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"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Heb. 11:13).

The whole eleventh chapter of Hebrews is what is commonly known as, "The Faith Hall of Fame." God used the lives of these people as examples for us so that we can learn how to walk by faith. In verse 13, we see that they persevered in times of absolute tribulation.

Even though they did not have our advantages, they persevered. Even though they did not have the full knowledge of the Word, they persevered. And even though the Messiah had not come, they persevered.

Despite all the enemy attempts to come against them, they stood by faith. And as a result of their perseverance, you and I are standing on the solid foundation that the Old Testament saints built.

Hebrews 11:33 tells us, "Who through faith…." Well, what did they do through faith? The verse tells us they were delivered from lions and from the edge of the sword; they quenched the violence of fire, and out of weakness they were made strong.

You see, they took this position: I would rather die than give up. The Apostle Paul had the same mind. He said I am in a straight between the two: whether to go be with Christ, which is far better or stay here with you. Then he concluded by saying, but you need me more so I am going to stay a little longer and he did.

Hebrew 11:39 says, "…and these all having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise." The Old Testament saints persevered yet they did not receive the promise of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ because He hadn't come yet.

Isaac never got to see Jesus, and neither did Moses, Joseph, Daniel or the rest, but they obtained a good report through faith.

Let's consider Daniel for example. He was in that lion's den. Yet he stood in faith and was delivered, even though he did not see the Messiah.

Yet Hebrews 11:40 tells us God provided something better for us. The word "provided" means, God foresaw. So, He foresaw something better for us than what the Old Testament saints had, which was a new covenant.

The Old Testament was a work in progress. The new covenant is so much better. God provided something better for us. It is the grace that comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. With that, we can all persevere by faith.

Scripture Reference: Hebrews 11

Keith Butler Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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