Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.” vss. 39-40
As he continues his teachings, the writer to the Hebrews recounts the great people of faith from Israel’s history, from Rahab, the prostitute, to unnamed prophets tortured and maligned in every horrible way. All had faith in common, it was their strength and they were commended for it, yet they did not receive what had been promised. That would not happen until the end, when all people would be made perfect in Christ. While we can’t know precisely what this writer had in mind, what he says does have some truth to it. We all know people of faith who have suffered enormously from persecution and illness. Some have lived wonderful lives and have ended up with nothing to show for it. Goodness and faithfulness often do not receive their deserved rewards. Sometimes the very best folks are simply blotted out, and no one even takes note of their passing. The good news is that as individuals we are part of the community of faith, and when the community is received into Christ, we are all going to be included. It’s that communal aspect of salvation that we forget in our era of rugged individualism. In Christ no one is going to miss out!
Thought for the Day: What should take priority: the individual or the community?