Have you ever heard a parent say to a child, “I’m ashamed of you”? The child is doing something really naughty in public, or in front of friends or family, and the parent says these words. Maybe it was said to us when we were children; maybe we have said it ourselves.
But look at the end of verse 16: “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
People, in their frustration, will say (and feel), “I am ashamed of you!” But God will never say this to His child.
The people in Hebrews 11 were not perfect. Noah planted a vineyard, got drunk and lay naked in his tent (Genesis 9:20). Abraham lied about his wife Sarah (twice) and said she was his sister (Genesis 12:11, 20:2). Isaac also lied about his wife (Genesis 26:7). Sarah laughed at the idea that God could really fulfil His promise that she would have a child and then lied about it (Genesis 18:12-15).
Yet Hebrews 11:16 says: “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
This is amazing grace! They (and we) deserve the Lord to turn away from us and disown us as His children, but He does not. He is never ashamed of His child.
Why? Because a true Christian believes God (as we’ve seen in Hebrews 11). We may fail again and again, but we are saved by grace alone through faith. Faith pleases God, faith looks to the promises of God, faith looks forward to the complete fulfilment of those promises in the heavenly country.
We may be naughty children, we may be ashamed of ourselves (like Adam and Eve, see Genesis 2:24 and 3:7), but the Lord is not ashamed. Jesus took our shame (Hebrews 12:2), so we stand before Him unashamed, accepted and treasured by our God.
Let’s receive this truth today.