In this article, we will explore the Heroes of the faith found in Hebrews 11 and what we can learn from these amazing men and women of the Bible. So, let’s dive into God’s Word…
The number of superhero movies that have come out in the past decade is unreal. But those heroes are wrapped in fantasy and fiction. The heroes of the Bible were not superheroes with otherworldly powers but rather ordinary people like you and me, who chose to believe in the extraordinary power of God’s promises.
They trusted in His divine plan, even in the toughest of times. But their faith was not without its share of trials and tribulations; they held onto hope, never giving up on the One who never gave up on them.
In Hebrews 11, we meet a list of these Heroes of Faith mentioned in the Old Testament.
Below are the names and stories of these remarkable men and women who inspire all Christians in their steadfast belief in God.
Hebrews 11 – KJV
If you are interested in reading the whole chapter, I have placed it below in the King James Version. If you would like to review other versions, you can do so at Biblegateway.com
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Heroes Of Faith In The Bible
Many of the Heroes of Faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 achieved remarkable victories through their faith. But others were persecuted, tempted, and put to death for their belief in God. Let’s take a look at each person and what we can learn.
Abel: A Brother Betrayed
Abel the son of Adam and Eve believed in God, obeyed, and trusted Him. God accepted his offering of the firstborn his flock, but his brother, Cain’s offering, was rejected. Out of jealousy, Cain murdered Abel. But in Hebrews 11:4, we read that even though Abel is dead, he still speaks.
Christians can learn from Abel that having faith means obeying the Word of God, no matter of those around us. We must always give our best to God and worship with sincerity. Our God is all-knowing and can see into our hearts.
Enoch: The Man Who Walked with God
Enoch has always been someone I admired. He had great faith in God and walked in His ways. Hebrews 11:5 says that Enoch did not experience death but was taken into Heaven. This event can be seen as a parallel to what Christians will experience in the end times.
I always think God liked Enoch so much that he just decided to take him.
In Revelation 11:12, we read of the Rapture, where God will take His believers to be with Him. But we must have faith like Enoch, believing that God is always close to us and that we are assured a place in Heaven.
Noah: The Man Who Built The Ark
Noah was known to be righteous and obedient when God commanded him to build the Ark. Even though people mocked and laughed at him, his faith and belief that God would keep His promise saved him and his family from the flood.
Noah teaches us to obey God, even when we don’t understand why things are happening a certain way. We must trust that God knows our future and wants the best for us.
Abraham: Father of Many Nations
Abraham follows God in faith and takes the Israelites on a journey to the promised land. But his faith is tested by God when He asks him to offer Isaac, his son, as a sacrifice. Trusting in God, Abraham prepares to do as He commands. God is pleased with his obedience and tells him to sacrifice a ram instead.
This obedience to God was remarkable as Isaac was the son who would give Abraham his many offspring. (Hebrews 11:8-19) Abraham teaches us that we must surrender our all to God and trust and obey Him always.
Sarah: A Woman of Faith and Patience
Sarah desperately wanted a child, and when God promises that Sarah would bear a child at an old age, she does not truly have faith that this miracle will happen. Sarah has an encounter with God, and her faith grows, and she believes that God will be faithful and deliver what He had promised.
Sarah teaches us to continue asking God for what we want in prayer. We must have faith and believe that God will answer in the best way for us. God can do all things if we only believe.
Isaac: The Promised Son
Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah and the father of Jacob and Esau.
Isaac’s name means “laughter” in Hebrew, reflecting the initial disbelief and joy of his parents upon learning of his miraculous conception.
I believe one of the most famous stories involving Isaac being sacrificed (Genesis 22), where God tests Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham obeys, but just as he is about to carry out the sacrifice, an angel stops him and provides a ram to be offered instead.
Later in life, Isaac marries Rebekah, and they have twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Despite being twins, Jacob and Esau have a tumultuous relationship, with Jacob eventually receiving the birthright and blessing meant for his older brother Esau.
Isaac’s story plays a crucial role in the biblical narrative, as his descendants form the nation of Israel through his son Jacob, who is later renamed Israel.
From his life, we can learn the importance of trusting God and that even through the twist and turns, He will make a way.
Jacob: The Deceiver Turned Patriarch
Jacob, the son of Isacc and Rebekaha, went through quite a bit with issues with his brother and father-in-law. He even wrestled with God and would not stop until God blessed him. During this struggle, God touched Jacob’s hip, and it became out of joint, and from that day, Jacob walked with a limp.
We can learn from Jacob that when we wrestle with a problem and ask God to help, we must give the problem over to Him. We must trust and lean on Him to help us through trying times.
