Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. (A reading of the first 12 chapters of Genesis will prove to be of value.)
1. Here we have one of the most beloved and important chapters in all of our Bible. The author of Hebrews is looking back at the faith of those who had gone before, from Abel, and Moses, and likely those who led the Maccabean Revolt.
2. Faith, the noun, and believe, the verb, are both from the Greek word pistis, and is the center of this chapter. The description of faith (belief) in the first verse means trusting in that which God has promised, of which the core is the salvation we have in Jesus Christ.
3. Cain, the first born of Adam and Eve, following their expulsion from Paradise, kills the second born Abel who offered a sacrifice more excellent than Cain’s. Abel offered a lamb while Cain offered what he grew from seed planted in the ground, thus prefiguring the crucifixion of the Lamb of God.
4. The list of those who trusted in their Creator follows: Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, and a host of others including David, Samuel, and the prophets.
5. Though these “Old Testament” faithful did not live to see the completion of the work of God, those things that were promised, they still are commended by God for their steadfast faith.
6. However, the readers of Hebrews have received something better, these are living after the events of the promised Messiah, namely, the crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Messiah, the Savior of those who trust in Him.
7. The author of Hebrews, despite the turmoil and trouble of that present age, urges his/her readers to remain faithful to the promises of God that are in Christ Jesus.