Hebrews 11 has been called the Hall of Faith.
The chapter ends implying those mentioned will be in the resurrection.
Mentioned by name are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel.
Some of the people mentioned are righteous legends whose heroics are often the subject of admiring sermons. But Barak? He’s usually ridiculed as a weak leader upstaged by Deborah. Jephthah is known for his rash vow involving his daughter. Delilah gets more press than Samson.
The Hall of Faith shows that God offered salvation to a select few in the Old Testament. Even then, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Grace was offered in the Old Testament to key individuals. God “preached the gospel to Abraham” (Galatians 3:8). The Bible is one book with one message and one salvation.
Those who keep the holy days of Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day understand that relatively few are called to salvation to be in the first resurrection—the early harvest firstfruits—whereas the billions who have never had their chance at salvation will have their minds opened during the Millennium but especially during the Great White Throne Judgment—the bigger latter harvest. The Father is the Master Timer even in when He calls each person individually at the best time he or she will respond (John 6:44).
But it’s interesting to ponder who’s missing from the Hall of Faith. Hebrews 11 refers to the walls of Jericho falling down but doesn’t mention Joshua. Righteous kings of Judah like Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah didn’t make the list. There’s no mention of Ruth—or Boaz or Naomi. What about the 7,000 who didn’t bow the knee to Baal? Lot who was called “righteous” (2 Peter 2:7)? Did Solomon make it at the conclusion of the matter (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)? What about Esther and Mordecai?
Verses 32-38 refer to “the prophets” and to other faithful people unnamed. One can guess at possible people from the clues. The one who stopped the mouth of lions could have been Daniel. Really God, of course, or Daniel would have filled their mouths! The Bible states that Daniel “will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:13). Tradition says Isaiah was sawn in two and Manassah wasn’t performing a magic trick.
Makes me think about Pete Rose who was clearly one of the greatest baseball players ever and seemingly a shoe-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame. On Sept. 11, 1985 He became the all-time major league leader in hits and his record of 4,256 hits still stands. A 17-time All-Star, Pete also holds the record for games played (3562), at bats (14,053) and singles (3,215).
Significantly he also made the most outs (10,328), and the biggest one is that he is out of the Hall of Fame! Banned! He is still denied induction for betting on baseball including his own team—at least not against it.
The Bible is hard on its heroes, showing the good, bad and ugly. God forgives and transforms.
It’s fun to speculate about who isn’t mentioned in Hebrews 11 but could be in the first resurrection at Christ’s return. Who can you think of?
Really only God knows.
I came on the scene too late to be included in Hebrews 11. But thank God for the opportunity to be one of the just living by faith and yearning for the first resurrection. No way I want to miss out!
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