Chapter 11

Roy Osborne
November 2013


There are many things revealed in this 11th chapter which are so subtly stated that we must read very thoughtfully to discover them.  The first, of course, is realizing that the very Universe proclaims that a Creator brought all things into existence.  If what always existed was material stuff, then the very existence of man with the spiritual qualities of thinking and reasoning, and even more, with a built in sense of conscience, making him aware of right and wrong, is inconceivable.  To have a moral sense indicates a moral Creator.  This is not something that could evolve from some insentient mass.  But to accept and believe this causes one to humbly admit that he is subject to a higher power and should act accordingly.  However, man has historically resented being subject to anything, and his human arrogance has caused his rejection of God and His rules of life.  The result is the chaotic state of the world and the multitude of broken lives all around us.

Secondly, we note the reference to Abel making his sacrifice “by faith”.  This means that God, from the beginning, communicated with the creature He had created.  “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God”.  What form this communication took we do not know, but we do know that our God has never left His creatures without direction.
What a beautiful world we would have had if man had always listened to God and walked by faith.  That is what heaven will be like.  A perfect place to be, in companionship with a perfect Father.

Next, the writer emphasizes that our relationship with God is on the basis of believing that He “is”.   To believe that He exists is to believe that One with the power to create all things is there for us. That He is waiting to reward us, if we will but turn to Him in true faith.  He will reward us with Heaven’s real gifts, i.e., peace, hope, true and unfading happiness, no fear of death, and the certainty of eternal life.  What a great heritage for those who seek a close relationship with God, through the Son He sent to earth.  This is the true Christian hope, which he is assured of by faith.

Then our writer gives us a list of great patriarchs who lived by faith, but did not receive their true reward while still living on the earth.  He calls them strangers here.  Why is that?

In the beginning, God created the world, and it was good.  Then He made man to be a companion with Him.  In the world He had created, He made a special place called The Garden of Eden.  Here God walked and talked with man.  However, God wanted a love relationship with  man, for God is love.  In order to have this, it was necessary for man to have a choice.   So God allowed Satan to come into His perfect Garden, to offer man that choice.  The choice was to love and follow God, believing in His love and His wisdom, or to love and prefer himself, and his own wisdom.  Adam made the wrong choice .
As a result, he had to leave the perfect Garden and go out into a world that was filled with dangers, sin and death.  This was not the world God wanted His children to live in, so the Hebrews writer calls the patriarchs, who were God’s children by faith, strangers on the earth.
God’s world, represented by the Garden of Eden, had none of the evils and misery of earth.  Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for His disciples, where they would not be strangers, but family in the house of God.  Out of the world of sin, suffering and death, into the perfect garden of God.

We will examine more of the great truths hidden in this wonderful chapter in our next essay.