Sounds like a James Bond movie script, doesn’t it? To be honest, I think of the men and women in Hebrews 11 a little like “biblical Bonds”… James Bond, that it is.
I tend to look at them as the superhuman men and women of the Bible that were able to accomplish great feats of strength. They were able to jump higher, run faster, and hold their breath longer than a normal human being. But Hebrews chapter 11 teaches just the opposite. It teaches us that the men and women we read about in the Bible were regular, ordinary, “everyday” people just like you and me.
James Bond style faith
So how were they able to quench the fires, shut the mouths of lions, or escaped the edge of the sword in superhuman way… because they had faith in a superhuman God who intervenes in the lives of his people. Some of the men and women we read about in the Bible accomplished the kind of stuff that would make James Bond or Superman jealous. But it had nothing to do with their personal strength or abilities. God accomplished these great feats through them because of their great faith. In fact, in all of these examples God acted in such incredible ways through these great men and women of faith that people would see there is no way possible they accomplished these feats all on their own. Those that watched these great acts of faith were compelled to say God did it. And therefore, God deserves all the credit for it.
What about the people that Hebrews 11 mentions that didn’t see God provide supernatural, miraculous deliverance? Did God love these people less? Did these people have less faith? No and No. In fact, because they are listed in Hebrews 11 right next to the great men and women of faith means that their faith in Jesus is no less strong nor does Jesus love them less. Rather, Hebrews reminds us that God acts based on his own choosing so that he will receive the glory. That means sometimes he provides supernatural protection and sometimes he allow us to suffer in spectacular ways. Jesus uses both of these situations for his glory.
The reason why “the world was not worthy of” these men and women of faith in Hebrews 11 is because they had their sights set on something greater than this world could offer. Fame or fortune would not satisfy these great men and women of faith. They had their sights sets on the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anything less that than was not good enough for them.
What about you?
Is the world good enough for you? Are you entertained by what you see around you? Are you satisfied just to live “the good life” here on Earth or are you looking forward to living the godly life in heaven with Jesus? Is the world enough for you, or do you want more?