Conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty
The highest award of our country for gallantry is the Congressional Medal of Honor. Since the first medal was awarded to Private Jacob Parrott during the Civil War 3,457 have been awarded to heroes of extraordinary courage and bravery. The most recent soldier to be awarded this country’s highest honor was Sergeant First Class Leroy A. Petry. He saved the lives of his comrades when a grenade landed among them by picking up the grenade and tossing it away but lost his hand in the process.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.Hebrews 11:1and 2 (NIV)
In Hebrews 11, the author declares twenty-three times the phrase, “by faith” to describe the actions of these heroes of the Old Testament. However the word commend comes from the Greek word for witness or martyr. Like those who gave the “last full measure” and died showing heroism witnesses of the faith are said to have been “living by faith when they died.”(v. 13) What is a hero and are there still Bible heroes today? Heroes are not people who do extraordinary things but those who act during extraordinary events by a set of beliefs or values. A Medal of Honor winner risks his life for belief in their country or for the love of friends and is commended for the actions. They have given testimony the sacrifice of what was valued.
Yes, there are still Bible heroes today and many never are recognized for their acts of biblical heroism. They are living each day “by faith” trusting in God’s provisions and not afraid of the wolf at the door. They are the unsung hero who is not afraid to tell others of Jesus and “by faith” does not fear rejection or humiliation by those who resist the Word. They are the Christian custodian who goes to work each day and “by faith” does his/her job as if they were doing it for Jesus. They are the pastors of small churches who must work at a full time vocation to care for his family while working full time and a half for his avocation—the body of Christ.
There are no medals for biblical heroes but there is a commendation for their sacrifice which Jesus pronounced;