The writer of Hebrews uses the word “confidence” instead of “faith” in Hebrews 10:35. He encourages his readers to look to the future saying, “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” It’s important to note that the “confidence” the writer is referring to is not confidence in one’s self. It’s not self-confidence but God-confidence. God never makes promises he will not keep. David understood this well. In Psalm 20:6-7, he writes, “Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” David once saved his sheep from a bear and then again from a lion.  When he saw Goliath in the Valley of Elah insulting the God of Israel, David told Saul, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37)

When he faced Goliath he said, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17:46-47). Like David, the writer of Hebrews is looking ahead with confidence to what God had promised but had not yet been realized. This is called “faith” and will be defined as such in Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” So Kent observes, “The author looks ahead to the consummation of salvation at the coming of Christ, and urges that their patience be increased through their trials so that nothing may hinder the full experiencing of the promise of salvation, a promise described earlier as entering into God’s rest (4:1, 9).”[1]

Instead of “confidence” some translations use the word “boldness.” Fruchtenbaum writes, “The boldness in the passage is not just the attitude of boldness. It also includes the basis on which the boldness rested. They had a foundation of boldness, and they acted upon it. The result was assurance of victory. They had confidence because they had access to God’s presence.”[2] Jesus was far superior to the priestly order of Aaron because he brought the once and for all sacrifice of his very own blood into the presence of God on our behalf. When he breached the dimension between heaven and earth he opened the way for us all as the splitting of the veil before the Holy of Holies in the temple illustrated. David, the anointed one, setting his people free by conquering their great enemy is a picture of Jesus, David’s heir and the ultimate anointed one, taking on sin and death and bringing that victory home to us. I have confidence but not in myself; it’s all in Jesus! I am “all in” on Jesus!

[1] Homer A. Kent Jr., The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1983), 212–213.

[2] Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Messianic Jewish Epistles: Hebrews, James, First Peter, Second Peter, Jude, 1st ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2005), 147.