Every athlete would love to make it to the “Hall of Fame”. This is the best of the best, the crème of the crop, the top of the field. Hall of famers go down in history as one of the greatest to ever play their sport.
In Hebrews 11, we see a list of Biblical characters that has become known as the so-called “Hall of Faith”. It is a clever play on words. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of people who are great examples of faith in God in the Bible. But the tricky thing is, as you look at this list, it is a mixed bag for sure. It is riddled with people who have had significant failures along with their faith!
Noah- built the ark by faith but got drunk right afterwards and his conduct encouraged shameful conduct in his son.
Abraham- followed God by faith but lied multiple times and tried to produce his own solutions to God’s promises.
Sarah- was a “mother of Israel”, the people of faith, yet she scoffed and laughed when God told her that she would get pregnant in her old age.
Jacob- ultimately surrendered to God via a wrestling match but he lied multiple times and stole his brother’s birthright.
Moses- led the people of Israel out of Egypt under God’s direction, but doubted that he could do the job, got angry and impatient, and did not trust God in an instance that resulted in him not going into the promised land.
Rahab- rescued the Israelite spies by faith in the Lord but worked as a prostitute.
David- was a man after God’s own heart but was responsible for the murder of many men and stole a man’s beloved wife.
This is not to mention many others in the New Testament who were Christ’s own disciples like Peter who believed greatly at times and rejected Christ at crucial times, or Thomas who was willing to die for Christ but doubted His resurrection.
What do we make of this? The reality is that none of us are perfect. Yet as we look at each of these people, the general trajectory of their life was faith in God. This teaches us that faith in God doesn’t mean perfect faith, never-in-doubt-faith, or never-makes-mistakes faith. Even Babe Ruth got on base less than half the time. So, I think we could just as rightly call the “hall of faith” the “hall of grace”. Even more than highlighting the greatness of these humans, Hebrews 11 highlights the graciousness of our God. May we endeavor to trust God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as He deserves. And yet may we find peace that though our faith may not be spectacular at times, the God in whom we trust is always spectacular.