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Abraham: Father of Faith – Hebrews 11:8-16

Apr 27, 2022 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Topic: Sermon Devotional Series: Hebrews: Greater Than Scripture: Heb. 11:8-16

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

We continue the exhortation section of the letter to the Hebrews which began back in chapter 10 verse 19 with a summons to: draw near to God, unwaveringly cling to the hope, consider one another, and avoid shrinking back from the faith (10:19-31). The author encourages his readers to not throw away their confidence because it has great reward but to endure and receive the promise (10:32-39). In chapter 11 we learn that faith is the conviction of the reality of that which is unseen, so that those who live by faith might build their lives upon unseen realities. The author then illustrates saving faith by carrying the reader through redemptive history with examples from a great cloud of witnesses in the Old Testament who lived by faith. Reaching back to the beginning of the creation of the world, he provides examples of people (beginning with Abel, Enoch and Noah) who, by faith, were commended by God and pleased Him.

Verses 8–20 then reflect on the faith of Abraham and his heirs. By faith Abraham left his homeland not knowing where he was going (11:8). By faith, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in the land of promise as exiles (11:9). The strength they derived to live as sojourners was found in the fact that they looked forward to the future unseen city of God (11:10). By faith, Abraham and his wife Sarah trusted in the promise of children and heirs who would be as numerous as the stars of heaven (11: 11–12). Yet they did not see the promises fulfilled and lived as exiles and strangers even while in the promised land (11:13). It was clear from this that they were all seeking a heavenly homeland (11:14-16); so, God was pleased to be called even by their name – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (11:16).

In this section we see the prototype of saving faith seen in “father Abraham.” In particular, this section emphasizes trust in God for the future as faith looks to Him for a future reward. We see God’s goodness in rewarding Abraham with a greater home, a greater home, and a greater future. And we too, as children of Abraham, by faith, are promised these very same things if we walk by faith and not shrink back into unbelief.