Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 11:10-19
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 11:10
Verse 10: Abraham lived in this present world like a stranger just passing through (Ge 23:4) because he knew that someday God would provide him with an eternal home. Someday the tents he lived in here would be replaced by a permanent city, one which would never shift or collapse because it rested on great foundation stones of God’s faithfulness. Always present in his mind as he went through the events of daily life was the understanding that after he died he would live with God in a place designed and built for those who please Him. And this deep inner conviction about the future changed his attitude about what he considered precious and important.

Monday: Hebrews 11:11
Verse 11: When the fulfillment of the promise of a child did not come quickly, he and Sarah waited patiently for God’s proper timing. Sarah especially showed faith in this by allowing God to work inside her healing her of whatever complications had made her barren in the first place (Ge 11:30) and making her internal organs young again so that at 90 years of age she could give birth to a healthy baby and nurse her baby (Ge 21:1-8). It’s true Sarah initially struggled with her faith (Ge 16:1, 2; 18:9-15), as did Abraham (Ge 16:2; 17:15-19), yet over the course of 25 years they both grew in faith until at the “appointed time” (Ge 21:2) God was able to give them the child He had promised. The miracle was not simply the result of Abraham’s faith, Sarah also endured in faith because she “considered Him faithful who had promised.”

Tuesday: Hebrews 11:12, 13
Verse 12: Abel and Enoch received evidence of God’s approval; Noah received deliverance from the flood; and Abraham and Sarah received the miraculous birth of a son (Heb 6:15). So when the author says, “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises…” he is not telling us God never delivers on a promise during our lifetime. He is focusing his attention here on Israel’s founding family (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob; vs 8-12) and showing us that each of these died without receiving all that had been promised. In Genesis 12:1-3 God promised Abraham at least three great gifts: 1) a national homeland (Ge 12:1); 2) a nation made up of his descendants (Ge 12:2); and 3) his descendants having a central role in God’s redemption of the human race (Ge 12:3). Verse 13: When Abraham died he was a nomad with one child of promise. When Isaac died he was a nomad with one child of promise. Jacob died in Egypt with 12 sons, each of whom had grown a family the size of a tribe (Ge 49:28). In each case they saw with their own eyes only a small portion of what had been promised. But that did not prevent them from expecting the promises to be completely fulfilled in the future. They understood God’s commitment didn’t end at their death. In His appointed time the full extent of the promises would be realized.

Wednesday: Hebrews 11:13, 14
Verse 13 (continued): They saw things that did not yet exist and reached out to warmly embrace them (lit: “greeted,” 1Co 16:20; 1Th 5:26) like a person welcoming a beloved friend. Yet, at no point were they confused into thinking that God’s promises to them only referred to physical blessings on this earth. They verbally acknowledged (lit: “confessed”) they were “strangers and exiles on the earth” (Ge 23:3, 4; 28:4; 47:9) meaning their status as “strangers passing through” applied not only to the land of Canaan, but to this planet as well. Verse 14: They wanted much more than just a piece of land or even a national homeland for their descendants. What they really longed for was to live eternally with God. When people refer to themselves as “strangers and exiles” it reveals that they consider themselves to be living in a foreign land—a place that’s not their home. The fact that they said this while in the land of Canaan (“the promised land”) meant they did not regard it as their home either. It meant they wanted a homeland greater than anything this earth can offer.

Thursday: Hebrews 11:15, 16
Verse 15: Nor did these men and women call themselves “strangers and exiles” simply because they were no longer living in Haran (Ge 11:31, 32) or southern Mesopotamia where their family had originated (Ge 11:28, 31). If they had considered Mesopotamia to be their true homeland they could have moved back there, but no one did. Verse 16: These believers reached out to grasp a homeland better than Canaan. Their goal was to live forever in God’s presence after they died. They believed in Him, loved Him and wanted to be with Him more than they wanted anything else of this earth, and that’s why God was not ashamed to refer to Himself as “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:6). None were without weaknesses or faults, but because of their genuine faith they were given “the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb 11:7), so in God’s eyes, they were without sin and He adopted them as an “heir” (Heb 11:7). And since God is indeed “a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6), He has prepared a heavenly city for them in order to grant them that for which they longed.

Friday: Hebrews 11:17, 18
Verses 17, 18: God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac on a stone altar on one of the hills in the region of Moriah (Ge 22:1, 2). Though He stopped Abraham before he actually took Isaac’s life, He allowed him to proceed far enough to reveal his decision to obey. Not only was it a strange request from a God who hated human sacrifice, it was especially confusing because He had specifically stated that He would fulfill His promise through Isaac (Ge 21:12). So if Isaac died, how could that promise be fulfilled?

Saturday: Hebrews 11:19
Verse 19: And Abraham surely asked himself that same question, yet he intended to carry out the sacrifice. The only way he could have resolved this in his mind is to have concluded that God was going to raise Isaac from the dead after he had killed him. It was his absolute faith in God’s promise that sustained him during that terrible trial. Since God had said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called” then He would have to restore him to life. There was no other possibility. Thankfully, God stopped Abraham at the last minute and showed him a substitute offering nearby (Ge 22:12, 13). This whole event provides us today with a powerful prophetic illustration (“type”) of God offering His own Son at that same place 2,000 years later. Afterward Abraham named the place “Jehovah Jireh” which can be translated, “the Lord will provide.” Moses, who records this, went on to explain, “…as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the Lord it will be provided’” (Ge 22:14). The location, as well as the event itself, is a remarkable prophetic symbol of the cross of Christ.

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