Hebrews 11:17-22 (VOICE)
17 By faith Abraham, when he endured God’s testing, offered his beloved son Isaac as a sacrifice. The one who had received God’s promise was willing to offer his only son; 18 God had told him, “It is through Isaac that your descendants will bear your name,” 19 and he concluded that God was capable of raising him from the dead, which, figuratively, is indeed what happened.
20 By faith Isaac spoke blessings upon his sons, Jacob and Esau, concerning things yet to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed the sons of his son Joseph, bowing in worship as he leaned upon his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, at his life’s end, predicted that the children of Israel would make an exodus from Egypt; and he gave instructions that his bones be buried in the land they would someday reach.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul asks us to look to the heroes of the Old Testament in order to better understand the journey people of holy faith make with God. Abraham experiences the progressive testing of his faith while he learns to live by a new identity. He leaves everything he has ever known—everything comfortable—in order to obediently go where God instructs. The testing of his faith culminates when he is instructed to offer his only son to God. Abraham’s faith has been tested to such an extent by this time that he KNOWS if God asks him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, He will raise him from the dead if necessary because God has promised him many descendants. Abraham has learned to trust his faithful God. Keep in mind, Abraham asks for a son, but God generously gives him a people and nation. Our faith will also endure progressive testing and we must grow in our trust that God flawlessly loves us and His promise is rock solid no matter how it looks or feels at times. God wants to BE our prized possession in Christ and if we are willing to give Him first place (and become a NEW PERSON living in His righteousness), even though our faith will also be tested, He will provide abundant blessings.
Issac experiences the prophetic eyes of faith—even while he is physically blind—because God allows him to see into the future so he can speak words of blessing over his sons, Jacob and Esau. God promises Issac a land of plenty and to be with him on his faith journey until everything He has promised comes to pass. God opens our eyes to spiritual things in Christ—gives us a NEW PERSPECTIVE—and he has a destiny and plan for each of us as we follow with the eyes of faith.
Jacob has selfishly manipulated people his whole life in order to have what he wants, but in time he is prompted to faith by a dream God gives him accompanied by a promise to provide a company of nations, as well making his descendants kings. No more manipulating; God changes his name and asks him to obey. God prompts our faith and calls us to live with a NEW PURPOSE—we no longer selfishly live for the things of this world, but for the advancement of the King and his Kingdom.
Finally, we witnessed how Joseph has been motivated by faith to cooperate with the promises of God. Through Joseph’s faith in God’s wisdom and power, he learns about forgiveness, righteousness, and protection in the midst of famine. As believers, God feeds us truth—in the midst of the world’s spiritual starvation—and asks that our faith be motivated by His redeeming NEW POWER. In the Spirit, we have the power to fulfill every promise God has made because he wants to save the world.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the ongoing work of Your faith in my life. Thank you for making me a new person, giving me spiritual eyes with a new perspective, offering me a new purpose for my life that gives eternal meaning, and providing me the power to accomplish everything you have designed for me to be and do as your daughter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.