Hebrews 11: A Commentary on man’s faith or on God’s Grace?

Posted: March 4, 2010 in Lessons From Scripture
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After reading Hebrews 11 today, I came to a realization that I have never had before. Hebrews 11 sometimes known as the Faith hall of fame or the faith chapter contains a strong undertone of reconciliation and perhaps this chapter is less about people’s faith and more about God’s grace. Have I been missing the point all this time?Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Samson, David are among the many faithful and faith filled believers listed in Hebrews 11.

If one chose to focus on the negative, this is what they would find.
Abraham was a wimp. He allowed his wife to be taken into captivity and lied to save his own hide. He doubted God along with his wife. Yet he shows up in the list of the faithful.

Jacob was a con-artist and a liar. Not only did you trick his brother but he outright lied to his father’s face. Yet he shows up in the list of the faithful.

Moses had a temper problem. Not only did he smash his staff on a rock but he killed someone out of anger. He is also the only man in Scripture who took tablets from God and then smashed them in a blind rage. Yet he shows up in the list of the faithful.

Rahab was a harlot. A prostitute. Someone who slept around for cash! Need I say more. Yet she shows up in the list of the faithful.

Gideon doubted God. He feared for his life when God gave him a task. In fact he even told God what to do. You may remember the old “give me a sign routine” that he pulled. Yet he shows up the list of the faithful.

Samson committed adultery against his God with foreign women. It got so bad that the consequence of his sin led him to a life of slavery and mockery. He even had his eyes gouged out. Yet he shows up in the list of the faithful.

David gazed (lusted) at a beautiful woman (naked). He committed adultery with her. He impregnated her and then proceeded to kill her husband. Yet he shows up in the list of the faithful.

Perhaps I just ruined your view of the Faith Hall of Fame chapter. That is not my intention. My intention is this, see it from a different perspective. I mean how is it possible that God could use these “losers”. Con-artists, liars, sex addicts and murderers. Wow, God you sure picked some good ones!

To say that God picked losers and be sarcastic in addressing God regarding His choices might seem downright sinful. It is! And if this is true, then why are we so quick to write people off in our churches. People who have fallen into sin, people who do not lead stellar christian lives and people who just don’t live up to our personal standards.

Perhaps it is because we forget that even God’s best were at one time people that we wouldn’t even look at. I wonder if Hebrews 11 is less of a narative on those who were great in the faith and more of a statement from God saying, “I can use anybody.”

Next time you are temped to give up on someone stop and read Hebrews 11. Let’s be honest, most of us have given up on people who were alot better off than most of God’s faithful of Hebrews 11.

God’s Grace Is Sufficient And Reconciliation Is ALWAYS Possible!!!!Originally Written August 2008

  1. Robin Morse says:

    Amazing how God could use a bunch of “misfits” for His glory, isn’t it!?!?


  2. jbtreece says:

    I agree that we should see God as the hero of this story because, if we don’t, we inadvertently turn “faith” into an idol or a magic charm. It appears that this passage teaches us simply to continue believing in God even as all the empirical evidence tells us not to.
    Sadly, this passage is often used to teach us that we will get what we want if we will just exercise our faith, but the teachers who espouse this teaching seem to stop short of the end of the passage that says that many were like refugees on the earth, sawed in two, etc., and never received the promise (in this life).

    I see my own sinfulness and lack of faith and feel like poo. I guess for me, faith is hoping that when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there……even though I know I don’t deserve it.


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