Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.Hebrews 11:36-38 NIV
“The world was not worthy of them.” This is an interesting comment about people mistreated by the world and considered to be of little value. But, in contrast to the world’s perception, it was the world that did not deserve to have these people living among them. But who are these people the world does not deserve?
Hebrews describes them as people who lived by faith. Who considered themselves strangers and foreigners in this world (Heb. 11:13). And who were looking forward to a heavenly city founded by God (Heb. 11:9-10, 14-16).
These men and women serve as examples to us today (Heb. 12:1). To live, not like the people of this world, but by faith, looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s promise to us—the promise of salvation and eternal life with him. Eliminating everything from our lives that interferes with running the race the Lord has set out for us (Heb. 12:1).
Why is it that the world is not worthy of us? It is not because of anything that we are. But it is because of whose we are. And because of the light of Christ that should be shining out from us.
If we are faithful to the one who called us, the world will reject us (John 15:18-21). But the world’s opinion and treatment of us are unimportant. What matters is that our Lord considers us to be of great value. And we can rejoice in that.