O Livro

Hebreus 11

Grandes exemplos de fé

1A fé é a firme certeza das coisas que se esperam; é a evidência daquilo que ainda não vemos. Foi porque tiveram essa fé que grandes homens de Deus receberam o testemunho da aprovação de Deus.

É a fé que nos dá a entender que o mundo inteiro foi criado pela palavra de Deus; quer dizer que o que existe foi criado a partir do que se não vê!

Foi a fé que inspirou Abel a fazer a Deus um sacrifício mais agradável do que o de Caim. Aceitando a sua oferta Deus mostrou a Abel que era perdoado. Ainda que já esteja morto, Abel continua a dar­nos uma lição.

Pela fé Enoque foi levado para o céu sem experimentar a morte; um dia deixaram de o ver porque Deus o tinha levado. Isto foi assim porque antes lhe foi mostrado que agradou a Deus. Ora, sem fé é impossível agradar a Deus. É necessário que quem se aproximar dele creia que ele existe e que recompensa os que sinceramente o buscam.

Pela fé Noé creu quando Deus o avisou de coisas que ainda estavam para acontecer, e consciente da sua gravidade, começou a construir a arca na qual salvou a sua família. Esse acto de fé foi como a condenação dos que não quiseram aceitar aquele aviso. E assim Noé obteve o direito de ser justificado pela fé.

Pela fé Abraão obedeceu quando Deus o chamou, e partiu para uma terra que lhe prometia dar, como uma herança. E foi, sem mesmo saber para onde ia. Sempre em resultado da sua fé, ele aceitou habitar nessa outra terra como um estrangeiro, vivendo em tendas, tal como Isaque e Jacob, aos quais Deus fez também a mesma promessa. 10 É que Abraão esperava aquela cidade solidamente estabelecida, cujo arquitecto e construtor é Deus mesmo.

11 Pela fé Sara, mulher de Abraão, pôde ter um filho, apesar da sua idade avançada, pois teve por digno de fé aquele que lho havia prometido. 12 E foi assim que uma nação inteira veio de Abraão, já velho de mais para ter filhos. E o facto é que dele descenderam tantos milhões quantas as estrelas do firmamento, ou os grãos de areia à beira mar!

13 Todas estas pessoas viveram na fé e morreram sem terem visto o cumprimento das promessas; mas foi como se as vissem de longe, e crendo nelas, aceitaram­nas. Eles reconheciam que aqui na Terra eram estrangeiros, vivendo de passagem. 14 E os que reconhecem isso mostram claramente que buscam a sua verdadeira pátria. 15 Se tivessem querido, teriam podido voltar à terra donde tinham saído. Mas não. 16 É que eles tinham em vista uma muito melhor, um país celestial. Por isso Deus não se envergonha de ser considerado o seu Deus, porque lhes preparou uma cidade.

17 Pela fé Abraão ofereceu em sacrifício o seu filho Isaque, quando Deus quis experimentá­lo. É verdade! Ele ofereceu a vida de seu único filho, que era o cumprimento da promessa de Deus. 18 De facto Deus lhe tinha dito que seria através de Isaque que viria toda a sua descendência. 19 Mas Abraão sabia que Deus era poderoso até para o fazer ressuscitar! E no fundo foi isso que aconteceu: foi como se ressuscitasse.

20 Pela fé Isaque abençoou Jacob e Esaú, garantindo­lhes coisas que diziam ainda só respeito ao futuro. 21 Pela fé Jacob, já próximo a morrer, abençoou cada um dos filhos de José, e, apoiado ao seu bordão, adorou Deus.

22 Pela fé José, igualmente no fim da vida, falou da saída do povo de Israel do Egipto, dando ordens sobre os seus restos mortais.

23 Pela fé os pais de Moisés esconderam­no durante três meses, depois de nascer. Viram que era uma criança formosa e não temeram a ordem do rei.

24 Pela fé o mesmo Moisés, já homem feito, renunciou ao título de filho da filha do faraó, 25 escolhendo antes ser maltratado com o povo de Deus do que, por um tempo limitado, gozar de uma vivência onde reinava o pecado. 26 Preferiu sofrer o desprezo, por amor a Cristo, achando que isso era um bem superior às riquezas do Egipto. É porque ele tinha em vista a recompensa. 27 Pela fé deixou o Egipto sem temer a ira do rei, mantendo­se firme, como vendo aquele que é invisível. 28 Pela fé celebrou a Páscoa e mandou aspergir o sangue do animal para que, quando viesse o anjo destruidor matar os filhos mais velhos, fossem poupados os das famílias de Israel.

29 Pela fé atravessaram os israelitas o Mar Vermelho como se fosse terra seca. E quando os egípcios tentaram fazer o mesmo, morreram afogados.

30 Pela fé cairam as muralhas de Jericó, depois de o povo de Israel ter marchado à volta deles por sete dias.

31 Pela fé Raabe, que tinha sido uma mulher de má vida, recebeu em paz os israelitas enviados para espiar a cidade, e não morreu com os que não acreditavam no Senhor.

