I think a passage like Hebrews 11 shows me just how little understand about God. I just came up with so many questions as I read it! Here’s two of them and some very tentative thoughts.
What does it mean that ‘by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead?’
I wonder if what he means is that Abel’s life, his faithfulness to God and desire to please him still speaks to us today?
I’m not really sure about this though, because in all honesty, Abel’s story really only takes up a few verses. While it does ‘speak’ in the sense that his story is part of the word of God and has abiding relevance for our lives, Abel himself doesn’t utter a word! Not to mention, he’s not exactly the first person I think of when I think of martyrs or someone to draw inspiration from? This is probably overthinking it though, and I would be keen to hear what people think the writer of the Hebrews means.
Moses is said to have ‘regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt’. How though, when Christ had not yet been revealed, could he have regarded disgrace for him as worth it?
Not sure. But somehow Moses’ persecutions for God’s sake, and his peoples, was really for Christ. Reflecting on this has added more depth to the parable of the sheep and the goats for me (Matt 25).
When Jesus says to those on his right “Come, you who are blessed by my Father take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” And they reply “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?” There will literally be people there, like Moses, who never met, knew or heard of Jesus from OT times! I often think of that parable in post-Christ terms, but it certainly adds a new dimension to it for me thinking of those who lived, died and suffered for his sake before they even were aware of the incredible promises, hope and life he brings.
Feeling confused about Abel, thankful for living this side of the Cross, and encouraged and ashamed by the witness of those faithful men and women pre-Christ.