Hebrews 11:9-19 The Faith of Abraham

Read: Hebrews 11:9-19

Abraham has been called the “father of faith” and is the patriarch to the Hebrew people – it is from Abraham that most every Hebrew would have traced his or her lineage The author of Hebrews takes a large chunk of his accolade to pay tribute to the faith of Abraham – more than any other figure and makes several remarks concerning the faith of Abraham:

  • Abraham left his homeland of Ur and moved because God told him to do so (Genesis 12:1-4). God didn’t tell him were to go, rather he just left and God lead the way.
  • Abraham lived in Canaan – the land that was promised to him — as a foreigner in that land. God promised the land to Abraham (Genesis 17:8), but he did not get to claim it, rather it wasn’t until Joshua’s time that the land was conquered (Joshua 24:3).
  • Abraham and Sarah had a son in their old age (Genesis 17:17-19, Genesis 18:11-14, Genesis 21:1-2). God had promised a great nation to them (Genesis 12:1-4), but this wouldn’t be possible without a son. God made it possible by giving them Isaac.
  • After Isaac was born, God wanted him to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-22) even though God had promised to specifically bless Abraham through Isaac (Genesis 17:19, Genesis 22:12). The author of Hebrews reckons that Abraham believed that God could raise Isaac from the dead.

Abraham believed God, but he himself really never got to see the promises himself, save the promise of his son, Isaac. The author of Hebrews notes that while Abraham was living in a tent, he was looking forward to a permanent city built by God. This forward looking faith was what made it all possible, and indeed Abraham was faithful. Not only is Abraham the faith of many nations biologically, he is considered the father of faith for all those who believe. Galatians 3 explains how Christ is the “seed” of Abraham which was spoken to in Genesis 22:17-18. For this reason, all who have faith in Jesus are descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29). One day, there will be people from every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping God (Revelation 7:9-10). It is here when the promise to Abraham that all the nations of the world would be blessed through him will truly be fulfilled. While life on earth may not be full of blessings, believers can look forward to the permanent city of God where people from all over the globe will worship the one who brings blessing to everyone. Believers are like sojourners passing through this life with great expectations about what God is going to do (2 Corinthians 5:1-6)!

Lord, I am a descendant of Abraham!

Help me to know I’m part of the promise you made so long ago!