And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Comment: And so the list of victorious faith stories goes on. But we must remember the failures of even the champions. Every time we hear the name Samson we see him lying in the lap of a foreign lady and breaking his vow to God; David was a murderer, an adultery and other things but still his faith was real. Repentance is necessary, but the deep down faith is God- honoured. Faith did not ensure perfection.
And sometimes it didn’t avoid suffering and even death. Even after all these events, still they didn’t meet the promised Messiah. But we have, both in a literal and historical sense, can see Him by faith.
Prayer: Thank you for listing for us these champions of the faith. Help us to emulate them, O God.