Hebrews 11:31-35
 
Heb 11:31 (KJV)
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
 
(Josh 6:17 KJV) And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. When Joshua sent spies to spy out the land of Jericho, they were protected by Rahab the Harlot and the king of Jericho never was able to apprehend them. Joshua took this act of kindness as evidence that Rahab knew about the God of Israel and what happened to Egypt. With an event like that, the word would spread widely very quickly because many caravans came in and out of Egypt and news came with it. It seems from the language here and in James 2:25 that Rahab became a saved woman. (James 2:25 KJV) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? She had faith in God and had exercised that faith by protecting and redirecting the spies which Joshua sent. Rahab was justified by her works which were built upon faith, that is, when a person becomes saved, they act on that salvation with works. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Obviously, one of the works which God had prepared for Rahab was the protection of the spies.
 
Heb 11:32 (KJB)
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
 
The writer to the Hebrews has made some specific events of faith and realized that he could make much more because those Hebrews whom he was writing to would have been very familiar with all the scenarios. We will just pick one major faith scenario out of the lives of those he has mentioned.
 
Gideon - Judges 7:6-7 - Gideon defeated the Midianites with only three hundred men scaled down from ten thousand.
 
Barak - Judges 4:15-16 - Barak defeated the army of Jabin, King of Canaan, which led to the death of Sisera, the commander of Jabinís army, at the hand of Jael.
 
Samson - Judges 16:28-30 - Samson had prayed to God and asked Him for the strength to do one final judgment on the Philistines. The Scriptures states that in his final act, he killed more Philistines than he did in his entire life.
 
Jephthae - Judges 11 - Jepthah was a man of valor but he was the son of a harlot which made him an outcast in Israel. However, even an outcast can have faith in God. He was eventually called upon by the elders of Israel to fight against the Ammonites. The elders of Israel had castigated him and now they wanted him back to fight for them. This is a major principle we must keep in mind, never close the book on anyone because you may need them in the future plus you never know how God is dealing with such a person.
 
David - 1 Samuel 17 - David had great faith when he went out to face Goliath because he had a different perspective on the whole matter. (1 Sam 17:36 KJV) Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. If you notice, David referred to the armies of Israel as the armies of the living God. The others saw things on an earthly basis by calling them the armies of Israel but Davidís faith saw beyond the horizon and saw the unbelieving Philistines as not challenging Israel but God Himself. This principle is borne out in the conversion of the Apostle Paul. (Acts 9:5 KJV) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Was Paul persecuting the church? Of course he was, but the ultimate persecution was against the Lord Jesus Christ himself just as the ultimate challenge was not to Israel by the Philistines but to God Himself.
 
Samuel - Samuelís early life was built on faith as his mother Hannah had prayed for a son and God gave her Samuel. She had promised the Lord that she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life. (1 Samuel 1:11) Samuel grew up in piety and in all the learning of the Lord. He had faith at a very young age.
 
All the Prophets - This would have included all those prophets from Samuel to John the Baptist who brought the message of the Lord, most of the time in peril of their own lives.
 
Heb 11:33 (KJB)
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
 
Subdued - Conquered or overcame
Wrought - Accomplish, carry out, or perform
 
There were those who subdued kingdoms such as David subduing the Philistines, Joshua subduing Canaan, Gideon the Midianites, Jephthae the Ammonites. We must also take into consideration the fact that when Christians witness and a person becomes saved, they are subduing the kingdom of Satan. There were those who had carried out programs of defeating Godís enemies by cutting them off. Then there were some who obtained promises such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for future blessings concerning the messianic line and that there would countless numbers becoming saved through the Messiah. As for stopping the mouths of lions, Daniel, Samson, and David come to mind. These things were not accomplished in human strength but they were done in faith in the Lord.
 
Heb 11:34 (KJB)
Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
 
The works based upon faith continues. We remember that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had faith in God that they would be delivered but if not, they would not bow to idols. Their faith in God had allowed the Lord to show Nebuchadnezzar who the true God was and that not even an odor of fire was on them. David had escaped the edge of the sword many times in his flight from Saul who was plagued by an evil spirit. Then when Samson lost his hair, he became as weak as other men but when it began to grow again, his strength returned mightily and slew thousands of Philistines in his last act. Gideon was a very timid soul but with his faith in God, the three hundred men were all that was needed to defeat the Midianites as Gideon grew bolder in battle by faith. In 2 Kings 19:35 we read that 185,000 Assyrians were killed in the days of Hezekiah who prayed to the Lord for deliverance. Now that was a turning around of an alien army.
 
Heb 11:35 (KJB)
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
 
Tortured - To beat as a drum
Better - Superior
 
In 1 Kings 17:17 the widow of Zarephath had received her son back by Elijah. In 2 Kings 4:18 and following the Shunammite woman received her son back by Elisha. The word tortured in the Greek carries with it the meaning of beating a drum which described a method of torture used by many ancient civilizations. It looked like a drum and the person to be tortured was bent over the drum and tied down. Then the scourging began and with the person in that position, it caused the lash to cut deeper and cause much more pain. This type of torture normally ended the life of a person because the scourge would hit the body and normally hit an artery and blood would flow like a river which meant death would come very soon after. These could have renounced God but did not because they knew that when their life ended here, they would be free from pain and would be partakers of a better or superior resurrection which would be unto eternal life. The ones who ordered and did the scourging had to look forward to a resurrection of eternal damnation. Those in Christ look beyond the horizon and see the eternal kingdom and the welcome they received for being faithful.

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