“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” ( Hebrews 11:39-40 )
To die in faith, believing God until the very end was a privilege that the patriarchs shared. Their ultimate promise was the Messiah and they looked forward in faith until the time of Jesus. God had planned this for us, so along with these heros of faith we would be the recipients of this promise. David saw what New Testament believers would have and called us blessed and highly favored in Psalm 32. We now live in the time they saw from a distance. God truly had something better planned for us!
Every example of faith given, is to solidify the message of mercy and redemption in the book of Hebrews. Jesus’ sacrifice for us, made us righteous, holy and cleansed from the guilt of sin. He resides, seated on His throne in heaven, as our High Priest guaranteeing this right standing with God. His blood has cleansed us and speaks a powerful word of righteousness on our behalf. Because of this we have confidence to live a dramatic faith-filled existence as the writer notes in chapter 10, “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” ( Hebrews 10:39 ).
Those listed in Hebrews 11 understood this and yet they did not receive what had been promised. However we have, which is why we live and walk by faith ( II Corinthians 5:7 ). This is what the ancients were commended for, it is what pleases God and it is what ensures and makes readily available the sweet and precious promises given to us in the Scriptures. Faith is how the righteous live ( Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:38 ). Together with the patriarchs, we have now been made perfect by the blood of Jesus and we have received the blessings of their faith. What an amazing truth!