- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.