32 De quem hei­de eu falar mais? Faltar­me­ia o tempo se quisesse ainda falar de Gedeão, de Baraque, de Sansão, de Jefté, de David, de Samuel, dos profetas; 33 pessoas que pela fé conquistaram nações, praticaram a justiça, obtiveram a realização das promessas, fecharam a boca de leões, 34 anularam a força do fogo, escaparam de morrer à espada, da fraqueza tiraram forças, foram valentes nas batalhas, fizeram recuar exércitos de estrangeiros. 35 E houve mulheres que receberam os seus entes queridos ressuscitados. Outros foram torturados, preferindo morrer a ficarem livres, porque esperavam que pela ressurreição alcançariam uma vida melhor. 36 Outros foram ridicularizados, açoitados, acorrentados em prisões. 37/38 Até morreram apedrejados; serrados ao meio; outros foram tentados a renegar a sua fé, acabando por serem mortos à espada. Houve os que andaram vagueando pelos desertos e pelas montanhas, vestidos de peles de ovelhas e de cabras, escondendo­se em covas e em cavernas, sem amparo, perseguidos e maltratados — o mundo não era digno deles.

39 Todos estes, embora tendo tido a prova de que Deus tinha satisfação neles, não receberam o que ele lhes tinha prometido. 40 Porque Deus tinha reservado para nós coisas melhores, e queria que eles viessem também a participar delas juntamente connosco.

New International Reader's Version

Hebrews 11

Faith That Produces Action

1Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see. That is what the people of long ago were praised for.

We have faith. So we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That’s why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen.

Abel had faith. So he brought to God a better offering than Cain did. Because of his faith Abel was praised as a godly man. God said good things about his offerings. Because of his faith Abel still speaks. He speaks even though he is dead.

Enoch had faith. So he was taken from this life. He didn’t die. “He couldn’t be found, because God had taken him away.” (Genesis 5:24) Before God took him, Enoch was praised as one who pleased God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Those who come to God must believe that he exists. And they must believe that he rewards those who look to him.

Noah had faith. So he built an ark to save his family. He built it because of his great respect for God. God had warned him about things that could not yet be seen. Because of his faith Noah showed the world that it was guilty. Because of his faith he was considered right with God.

Abraham had faith. So he obeyed God. God called him to go to a place he would later receive as his own. So he went. He did it even though he didn’t know where he was going. Because of his faith he made his home in the land God had promised him. Abraham was like an outsider in a strange country. He lived there in tents. So did Isaac and Jacob. They received the same promise he did. 10 Abraham was looking forward to the city that has foundations. He was waiting for the city that God planned and built. 11 And Sarah had faith. So God made it possible for her to become a mother. She became a mother even though she was too old to have children. But Sarah believed that the God who made the promise was faithful. 12 Abraham was past the time when he could have children. But many children came from that one man. They were as many as the stars in the sky. They were as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. No one could count them.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They didn’t receive the things God had promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a long way off. They openly said that they were outsiders and strangers on earth. 14 People who say things like that show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 What if they had been thinking of the country they had left? Then they could have returned to it. 16 Instead, they longed for a better country. They wanted a heavenly one. So God is pleased when they call him their God. In fact, he has prepared a city for them.

17 Abraham had faith. So when God tested him, Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham had held on tightly to the promises. But he was about to offer his one and only son. 18 God had said to him, “Your family line will continue through Isaac.” (Genesis 21:12) Even so, Abraham was going to offer him up. 19 Abraham did this, because he believed that God could even raise the dead. In a way, he did receive Isaac back from death.

20 Isaac had faith. So he blessed Jacob and Esau. He told them what was ahead for them.

21 Jacob had faith. So he blessed each of Joseph’s sons. He blessed them when he was dying. Because of his faith he worshiped God. Jacob worshiped as he leaned on the top of his walking stick.

22 Joseph had faith. So he spoke to the people of Israel about how they would leave Egypt someday. When his death was near, he spoke about where to bury his bones.

23 Moses’ parents had faith. So they hid him for three months after he was born. They saw he was a special child. They were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 Moses had faith. So he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. That happened after he had grown up. 25 He chose to be treated badly together with the people of God. He chose not to enjoy sin’s pleasures. They only last for a short time. 26 He suffered shame because of Christ. He thought it had great value. Moses considered it better than the riches of Egypt. He was looking ahead to his reward. 27 Because of his faith, Moses left Egypt. It wasn’t because he was afraid of the king’s anger. He didn’t let anything stop him. That’s because he saw the God who can’t be seen. 28 Because of his faith, Moses was the first to keep the Passover Feast. He commanded the people of Israel to sprinkle blood on their doorways. He did it so that the destroying angel would not touch their oldest sons.

29 The people of Israel had faith. So they passed through the Red Sea. They went through it as if it were dry land. The Egyptians tried to do it also. But they drowned.

30 Israel’s army had faith. So the walls of Jericho fell down. It happened after they had marched around the city for seven days.

31 Rahab, the prostitute, had faith. So she welcomed the spies. That’s why she wasn’t killed with those who didn’t obey God.

32 What more can I say? I don’t have time to tell about all the others. I don’t have time to talk about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah. I don’t have time to tell about David and Samuel and the prophets. 33 Because of their faith they took over kingdoms. They ruled fairly. They received the blessings God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions. 34 They put out great fires. They escaped being killed by swords. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became powerful in battle. They beat back armies from other countries. 35 Women received back their dead. The dead were raised to life again. There were others who were made to suffer greatly. But they refused to be set free. They did this so that after death they would be raised to an even better life. 36 Some were made fun of and even whipped. Some were held by chains. Some were put in prison. 37 Some were killed with stones. Some were sawed in two. Some were killed by swords. They went around wearing the skins of sheep and goats. They were poor. They were attacked. They were treated badly. 38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains. They lived in caves. They lived in holes in the ground.

39 All these people were praised because they had faith. But none of them received what God had promised. 40 That’s because God had planned something better for us. So they would only be made perfect together with us.