ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 395

H e b re w s
It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was
testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to
sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the
son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned
that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a
sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.
It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons,
Jacob and Esau.
It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of
Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.
It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently
that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to
take his bones with them when they left.
It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he
was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they
were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.
It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the
son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s
people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it
was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of
Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that
Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right
on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by
faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover
and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would
not kill their firstborn sons.
It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as
though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow,
they were all drowned.
It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven
days, and the walls came crashing down.
It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the
people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly
welcome to the spies.
How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the
stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel,
and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with
justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths
of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the
sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in
battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones
back again from death.

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