Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report… By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:1-2; 5-6
After my last post I was curious if there was anything else about Enoch in the Bible I found to other passages, this is one of them. We see a general definition of faith: something hoped for not seen. It takes no faith whatsoever to believe that I am sitting in a chair, I can see it (though even at my somewhat slimmer 285 pounds, it may take some hope that it will support me) it does not really meet the requirements of faith.
I teach it to my kids like this (I teach the junior class in my church). I pick out a child and ask him do you believe I have a dollar in my pocket and will give it to you after class. If he says yes, then I just continue with my lesson. If he says no, I keep going till I find someone who says yes then I continue with my lesson. At the end of the lesson I dismiss the class. By then the child will usually ask about the dollar. I take it out of my pocket and give it to him or her. That is faith and it’s fulfillment on a very basic level. They believed that I had it and in hope believed till the end of class and their faith was filled because that got what they were expecting.
Enoch has a testimony that he pleased God (If that could be my testimony at the end of my time, O God!) And we need faith to please God. In fact it is a command not a request. If we want to please God we must have faith, and faith that:
- Believe that He is, as Matthew Henry said: He must believe that God is, and that he is what he is, what he has revealed himself to be in the scripture, a Being of infinite perfections, subsisting in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.[i] It comes down to do we believe God is who He says He is and is worthy to be obeyed in all matters, starting with salvation going through His commands. As Jesus said: Why callest thou me Lord, and do not the things that I say? (
- Is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. This is not a casual thought from time to time. We remember thoughts from the Bible like “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (Psalm 42:1) and “And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). We need to seek God and know He will reward us. We know this. We need not to seek a reward, seek God. As one preacher said: Seek God’s face, you will get His hands in the process.” We need to put in the effort.
- This is also not saying we work for our salvation. I cannot fully cover that thought in this post (if y’all are interested, leave me a response and I will give this more coverage) but salvation is a gift of God given by His grace through our faith, not of works lest any boast! (see Ephesians 2:8-9)
The faith that pleases God is not some static thing but lives through our actions in our love and compassion we show to others (cf. James 2:18,20,26).
Just something to think about.
[i] Henry, Matthew. “Commentary on Hebrews 11.” Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible. Blue Letter Bible. 01 Mar 1996. 22 Jul 2008. <http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Hbr/Hbr011.html>.