I’ve been preparing for VBS all week for a church in Georgia, and the theme is “Superheroes of Faith.” Just last month, the movie Avengers Endgame came out and shattered box office records. After watching the film three times in just four days and spending an entire week planning for VBS, I’ve got superheroes on my mind. This got me thinking about different heroes in the Bible, specifically superheroes of faith.
The first person that comes to mind when thinking about faith is Abraham. Many of us have read through Hebrews 11, which is known as the "Hall of Faith,” where Abraham’s faith is discussed. Hebrews 11:8-9 tells us about the faith he encompassed while moving to a foreign land. Abraham took his entire family, cattle, servants, herdsmen, and everything, and got up and moved to a different place just because God told him to. He had no idea why he was leaving, and he had no idea where he was going, all he knew was that God told him he was to go, so he went. I love how the Hebrews writer describes Abraham’s situation in verse 8: “And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” This reminds me of Thomas’ interaction with Jesus in John 14:1-6. Jesus is trying to comfort his apostles. He tells them He will soon be leaving them, and in verse 4, he tells them, "And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas, speaking on behalf of all the apostles, replies with, "Lord, we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?" And then the famous reply of Jesus in verse 6 is, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me." Here Thomas is given his answer, and that answer is Jesus Christ himself. Abraham received the same solution in his quest in Genesis. When you are lost and don't know the way, God is the answer, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:6). That is how Abraham became a superhero of faith, and the Bible acknowledges that in verse 10 of Hebrews 11: “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Abraham knew that no matter what the situation, God would deliver him. Trusting Him was his only choice.
This faith is further seen skipping down to verse 19 in the Hall of Faith. The verse here offers insight into why Abraham was willing to offer his only son through Sarah as a sacrifice. Many believe that Abraham just thought that God would stop the sacrifice before Isaac was killed (making it easier to go through with it), but the Hebrews writer says Abraham’s faith went even farther than that. Verse 19 says, “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” Abraham believed in God so much that he considered he could even bring Isaac back from the dead. I think this verse is extremely under-looked at in the scriptures. No one had ever been raised from the dead before. This was before Lazarus' and Jesus' time, but Abraham knew that God was even able to do the impossible. He knew God was able to do something that had never been done before. He went up that mountain walking with his son along the way, knowing he was going to sacrifice him because no matter what, in the end, God would deliver. Even if it took raising Isaac from the dead, God would provide for Abraham as long as he had faith in Him.
Another superhero of faith in the Bible is Jabez, a man that is only talked about in two verses out of the entire Bible. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 says this: “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!’ And God granted what he asked.” The entire first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles are lists of genealogies, and these two verses are the only ones to take the time to individually point out something good someone does. That is 407 verses total, and these two are the only ones. So we have to ask ourselves, why does the Bible do this? What was so special about Jabez? I think the answer to this is his faith. Jabez had a terrible beginning to his life, and his name reflects this. The name Jabez sounds like the Hebrew word for pain. Often times in the Bible, your name determined who you are. People would be named by their parents and would live up to their name, as was the case with Esau, David, and Abram. Jabez instead chose to shift his focus to God. Jabez was described as being more honorable than his brothers and then asked for God's blessings, which were granted to him. No doubt this can be accredited to his faith, his honor, and his refusal to let himself be dragged down by a bad beginning.
There are many other superheroes of faith in the Bible. However, our goal is not to sit back and admire these superheroes like we do while watching the Avengers. Our goal instead is to become one of these superheroes ourselves. There is no superpower they have that we cannot obtain; they just have a deep and everlasting faith for God, a faith that we too can have. Ephesians 2:8 says, “By grace you have been saved through FAITH. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” I urge you today to become your own superhero of faith.
Written By: Isaac May