Joseph: From Prison to the Palace
The story of Joseph is one of my all-time favorites.
Joseph received special attention from his father, Jacob, as a young boy. This made his brothers jealous, so they sold him to Egyptian traders. Joseph now lived in a strange land but remained steadfast in his faith in God.
The Lord blessed him and made him an important man in Egypt who helped many people with food during the famine.
Joseph forgives his brothers and tells them God has a plan for his life. Joseph teaches us many things, but a big one is about the power of forgiveness. If we love and follow God, whatever we experience will work together for our good.
Moses: The Deliverer of Israel
God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt across the Red Sea. He witnessed the face of God when he was given the Ten Commandments. Moses died never entering but within sight of the promised land.
Moses teaches us that if we believe and surrender our lives to him, the Lord goes before us and fights our spiritual battles for us. But we need a personal relationship with God and to stay focused on Him through prayer and reading His Word.
Rahab: A Woman of Courage and Faith
Rahab, a prostitute, lived in Jericho and knew of the Israelite’s God. So, when Joshua sent his spies to Jericho, she hid them in her roof house. She asked that her family be kept safe, and she trusted that the God of the Israelites would protect them if she helped His people.
After the fall of Jericho, Rahab was no longer a harlot and worshipped God. If you study her linage, you will see the part of the line of King David, and Jesus!
God takes us just as we are, with all our faults and imperfections, and if we believe in Him, He turns our life around, and we receive His many blessings.
Gideon: The Reluctant Warrior
Gideon was one of the great judges of Israel. At first, he does not believe that God will help him save Israel. He tests God, but God has plans to make Gideon rely on Him and, by doing that, strengthen his faith.
Sometimes we are much like Gideon and don’t want to leave our comfort zone and step up to the beautiful life we can have. We only have to trust God and rely on him to help us through any difficulties.
Barak: A Leader of Israel
Barak was a timid and insecure man who gained strength by trusting and believing in God’s promise. At first reluctant to take on the battle, but then raised an army in obedience to God.
He relied on Deborah, the prophetess, to go with him. As a warrior, he was a leader that would fight alongside his men. And when the battle was won, Barak gave the glory to God.
Barak teaches us that no matter our insecurities, we must allow God to lead us to do wonderful work in His name. We must use other Christians to help us along the way. And whenever we succeed, always thank God for His goodness.
Samson: A Hero with a Fatal Flaw
Samson was given great strength by never letting anyone cut his hair. Although he did have faith in God, he did not put God first and was tempted by the beautiful Delilah. She betrayed him and let the enemy soldiers shave his head.
He became weak, the soldiers took out his eyes, and he was imprisoned and mocked. Samson prayed to God for one last act of strength against the Philistines.
God gave Samson back his strength and used him to bring down the enemy. Samson teaches us not to become so proud that we rely on our own strength. Trust God, even in your darkest despair; He will be your strength.
Jephthah: A Judge with a Tragic Vow
Jephthah led the Israelites in a battle against the Ammonites, and he vowed that if he won the battle, he would sacrifice whatever came out of his door first. But the first person to greet him was his daughter.
This is one of those crazy stories that can teach you not to make hasty decisions without thinking about the consequences.
The decisions we make can also affect other people. Be mindful of what we pray for; instead, surrender your life to God, and He will provide what’s best for you.
David: The Shepherd King
David, the shepherd boy who slayed the giant Goliath, worshipped God from a young age and had great faith in Him. He was also a patient man who waited on the Lord, confident that He would deliver.
David also became a great king who put God first and was known as a man after God’s heart.
But David was also a sinner, just like all of us. But a key thing he always did was repent and turned back to God, as we should.
David was a lowly shepherd boy when God used him to defeat Goliath. God does not care for our status in society. He looks at what’s in our hearts, knows our thoughts, and sees our choices.
Samuel: The Prophet and Judge of Israel
Samuel’s amazing story starts with his mamma Hannah and how she prayed for a child. His willingness to obey God stemmed from when he was a young boy and heard God calling him. He was a remarkable leader, just and fair in dealings with the people, and He remained faithful to God.
God tasked Samuel to anoint two kings, Saul and then David. And through the difficult times, Samuel stands out as a man whose faith remained steadfast and who believed in the promises of God.
We can learn from Samuel by trusting God’s promise to be our guide and help when times are difficult. But we must have faith in God and love Him above all else.
