Read: Hebrews 11:4-7, 32-40
Abel seems to be an odd person in the first half of Hebrews 11. He is the first “ancient” listed, but his story is not like the others mentioned there. Enoch went to heaven without dying. Noah saved mankind. Abraham started a people group. Isaac was the promised son and a noted patriarch. Joseph rose to the top position in Egypt. Moses led the greatest exodus ever. Clearly, their faith was rewarded. By faith, they did what God asked, and He poured out blessings on them. They saw God’s promises fulfilled before their eyes.
But what about Abel? The second son of Adam and Eve had faith, and what did he get for it? Murdered. That sounds more like those people mentioned in Heb. 11:35-38, who found that trusting God does not always lead to immediate blessings. They faced “mockings,” “imprisonment,” and being “sawn in two.” Such things may not appeal to us. We would all prefer to be heroic Abraham instead of someone “destitute, afflicted, tormented” (Heb. 11:37). Yet in God’s plan, there are no guarantees of ease and fame even for the pious.
While we may experience some blessings in this life, we may also have to wait until “something better” (Heb. 11:40) comes along – the completion of God’s promises in Glory. Until then, let us keep living “by faith.” What is done for Christ now will be rewarded in eternity.