Daily Word

By faith…rest on His promises | Hebrews 11:39-40 (ESV)

39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:39-40 (ESV)

We made it!

We made it through what Barnes said in his commentary is the most important chapter of the Bible.  We’ve seen Hebrews Hall of Faith and how so many that have gone before us have demonstrated amazing faith and endurance in the face of tremendous obstacles. Why did the author point this out? The goal was to encourage his readers to press on with faith in God’s promises, filled with hope that brings joy to endure to the end. You can make it!

Did they miss something?

Those we looked at yesterday who suffered for their faith, “did not receive the fulfilment of the promise; or did not receive all that was promised. They all still looked forward to some future blessings.” (Barnes commentary).

2-Part program

It’s a two-part program – they got the promises and we (including the original readers) got the fulfilment. If the promises came without the fulfilment, or if the fulfilment came without the promises, we’d miss the faithfulness of God. This whole chapter, nay the whole book, is to show God is faithful to His promises – things we hope for and cannot see. 

What better things?

What are these “better things” that we in the new covenant have? If I could borrow from Barnes again, they are, “the privilege of seeing those promises fulfilled in the Messiah; the blessings resulting from the atonement; the more expanded views which they have under the gospel; the brighter hopes of heaven itself, and the clearer apprehension of what heaven will be, which they are permitted to enjoy.” And, as they rested fully on faith for the promises, we likewise, having not seen with our own eyes, rest fully on faith.

In summary

Paul sums it up perfectly in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”


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