Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part VI: The Response Of Faith To Christ's Superiority, Hebrews 11:1-13:19
E. Examples Of Living By Faith In The Patriarchs
(Hebrews 11:20-29)
  1. Introduction
    1. God's call that we "live by faith" in Christ like the Hebrews 11:2 "elders", the Old Testament saints who trusted God's promises of future blessings unto them, expands in Hebrews 11:20-29 to include the patriarchs who lived after Abraham and Sarah in the Dispensation of Promise.
    2. Thus, we view the testimonies of these later patriarchs for insight from their walks of "living by faith":
  2. Examples Of Living By Faith In The Patriarchs, Hebrews 11:20-29.
    1. Hebrews 11:20 claims Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. That is quite a statement in view of the fact that Genesis 27:26-40 reveals Isaac thought he was blessing ESAU when he was actually blessing Jacob who was then deceiving him into thinking he was Isaac's older son, Esau! Nevertheless, Isaac left the unchangeable nature of the blessing with God to handle even though what he had predicted then countered his own knowledge of who he was blessing when he gave the blessing!
    2. Hebrews 11:21 reveals Jacob in turn blessed Joseph's sons, and worshipped God, leaning on the top of his staff. Genesis 48:13-19 shows Jacob had crossed his hands when he placed them on the boys' heads at this event so that he knew the younger son would get the greater blessing of his right hand. Why? Jacob recalled (1) the blessing of Isaac over the older Ishmael in Abraham's era (Gen. 17:18-21), (2) God's letting him be blessed over his older brother Esau, so (3) in faith, he extended the blessing to the younger over the older son one more generation -- the generation involving Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh!
    3. Hebrews 11:22 tells how Joseph in faith near death spoke of the departing of Israel from Egypt, and so gave command concerning his body. Genesis 50:24-26 explains how Joseph then recalled God's promise to Abraham to bring Israel up out of bondage in a foreign nation and back to the land of Canaan, cf. Gen. 15:13-16. Accordingly, Joseph told the people of Israel to take his embalmed body out of Egypt when they left for Canaan, and to bury it when the got to Canaan. Exodus 13:19 reports Moses took Joseph's mummy with him when they left Egypt, and Joshua 24:32 reports it was finally buried in Shechem, in a plot Jacob had bought from the Canaanites! Joseph's mummy acted as an encouraging witness to the sons of Israel as they traveled all during their 40 year wilderness journey, a witness Israel would enter Canaan!
    4. Hebrews 11:23 reports that because Moses was such a beautiful baby, his parents believed God did not want him to die by being thrown into the Nile as Pharaoh decreed (Ex. 1:22), for they believed he would be used of God to deliver Israel from Egypt just like the handsome Joseph had been earlier used of God to deliver Israel from famine, Gen. 45:4-8; 39:6b NIV. Thus, Moses' parents hid him three months in faith in God's plan for his future ministry over the threat of Pharaoh's call that Moses be thrown into the Nile!
    5. Hebrews 11:24-26 reports how after Moses had been taken into Pharaoh's court and reared for a great future, he chose to identify with God's people, Israel in faith in their future blessing opposite all the great fame and fortune that awaited him by continuing to remain as an Egyptian! Hebrews 11:27-28 shows he forsook Egypt, not fearing Pharaoh's wrath, enduring trouble and keeping the Passover with Israel in hope in God's promise of future blessings in siding with Israel versus living for worldly Egypt!
    6. Hebrews 11:29 tells how the nation Israel under Moses miraculously passed through the Red Sea on dry land while the Egyptians who tried to follow them across drowned in the attempt! This event took trust in God's miraculous provision that would have tested the faith of the strongest of saints, Exodus 14:10-31!
Lesson: By FAITH in God's FUTURE PROMISES, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses [before the Law at Sinai and] in the Dispensation of Promise after Abraham and Sarah either mistakenly or knowingly blessed the younger son over the older, gave command regarding their body's trip to and final burial in Canaan, protected their beautiful baby for God's later use, sided with Israel over what the world offered them in Egypt and miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry land in escaping Pharaoh's chariot army!

Application: May we follow in the steps of these forefathers and live by faith in God's future promises!