List Of Heroes Of Faith In The Bible
For those who are like me and love tables, lists, and charts, this one is for you! Here is a list of the heroes of faith with references and some additional info. I hope you find it helpful.
|Description of Their Faith
|Application for Modern Life
|He offered a more excellent sacrifice to God by faith, showing his deep reverence and devotion.
|Genesis 4:2-10; Hebrews 11:4
|Abel’s faith teaches us the importance of offering our best to God and approaching Him with genuine devotion and humility.
|He walked with God in intimate fellowship and was taken up to heaven without experiencing death, exemplifying a life of holiness and relationship with Him.
|Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5-6
|Enoch’s life demonstrates the power of a close relationship with God and encourages us to pursue holiness in our daily walk.
|He built the ark in obedience to God’s command, despite ridicule, and saved his family from the flood.
|Genesis 5:30-9; Hebrews 11:7
|Noah’s faithfulness reminds us to trust and obey God even when it seems unreasonable or unpopular, knowing that He will protect and guide us.
|He left his homeland and followed God’s call to an unknown destination, trusting in His promises.
|Genesis 11-25; Hebrews 11:8-19
|Abraham’s journey of faith inspires us to step out in obedience and trust God’s guidance, even when the future is uncertain.
|Believed in God’s promise of a child despite her old age and physical limitations.
|Blessed his sons, Jacob and Esau, trusting in God’s plan for their future.
|Sarah’s faith teaches us to trust in God’s promises and His ability to do the impossible, even when circumstances seem insurmountable.
|Blessed his sons Jacob and Esau, trusting in God’s plan for their future.
|Genesis 24-26; Hebrews 11:20
|Isaac’s faith reveals the importance of seeking God’s will and blessing for our children and future generations.
|Blessed his grandsons on his deathbed, acknowledging God’s faithfulness throughout his life and that Israel would live on and become a great nation.
|Genesis 25-49; Hebrews 11:21
|Jacob’s faith encourages us to recognize and celebrate God’s presence and provision in our lives, even during difficult times.
|He trusted in God’s plan for his life despite suffering and saw the fulfillment of God’s promise to his people.
|Genesis 37-50; Hebrews 11:22
|Joseph’s faith teaches us to persevere through trials with the assurance that God is in control and working all things for our good and the importance of forgiveness.
|He trusted in God’s and helped deliver Israel from slavery.
|Exodus – Deuteronomy Hebrews 11:23-28
|Moses’ faith challenges us to prioritize our relationship with God over worldly wealth and success, seeking eternal treasures instead.
|Hid the Israelite spies and believed in the God of Israel, leading to her salvation and inclusion in God’s family.
|She hid the Israelite spies and believed in the God of Israel, leading to her salvation and inclusion in God’s family.
|Rahab’s faith demonstrates that God’s grace and mercy are available to all who believe in Him, regardless of their past or background.
|He overcame fear and doubt to lead the Israelites in victory against the Midianites, trusting God’s power and strategy.
|Judges 6-8; Hebrews 11:32-40
|Gideon’s faith reminds us to rely on God’s strength and wisdom in our battles, rather than our own resources or understanding.
|He followed the prophetic guidance of Deborah and led the Israelites to victory over their oppressors.
|Judges 4-5; Hebrews 11:32-40
|Barak’s faith teaches us to listen to God’s voice through the counsel of others and to act courageously in obedience to His call.
|Despite his flaws, he trusted in God’s strength and fulfilled his calling as a judge of Israel.
|Judges 13-16; Hebrews 11:32-40
|Samson’s faith encourages us to depend on God’s grace and power, even when we mess up and are in the midst our enemies.
|He made a vow to God and saw victory against the Ammonites, demonstrating commitment and dependence on God.
|Judges 11-12; Hebrews 11:32-40
|Jephthah’s faith teaches us the importance of keeping our promises to God and relying on Him for strength and success in our endeavors. But also teaches us to be careful how we make vows before the Lord.
|A man, after God’s own heart, demonstrated faith and reliance on God throughout his life, even in the face of adversity.
|1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel 24; Hebrews 11:32-40
|David’s faith inspires us to seek God’s presence and guidance in every situation, and to trust in His unfailing love and faithfulness.
|He served as a prophet and judge, consistently seeking God’s will and leading Israel with faithfulness and integrity.
|1 Samuel 1-28; Hebrews 11:32-40
|Samuel’s faith teaches us the importance of listening to God’s voice and carrying out His will with dedication and an unwavering commitment to His purposes.
The Heroes of Faith we read in Hebrews 11 were people from all walks of life. They had faults and were sinners but opened their hearts to God. They had faith, believed in God’s promises, and put God first. Their obedience to God and His Word allowed God to work through them.
And we as Christians can be inspired by them to rely on the Lord and live by faith also. I hope you have enjoyed this article and it has caused you to hunger after the Lord more.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…