Bible verses with the watchman’s study notes in bracket. ————————-
Hebrews 11New Living Translation (NLT)
Great Examples of Faith11 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
(Faith is all about things we cannot see in our physical realm or with our physical eyes and mental or emotional perception.)
3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
(To claim that you have faith you must first believe that the world was created from the invisible!)
4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.
(Faith is the only testimony that will continue testifying even after physical death. It supersedes the power of death! Faith sets a man free from the inevitable prison of death.)
5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.”[a] For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
(Faith in action means you can even supersede the process of physical death! A man of faith like Enoch was not bound by the death process as other mortals do.)
7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
(Faith means willingness to look like a fool in the eyes of other human beings. it means being a minority minority by choice in the world. It also means hundreds of years may have passed and you still need to carry on believing in what the Holy Spirit says to you through the word of God even though you have not yet seen anything as the word has promised!)
8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
(Faith father Abraham did not know where he was going. But he followed and listened to the Holy Spirit. He could only see in the spirit as revealed to him, the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, the City of God. And he believed. How amazing it was considering him being a man who existed over four thousand years ago! The Holy Spirit was not restricted by time and space.)
11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed[b] that God would keep his promise. 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
(Sarah too existed four thousands years ago. She believed just as her husband did. Faith broke the physical boundary set by nature over her beauty, her child bearing age etc. It was amazing how the foreign kings were awed by the great beauty of an elderly woman!)
13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
(Faith means we believe in God and the existence of the City of God, the New Jerusalem. Like Abraham, of whom we became descendants, we must see the City in our spirit. This is a common quality of faith people.)
17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, 18 even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.”[c] 19 Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.
(Faith requires readiness to give up/sacrifice your best love, whether it is another person or yourself. Everyone of us is both Abraham and Isaac. Only when I am ready to let go of ‘ME’, let ‘ME’ die, on the cross with Jesus, I may receive the resurrected new ‘me’ back from the dead, just as Abraham received Isaac.)
20 It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. 21 It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. 22 It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left. 23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.
(The above three examples showed what faith in action required of parents or patriarchs. They passed on godly spiritual blessings to their younger generations. They showed that they feared God more than they feared man and they valued the promises of God more than everything else in this world. Indeed nothing else about their achievements on earth was recorded by the Holy Spirit here illustrating their faith except this point.)
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. 27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. 28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.
(The watchman was led to read this paragraph first when he opened his Bible today. The key verse that showed Moses’ faith was “He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the One who is invisible. ” Who was he seeing? He was seeing Jesus as he followed the Holy Spirit and he dared not take his eyes off Him. Because Jesus is always ahead, showing the direction and crushing the enemies for him, Moses had to keep right on going. That was how he led over three million people out of Egypt.)
29 It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. 30 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.
(Miracles always follow faith in action.)
31 It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
((Faith requires action in submitting to and obeying God. even Rahab could hear and obey the Holy Spirit. Who was she? A mere prostitute who existed over 3500 years ago.)
32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. 33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half,[d] and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
(Faith in action produced victors, Faith overcomers and supernatural exploits. Suffering in the eyes of the world too.)
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.
(God sees and appreciates faith in action, regardless of the outcome in the eyes of the world. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Heb11:6)