15: And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16: But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 17: By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18: Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. 20: By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21: By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 22: By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. 23: By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25: Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26: Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27: By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28: Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29: By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30: By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31: By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 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: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38: (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39: And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
The thing that drove Abraham onward was that he had had a vision of a better country. If that were not true then he would have gone back. Babylon was a beautiful place. But he had seen a place that transcended everything in this world. That’s faith. That’s seeing what cannot be seen with the natural eye. The whole of Abraham’s life was a life of hearing and believing. Isaac eventually did the right thing and blessed Jacob. And when Jacob was dying, he did right blessing the two sons of Joseph. Joseph’s life was a live of believing too and in the end he did the right thing, prophesying of the Exodus and giving instruction about his burial. By faith, the parents of Moses hid him and when he was come to years, by faith Moses forsook Egypt because he saw the reproach of Christ as a greater thing than the wealth of Egypt. By faith he kept the Passover and by faith He went through the Red sea. And so the story of faith goes on and on. Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David and Samuel. They all obtained ‘The Good Report’ (That is, that they were righteous) i.e. ‘Such and such’ lived ‘so many’ years and he did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord’ etc, They all received a good report but they did not receive ‘the promise’. In other words they lived as righteous men but they did not enter into the New Covenant! Nor did they enter The Messianic kingdom. However God has provided the personal appearance of the Messiah himself and they are all made perfect in their faith with us. For the OT saint faith led to obedience and to the testimony of God that they were righteous and to the promise of resurrection to eternal life.
- What did Abraham see?
- What do we mean by saying these men and women were people of faith?
- What does it mean to be a righteous man in OT times?