Hebrews 11:1:5 By faith, we believe that the universe was created by the word of God. The visible was not created by something visible. Faith is something we have that puts our trust in that which is invisible. Abel offered a better sacrifice than his brother Cain through his faith. Enoch’s was faith is what caused him to be taken straight to heaven without even dying.
Notes: True saving faith works in obedience to God. Abel left testimony to all succeeding generations that a person comes to God by faith to receive righteousness.
Hebrews 11:6:12 You can’t please God without faith, which is needed to draw near to Him and is rewarded by Him who seeks Him. Noah’s faith enabled him to build an ark even without visible evidence that God would destroy the earth with a flood, and inherited the righteousness since Enoch. Abraham’s faith enabled him to leave his family and country without the visible evidence that God will make him a great nation, even though the promises would be fulfilled after him or through him, passing on the inheritance of righteous through is son Isaac, and Isaac son, Jacob. Abraham also understood that the true promise land he hoped for was not the Land of Canaan (Israel), but the heavenly promised land. God enabled Abraham and Sarah, who were passed child bearing age to bear a son to carry on the line of righteousness.
Hebrews 11:13:20 So far, all these men died without actually receiving the promise, but saw them from afar and believe that one day, even though now dead, would inherit the promise through salvation and resurrection. Abraham’s faith was so strong, he obeyed God to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, although God was testing Abraham’s faith. How could God make a great nation from Abraham if he was ordered to sacrifice his only son? Because Abraham believed that God would resurrect Isaac from the dead.
Notes: Abraham again proved his faith by his willingness to give back to God his son of promise, Isaac, whom he had miraculously received because of his faith. It would take an even greater miracle for them to replace Isaac by natural means. He trusted God for a resurrection.
Hebrews 11:21:22 Jacob in turn, by faith, blessed Joseph’s two sons, bowing in worship to Joseph, just as Joseph dreamed. By faith, Joseph so into the future blessings by predicting the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt and commanded that when God released them from slavery, to carry his bones out of Egypt with them and bury it in the promised land.
Hebrews 11:23:28 By faith, Moses’ mother sensed that God had a plan for his son, and hid Moses instead of having him killed according to the law of Egypt that all male sons born be put to death. By faith, Moses believed in God’s promises and rejected his position as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter to one day rule Egypt, and instead renounced his position and identified himself with his brothers in slavery. Moses would rather suffer as Christ would do and gain the promises instead of the riches of Egypt. Because of his great faith, God used Moses to help free his brother’s in slavery and wrought great miracles by the power of God to lead the Jews to the Promised Land.
Notes: child was beautiful. Meaning “favored,” in this case divinely favored. The faith described here is actually that exercised by Moses’ parents, although it is unclear how much Moses’ parents understood about God’s plan for their child. By faith Moses kept the Passover. Moses celebrated Passover before seeing the deliverance it would bring.
Hebrews 11:29:40 By faith, the Jews crossed through the opening of the Red Sea believing they would make it safely through God’s providence to the other side. By faith, Jericho when the people put their faith in the simple command to march around the city seven times. This same faith was demonstrated by Rahab the prostitute, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and all the prophets – who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice. Obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, and put their enemies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured and refused to denounce their faith in God in order receive the better life after death. All those of faith were shunned by the evil world, but they endured everything for the promises of God. And not one of these people of faith had yet received the future promises of God. Christ had to come first, so that we and they could receive the future promises together.
Notes: The many accomplishments and sufferings described in these verses apply generally to those faithful saints. Some experienced great success, whereas others suffered great affliction. The point is that they all courageously and uncompromisingly followed God, regardless of the earthly outcome. They placed their trust in him and in his promises. The faith of OT saints looked forward to the promised salvation, whereas the faith of those after Christ looks back to the fulfillment of the promise. Both groups are characterized by genuine faith and are saved by Christ’s atoning work on the cross. The saints of the OT, along with those of this era, will partake together of the same end-times perfection: sinless selves in deathless resurrection bodies.