Text: Hebrews 11:28-31 By 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.
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The means of gaining approval
Hebrews 11:2 For by it [faith] the men of old gained approval.
By faith Moses instituted the Passover
Hebrews 11:28 By faith he [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them ["the Israelites" WNT].
(WNT) Through faith he instituted the Passover, and the sprinkling with blood so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites.
(NLT) It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.
Old Testament reference
Exodus 12:7,12-13 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
By faith Israel passed through the Red Sea
Hebrews 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying [attempting] to do were drowned.
Moses encouraged Israel to believe
Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 "The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
Israel's faith to go forward
Exodus 14:15 And the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
"To descend from the shore above the level of the water to the depths beneath it, with shimmering walls of water towering on either side, ready to rush down into their normal place -- how perilous a path" GH Lang
"When Israel "by faith," obeyed the Divine command to "Go forward," God wrought a miracle and delivered them from their dire situation. This is recorded for the encouragement of our hearts. It was God who had placed the Red Sea where it was, and it was God who opened the way for Israel through it. So, Christian reader, it is God (and not the Devil) who has brought about the problem, the emergency, the danger which now confronts you; for "of Him . . . are all things" (Rom. 11:36). As He has made thy Red Sea, only He can cleave a way through it for you. Trust, then, in His unerring wisdom. Count upon His mighty power working on your behalf. "Stand still" and rest yourself upon God. View "by faith" anticipatively, expectantly, His "salvation" or deliverance. "Go forward" in obedience to His commands, and He will show Himself strong on thy behalf. He never fails those who fully trust and unreservedly obey Him." AW. PINK
Salvation vs. Destruction
Exodus 14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
Israel's faith at Jericho
Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
The faith of Rahab (a Gentile) harlot
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab [a Gentile] perished not with them that believed not ["those who were disobedient," NAS], when she had received ["welcomed," NAS] the spies with peace.
Her faith was in what God promised Israel
Joshua 2:9-11 and [Rahab] said to the men: "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 "And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Rahab's faith had substance and evidence
NAS Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
RSV Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given friendly welcome to the spies.
WNT Hebrews 11:31 Through faith the notorious sinner Rahab did not perish along with the disobedient, for she had welcomed the spies and had sheltered them.
"A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God, and is willing to cast in his lot with them, and to fare as they fare."
James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works ["considered righteous for what she did," NIV], when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? ["…sent them safely away by a different road." NLT]
Rahab's blessing and reward!
Joshua 6:25 And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.