Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. (Hebrews 11:1, 2)
Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
Over the next few days we are going to examine this chapter of the Bible. It is one of my favorites!
In vs. 1 the author says that faith is…
Substance- hoped for
Evidence- not seen
When we treat what is hoped for and unseen as substance and evidence we are practicing faith. This doesn’t mean we should be ignorant, unwise and silly. What it does mean is that while we aren’t able to see everything, we trust the One who can.
In vs. 2 the author then explains that those who went before us (specifically the Old Testament figures he is about to mention) gained a “good report” by “it”- it referring to faith.
1. When we exercise or demonstrate our faith in what is unseen, it doesn’t mean we “check-out our brains at the door.” Being human means that there is a lot that we don’t know about, don’t have evidence for, and can’t see. We must look to the evidence that God has given of Himself and respond to that.
2. We can move in faith knowing the example and end of very real people who have gone before us. The men and women who the author is about to mention from the Old Testament weren’t mindless faith-robots. They were real people, with real problems, who made real mistakes, but had a good report with God because they responded in trust and obedience when the evidence/communication from God showed up.
If you were judged on your faith in God would you have a good report or a bad report?