HEBREWS 11:32-40


October 2, 2016

Todd Chapman

Hebrews 11:32-40 ESV: [32] And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—[33] who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, [34] quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. [35] Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. [36] Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. [37] They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—[38] of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. [39] And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, [40] since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. 

The author of Hebrews wants us to see that sometimes the results of our faith will be obvious triumph.  Other times, not so much.  He wants to encourage us to trust in the promises of God, no matter how He chooses to work in our immediate circumstances.

  • Many obviously triumphed in faith.
  • Many, not obviously at all, triumphed in faith.
  • All of those who lived in faith, whether their triumph was obvious or not, had to wait for God’s ultimate promise to be fulfilled.

Life Group Questions


  1. How would you summarize 11:23-31?
  2. In this section, why do you think the author of Hebrews mentions Rahab as the last person of faith?
  3. Up to this point in chapter 11, how has the author defined faith?
  4. What shift takes place between 32-38 in the expression the author mentions? What is the difference between the first set and the second set?
  5. Does the text describe those who are delivered as having more faith?  Explain.
  6. According to v. 39, what does the author mean by saying that the world is unworthy of these people of faith?
  7. What did these people obtain? What did they not? 
  8. Who does the “us” of v. 39 refer to?
  9. What is the “better” thing God provided for us?
  10. How would you paraphrase the big idea of 11:32-40?


  1. What does this passage tell us about faith?
  2. What does this passage tell you about the obvious triumphs in faith along with the not so obvious triumphs?
  3. Why is it wrong to judge whether we have faith based on our circumstances? 
  4. What are the promises of God you may need to review to give you more confidence and certainty to pursue God?
  5. While none of us seek suffering, how does the text encourage you to endure when you experience not so obvious triumphs?
  6. Have you ever encountered someone who demonstrated faith, even though they weren’t delivered from their difficult circumstances?  What did that person look like?
  7. How can we increasingly become those people?
  8. What has helped increase your convictions that the BEST IS YET TO COME?