Noah and Abraham heard God speak and acted on what they heard. God told Noah to build an ark. He did it! God told Abraham to leave his home. He did that! The core motive behind these acts was “faith.” They believed God’s Word and acted on it. Hebrews 11:9-10 repeats this truth for us. It says, “By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Hebrews chapter 1 begins with the assertion that God has given us his final Word. That Word was a “living” Word. It came to us in the person of His Son, Jesus. And the way we act on it is by believing in Him.

Just as Abraham left his home and his family and went to the “land of promise,” we too must divest ourselves of any inherited religion and personally entrust ourselves to the God who has promised us eternal life through the obedience of faith in Jesus.  Just as this was true of Abraham’s descendants, Isaac and Jacob, it’s true for every generation. We pack up and leave “Ur” by putting aside the religious garbs of the world and embracing the truth of Jesus Christ as the one and only Son of God who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and purchased for us a place in the “promised” land. We become heirs of God’s promised coming kingdom with all believers. We can’t see the “promised” land but by faith we trust it to be there and that Jesus is the only way to enter. He’s the way! He’s the door! He’s the truth! Noah had only one way to escape the flood. He had to build the ark! He had to act on God’s Word.  Abraham had only one way out of Ur. He had to act on God’s Word. For believers today, Jesus is the Ark! We must be “found in Him.” Jesus is the Way to the Promised Land. Just as Noah and Abraham had to forsake the familiar and comfortable and trust God’s Word completely, so too must every believer in every generation. Jesus is God’s Word for today!

When you read the rest of Hebrews chapter 11, you see the story of numerous Old Testament characters who trusted in God’s Word to them even though the promises for obedience were totally invisible to the natural senses. In his “River of Dreams” Billy Joel sings about something that can only be seen “by the eyes of the blind.” The call of God was that way for those ancient characters and it’s that way for us. Jesus told the disciples on the road to Emmaus that the Scriptures were about Himself. Jesus told the religious leaders who searched the scriptures to find eternal life that the scriptures would lead directly to Him and true eternal life in the Promised Land. Paul told Timothy that the Scriptures, the Old Testament, and its characters all teach us about Jesus. He wrote in 2 Timothy 3:15, “You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” After the litany of all the Old Testament examples, the author of Hebrews writes at the beginning of Chapter 12, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…”