Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Hebrews 11:2 The Ancients Obtained a Good Report

What does it mean to obtain a good report?
The Bible mentions "reports" many times, both good and bad. In the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, the prophet states, "Who has believed our report?" Isaiah had witnessed the Messiah's suffering. He knew other prophets had also witnessed something about the future Messiah as well. But he also knew the report, the too-good-to-be-believed-news was so marvellous that few would believe it.
What else about reports?
Reports are written by witnesses. Reports also speak of witnesses.  The verse speaks of ancients or elders who obtained a good report. The way the verse is phrased, the statement could mean one of several different meanings.
Firstly, it could mean the ancients got a good reputation with God. There is nothing better than having a good reputation with God. But how did these ancients do it? They were not particularly good. Or, perhaps it is better to say that God called them good for a particular reason.
Secondly, it could mean the ancients got a good reputation with their fellow men at that time. This is also true. Scripture is a record of God's faithfulness toward those who loved him. God's goodness to faithful men such as Moses, Abram, Joseph, David and others were preserved in Scripture by people who had known and seen these events with their very own eyes.
Thirdly, it could mean the ancients got a good reputation with believers that would follow their example: us. Because of their own faith, they would become witnesses of God's faithfulness to His promises and we would look back at this great group of witnesses and be encouraged.
Yet, ultimately, the statements -- although apparently different-- all mean the same thing.

This is what the ancients were commended for.
Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
For by it the people of old received their commendation.
For by it the men of old gained approval.
For by it the elders obtained a good report.
For our ancestors won God's approval by it.
For therein the elders had witness borne to them.
For by this the ancients obtained a testimony.
for in this were the elders testified of;

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