Begin each day of your study in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through His Word and to open your eyes to the truth He wants to reveal to you.
- Start off your study today by reading Hebrews 10:32-12:2 in one sitting to get an idea of the general flow of Hebrews chapter 11.
- What do you learn about the Hebrews in v. 10:32-34?
- What are the warnings in v. 10:35 and 38?
- In Hebrews 10:35 what does the author say they were in need of?
- Now, look at verse 39. What is the exhortation the author gives to the Hebrews?
- Is there any way that you can relate to the Hebrews? What is the condition of your faith? Are you in need of endurance?
Today you will take a closer look at Hebrews 11:1-2.
- Do word studies for the following words in verse 1 (these are the words used in the NASB version). Watch this video where I show you how to do word studies using Blue Letter Bible.
- 2. Verse 1 gives us a description of faith. Verse 2 tells us what faith accomplishes. Look up the phrase “gained approval” (NASB) in your word study tools. Write the definition in your notes.
- Jump down and read verse 6. How does this relate to what you learn from verses 1-2?
- Now write out Hebrews 11:1-2 in your own words.
You saw yesterday that the men of old gained approval (or gained a good testimony) through their faith. And that without faith, it is impossible to please Him.
- Look up the following cross-reference and note how it relates to the definition and description of faith in Hebrews 11:1-2 and 6.
- You may have seen when you looked up the word “conviction” that it also means “evidence”. The verse above in James supports the concept in Hebrews 11:1-2 of how our actions/works give evidence to our faith.
- Now read Ephesians 2:8-9. What can our works not do?
- Finish today by writing out a quick summary statement. Based on what you have seen thus far, what does it mean to gain God’s approval? Consider the difference between walking in faith and striving to please God in your own strength.
How did the world begin? This question has been pondered and debated throughout the ages. For some, it has been a stepping stone to faith and knowledge of God. For others, it has become a stumbling stone.
- Read Hebrews 11:3. How is it that we come to understand that God created the world?
- How does this verse relate to Romans 1:20?
- While there is scientific evidence for creation (check out this resource), we know that God created the earth based upon what He has revealed to us through the creation account in Genesis 1-2. Do you struggle to accept this as truth? Why or why not?
Day 5 – Abel and Enoch
For the remainder of this study, you will be taking a closer look at the “cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1) listed in this chapter. As you do, look for how the lives and actions of each character give evidence (or proof) to what they believe.
- Read Hebrews 11:4, then read the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-10
Some scholars believe that God had revealed to Adam the proper way to worship Him. We read later in Exodus 12 that this was through animal sacrifice.
- Read Matthew 23:34-35. What new insights do you gain about Abel?
- Now, see what Hebrews 11:5 says about Enoch. Read more about his story in Genesis 5:21-24
- Based on what you have read, why do you think Abel and Enoch were included among the cloud of witnesses?
If you are unsure, feel free to consult your commentaries of Hebrews 11:1-5. Please do not read any commentary beyond verse 5. Wait until you have done your own diligent study before referring to others’ thoughts. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your teacher first.
Day 6 – Noah
- Begin today by reading Hebrews 11:7. What does the beginning of this verse say that Noah did by faith?
- Take a closer look at the life of Noah in Genesis 6. What do you learn about the condition of men during the days of Noah from verses 1-12?
- What do you learn about Noah in Genesis 6:8-9?
- Pause here for some application. Consider how difficult it must have been for Noah to walk with God in the midst of this perverse and evil generation. Despite opposition and ridicule, he faithfully obeyed God. How do his actions encourage you to endure in your faith?
Day 7 – Abraham
- Look at verses 8-9. What do you learn about Abraham’s faith? What two things does the text say he did ‘by faith’?
- Now read Genesis 12:1-4. What new insight does this passage give you?
- We will look at Abraham a bit more later. For now, how do you see his faith working together with his actions?
Pause here and ask the Lord if there are any areas in your life where you are walking in disobedience to God and His Word. Are there any actions you need to take?
Day 8 – Sarah
- Today, you will be taking a look at Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Read Hebrews 11:11. What does it say that she did by faith?
