Heb 11:12-13 “from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
God had given specific promises to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
And again in Genesis 26:4 “I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”
God gave Abraham these promises because He loved Abraham and because of His great love for you and me. Through the seed of Abraham, God would bring the Messiah Jesus Christ to die for our sin and offer us salvation and eternal life.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph believed the promises of God. Abraham believed God would give him descendants as numerous as the stars even when the promised son was yet to be born to Abraham at the age of 99 years old. This promise was not fulfilled until Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old at the birth of Issac!
Isaac, the son of promise, believed in God’s promises and blessed his sons Jacob and Esau as his father had done to him. Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons and then worshiped God. (Hebrews 11:21) These men believed in the covenant promise God had given.
Joseph strongly believed the promises God had given to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-14 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
In fact, Joseph believed this promise so strongly that he made his family swear an oath 430 years before the Exodus to carry his embalmed body back to the Promise Land when they returned. As they promised, Joseph’s body was carried out of Egypt in Exodus 13:19 “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.”
Faith includes believing the promises of God even when you may not see the fulfillment. This was the case of Joseph and his family. They did not see the fulfillment of God’s promises but believed them even unto death:
Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
The Bible is full of promises made by Jesus to you. Read a few of some of these promises and list them on paper or in your journal: John 3:16, John 14:16-17, 1 John 2:25, Ps 121:7-8, and 2 Peter 1:3-4, John 16:33
What promises has God given you? Do you believe the promises of God even though you have not seen its fulfillment? Do you believe Him strongly enough to place your total trust in His ability to take care of your future and the future of you children? Do you have FAITH?