Hebrews 11:17-28 The Message (MSG)
Every child of God will experience a divine time of testing; a life situation initiated by God to help us evaluate our spiritual temperature, as well as our vision of God. It is out of the goodness of God’s love that we face such times. Testing reveals our integrity, morality, compassion, devotion, etc. The test is to see if our lives are aligned with the Truth. While the testing of our faith is still in progress, we must be ready to obey whatever the Word of God brings to our understanding.
Think about the great biblical heroes of the faith. They all tasted life situations initiated by God that pushed them into a deep place in their faith; their faith empowered them to keep eternity in mind as they continued their journey with the Lord. We are wise if we allow any time of testing to make us stronger and more faithful to the mission of God and the work of the Spirit.
17-19 By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.
20 By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.
21 By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own—as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.
22 By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial.
23 By an act of faith, Moses’ parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child’s beauty, and they braved the king’s decree.
24-28 By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn’t touch them.
Prayer: Lord, you have brought me through many times of testing over the years, but you were always there faithful to help me choose wisely and gain valuable insight into your heart. As well, I have been able to humbly look at my own faith and invite you to increase that which is good in me. I remain focused on pleasing your heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.