- Read Genesis 18:1-15. Why do you think the idea of bearing a child made her laugh?
Is there something you feel the Lord is calling you to do that seems impossible? Will you, in faith, receive the Lord’s ability to obey?
Did you notice that you skipped verse 10? Go back and read verses 8-10, then read Hebrews 11:13-16.
- What do you learn about Abraham in verse 10?
- According to v. 13-16 what things did all these men and women of faith have in common.
- What were they seeking?
- What is the reward for their faith? (v. 16)
- Spend some time prayerfully considering how the Lord would have you apply what you’ve seen in His Word today.
Day 10 – More on Abraham
- Read Hebrews 11:17-19
- Now read Genesis 22:1-19. According to verse 1, what did God decide to do to Abraham?
- Look up the word “test” in Gen 22:1(NASB) and record what you find.
- What did God ask him to do in v. 2? How did Abraham respond in v. 3? What happened in v. 11?
- What promise had God already given Abraham regarding Isaac? Read Genesis 17:15-22 and record your insights.
Abraham was strengthened to obey God’s command by remembering what God had promised him. Are there any promises you need to be clinging to to help you move forward in faith?
- Go back to Hebrews 11. Considering all you’ve read, how did Abraham’s actions work together with what he believed? Read Hebrews 11:19, then write your answer in your notes.
Go Deeper (optional): Read Genesis 12, 15, and 17 to learn more about the life of Abraham and God’s covenant promise to him.
Day 11 – Isaac
- Read Hebrews 11:20. Take a closer look at Isaac by reading Genesis 27:1-40.
- What does the text say that Isaac did by faith? Do a word study of the word “blessed” in verse 27. Write what you learn in your notes.
- You have already seen in Day 10 that God established His covenant promise with Abraham, which passed to Isaac. Why is this blessing from Isaac so significant? Who is the covenant now passed to?
Day 12 – Jacob and Joseph
- Read Hebrews 11:21. Then, go read the full story in Genesis 47:29-48:22. How did Jacob (in some versions referred to as “Israel”) bless Joseph’s sons in faith? Look specifically at 48:18-20.
- Now, read Hebrews 11:22. This story about Joseph can be found in Genesis 50:22-26.
- According to Genesis 50:22, where are Joseph and his family currently living?
- Cross-reference this verse with Genesis 15:12-21. These passages give an account of the covenant that God made with Abraham. What did God tell Abraham about his descendants in verse 13? What did God promise in verse 14?
We read in the book of Exodus that the nation of Israel was enslaved in Egypt for 400 years. God then uses Moses to deliver His people.
- Consider, again, Joseph’s words to his brothers in Genesis 50:22-26. He must have known about this promise that God made to Abraham regarding his descendants. A promise which had not yet come to pass.
How does his request of them reveal his faith?
Day 13 – Moses
Begin today by reading Hebrews 11:23-29. Then answer the following questions.
- Do these passages about Moses fit in with what you have studied so far? Do you see any similarities, patterns, or differences?
- Verse 26-27 tells us that Moses was looking to the reward and that he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. How does this relate to what you read in Hebrews 11:10; 13-14?
- Read Hebrews 11:1-2 and Hebrews 12:2. According to these verses, what does sight have to do with our faith?
- Acts chapter 7 gives us much insight into the life of Moses. End your study today by reading Acts 7:20-45
Day 14 – Moses
Today, you will do a little more digging into the life of Moses.
- Read both Exodus 2:11-15 and Acts 7:22-29. As you do, make a list of everything you learn about the events of Moses’ life from these scriptures. You can write this list in your notes.
- What incident caused Moses to flee from Egypt?
Day 15 – Moses
According to some scholars, 20 years had passed from the time Moses fled Egypt to the time that the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush. You can read this part of Moses’ story in Exodus 3.
Twenty years after fleeing from Egypt, Moses finds himself there again. However, this time it was to deliver his people from the heavy hand of Pharaoh.
- Read Exodus 12:31-40 which records Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Note: this is Moses’ second time leaving Egypt.
- Now, read Exodus 14 which is the account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.
