it out. Because he had faith, we get to learn from him and have our faith strengthened.
Hebrews 11:1-21 covers the stories of some of the best faith keepers in the Old Testament. When we read the stories of these faithful people we get to see faith in action and learn what real faith is.
Here is a list of the faith keepers in our reading today:
So, what is faith?
Faith is responsive. All of the faith keepers above obeyed what God told them to do. Abraham for instance left all that he had, not knowing even where he was going.
Faith is persistent. None of the above faith keepers ever gave up. They exercised their faith knowing that God would be true to his word.
Faith is dependent. “For without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) All of these faith keepers were dependent on God to see them through their days. Their hard days, the days they struggled, and especially on the days they wanted to give up.
These faith keepers were commended by God for keeping their faith. According to Dictionary.com, the word commended means 1) to present, mention, or praise as worthy of confidence, notice, kindness, etc,: recommend 2) to entrust; give in charge; deliver with confidence and 3) to cite or name with approval or special praise.
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
I long for the commendation of God. Just as we read he gave to the faith keepers (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Sarah), this same promise is made to us if we keep our faith focused on God. To receive the praise of God we must keep the faith. We must be responsive, persistent and dependent to God.