Feb 25, 2024. Hebrews 11:8-16

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ABRAHAM FOLLOWS GOD. Hebrews 11:8-16. 2/25/2024. #36.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

1. A promise beyond sight and experience

                a. The author spends more time on Abraham than any other person in the list

                b. Abraham is mentioned 10 times in book (15 by Luke and 11 by John)

                c. Abraham’s faith is viewed to be exceptional:

                                a1. Told by God to go to a land he did not know

                                a2. Led by God until God told him to stop

                                a3. He dwelt in the land as a stranger

                                a4. Told by God he would be given the entire land, but only ended with a burial field for Sarah

                                a5. Told by God that he would be a father of a great nation, but he had no children

                                a6. Told by God that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed

                d. In reality, Abraham wouldn’t personally experience any of the promises of God

                                a1. He lived in tents his entire life in the land

                                a2. He dwelt in no permanent building

                                a3. He was not master of the land

                                a4. He did not see a child born to his wife, Sarah, until he was 100 and she was 90

                                                b1. Sarah was well beyond child bearing

                                                b2. Abraham still believed in the promise

                e. No matter what Abraham saw, he trusted that God would honor His word

                                a1. Faith goes beyond sight and experience

                                a2. Faith has nothing to do with wishful thinking (claiming things God has not given)

                                a3. Acts 7:2-7 Abraham trusted God’s word

                g. Abraham’s faith survived not owning the land, not having a child when his body was “good as dead”, and not being a great nation

2. The Sarah passage

                a. The reference to Sarah is difficult, for she did not exhibit the same faith as Abraham (Genesis 18)

                b. The passage literally states she “provided seed”, which is not possible (deposited seed)

                c. The meaning seems to be that Sarah cooperated in receiving the seed that produced Isaac

                                a1. She submitted to Ab.’s faith and leadership

                                a2. Eventually, she also yielded to faith

3. Beyond the horizon

                a. Abraham looked forward and not back

                                a1. He would not go back to where he started

                                a2. Ab. looked for a city not made by hands

                b. Ab. was not troubled that he was not master of the land of promise (only place in the Bible Promised Land is used)

                c. Eventually, all that God had promised came true

                                a1. From Isaac and Jacob came a great nation

                                a2. 400 years after Abraham Moses lead his descendants to Canaan and Joshua led the conquest of the Land

                d. From Abraham descends Christ, in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed

                e. Due to Abraham’s unwavering faith, he is highly honored

                                a1. Faith does not need results to stay strong

                                a2. Matthew 28:20, He will never leave us = enough!

Key Passage: Acts 7:2-7

2 And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’ 4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. 5 And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him. 6 But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years. 7 ‘And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.’