- Considering all the insight you have gained about the life of Moses, go back and read Hebrews 11:23-30. What new insights or thoughts have you gained?
Feel free to consult your commentaries of Hebrews 11 up through verse 29.
Day 16 – Walls of Jericho
- Begin today by reading Hebrews 11:30. We can find this story in Joshua chapter 6. Now read Joshua 5:13-6:20.
- List the events, in order, that brought down the walls of Jericho.
- Did the walls come down by the force or strength of man? How did the walls fall? (refer back to Hebrews 11:30)
- Cross-reference this story to 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. According to v. 5, what are we battling against?
- Are there any thoughts or ideas that have built themselves up in your mind that go against the knowledge of God or the truth in His Word? Take some time to ask the Lord to show you if there are any strongholds in your mind that need to come down. Then take up your sword, the Word of God, and do some fighting. It is God’s truth that sets you free (John 8:31-32) and transforms your mind (Romans 12:2).
Day 17 – Rahab
The walls of Jericho have fallen. Let’s back up a bit and take a look at the life of a woman who lived in the city of Jericho prior to its destruction..
- Read Hebrews 11:31. Now, read Rahab’s story in Joshua chapter 2 then answer the following questions.
- How did Rahab help the spies?
- What do you learn about Rahab from verses 8-11?
- What was her request for the spies? How did they respond?
- How do Rahab’s actions prove her faith?
- Read Joshua 6:24-25. How does her story end?
- Actually, her story doesn’t end in Joshua 6. Read Matthew 1:1-16 which is an account of the lineage of Christ. Pay close attention to verse 5.
- Not only was she an outsider, but she had a shameful past. Despite all this, God placed Rahab within the lineage of Christ. Is the Lord speaking to you? Is there any aspect of Rahab’s redemption story that you need to cling to?
Day 18 – More Men of Faith
Extra Credit – Hebrews 11:32 lists six other men of faith. If you want to dig a bit deeper and learn more about the lives of these men you can find their stories in the following passages of scripture:
- Gideon – Judges 6-8
- Barak – Judges 4-5
- Samson – Judges 13-16
- Jephthah – Judges 11-12
- David – 1 Samuel 16-17
- Samuel – 1 Samuel 1-3
Day 19 – Outcomes of Faith
- Begin today by simply reading Hebrews 11:33-38. What initial reactions and thoughts do these verses bring to mind?
- On a blank sheet of paper in your notes draw a line down the middle of the page. At the top of one column write “Good”. At the top of the other column write “Bad”. Go through these verses again and list each outcome in the appropriate column.
In what ways are all these outcomes similar? According to verse 39, what did all these men gain?
- How is walking in faith different when life is difficult?
- Look up the following cross-references and note how persecutions give an opportunity for us to prove our faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4
- What is your attitude towards suffering? Do your responses to trials and difficulty give evidence to your faith? Or do they reveal where your faith needs endurance? Ask the Lord to show you the true condition of your heart in this area.
- Hebrews 11:39-40 says that all these men “did not receive what was promised, because God had provided (or foreseen) something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” (parenthesis mine) I’ll leave you today with this. Spend some time considering what this ‘better’ thing could be. You’ll look at it more tomorrow.
Hebrews 11:40 says “because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” (NASB)
- What does this mean and why does it matter? What is the “something better” God provided for us? Take some time exploring the answers to these questions by reading the following cross-references.
- Ephesians 2:19-22
- Hebrews chapter 9 (pay special attention to v. 15)
- Hebrews 5:9
These witnesses were looking ahead to the better promises that you and I have been given in Christ.
- Finish the following sentences. Extra credit if you can do it without looking.
- By faith Abel…
- By faith Enoch…
- By faith Noah..
- By faith Abraham…
- By faith Sarah…
- By faith Abraham…
- By faith Isaac…
- By faith Jacob…
- By faith Joseph…
- By faith Moses…
- By faith Rahab…
- And now, to finalize your study, consider why the author wrote to the Hebrews about these men and women of faith. Refer back to what you learned about the Hebrews on Day 1 in 10:32-11:2. How would these stories have encouraged them? How have they encouraged you?
Feel free to consult your commentaries.