It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left. Hebrews 11:20-22 NLT
Abraham’s faith influenced the faith of the patriarchs that succeeded him. Just like him, these patriarchs, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, were all imperfect men. What the writer of Hebrews emphasized in the lives of these men was their resolve to remain faithful to God until their death. It was their faith that sustained them and helped them looked beyond death for God’s plan will be fulfilled. As stated from the text, “It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau” (Hebrews 11:20). Isaac passed on to Jacob and Esau the blessings for their future (see Genesis 27). Then “Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff” (Hebrews 11:21). Jacob, a pilgrim, pronounced promises and blessings to his twelve son (see Genesis 48-49). Then “Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt” (Hebrews 11:22). Joseph’s faith was remarkable. The way he was treated by his family, you would think that he would abandon his faith. Instead, the difficulties he went through only strengthened his faith. Despite the exposure to the ungodliness of the Egyptians after he was taken as a slave, he did not compromise his faith. Joseph believed God and that He will turn what seemed to be misfortunes into blessings. Not only that he was blessed but also his family, as well as the Israelites. When a severe famine struck Israel, God used Egypt through Joseph to provide grains for the Israelites (see Genesis 50). The point of the writer of Hebrews is that these patriarchs trusted God’s word. They were confident that after they are gone from this world, they knew that the had left the next generation a legacy of faith. This was the faith that was passed on to them by Abraham. Since God’s word never fails, we who believe in Christ should trust God and obey His word at all costs. Our faith grows as our understanding of God’s Word grows. There are some inscrutable passages in the Bible, but this should not prevent us from ascertaining what God is telling us from His Word. As He guides us to understand His Word through the working of the Holy Spirit within, we must be ready to believe His Word, obey and live it out before the watching world.