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Hebrews 11:29-35a

29. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

It is worth noting that the Israelites didn’t initially believe God’s word through Moses. It appeared to them that Moses had led them into a death-trap (caught between the Red Sea on one side and the overwhelming military force of the Egyptian army on the other). Sometimes God puts his people into “impossible” situations so that they see plainly that faith in God is a life and death proposition.

30. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

Armed men, the ark of the covenant, and seven priests went around the walled city of Jericho once on each of the first six days. No one made a sound with their voices but the priests blew trumpets of ram’s horns. On the seventh day they went around seven times and the priests blew the trumpets. This time the people shouted and the wall fell down flat. We learn here that sometimes God calls his people to act in faith upon his commands regardless of whether or not this seems reasonable to us. Another lesson here is that faith continues to obey when there are no immediate results.

31. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Rahab is an example of a sinner saved by grace. She knew that God’s judgement of her sin and the sin of Jericho was coming just as we must see today that God’s judgement of sin is coming. She put all of her confidence in the God of Israel while abandoning all of her hope in her own godless culture and personal life. God honors such faith. An evidence of this is the record in Matthew 1:5-6 showing that Rahab was in the lineage of King David and of Jesus Christ himself.

32. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35. Women received their dead raised to life again:…..

There are so many examples of men and women of faith in God’s word. God has included their stories for our encouragement and learning. Perhaps you can see yourself in some of these examples and be encouraged:

  • Gedeon (AKA “Gideon”) was a timid and discouraged man living in a time when the enemies of God’s people were in control. But God was very patient with him and ultimately led him to a miraculous victory through his faith. 

  • Barak was another fearful man who wouldn’t go to battle unless the prophetess Deborah went with him. But God used the faith that he had to defeat an enemy much mightier (in earthy terms) than God’s people. 

  • Samson was a man of great God-given abilities whose worldly desires became his downfall. But when he followed God in faith he was mightily used by God. 

  • Jephthae was an honest and brave man who was rejected by his family and countrymen through no fault of his own. God used this faithful man to save the very people who had hated and rejected him. 

  • David was a shepherd boy who, by faith, became the king of the greatest nation on the face of the earth and led God’s people to victory after victory. 

  • Samuel was miraculously born to Hannah as a result of her faith, and he became a great judge of Israel because of his faith. 

  • The prophets proclaimed God’s truths through their faith in God’s word despite the opposition from the civil and religious authorities of their day. 

  • Women received their dead raised to life again by their faith in God who can do what appears to us to be impossible.

“…all things are possible to him that believeth.”

Mark 9:23b

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