Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5-6)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the HebrewsIt was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.”For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews 11:5-6

Enoch is one of the few people in the bible who did not go through death. The few information we have about him was that he was a man who lived and walked in close fellowship with God. This is what we should retain about him. Then God took him alive with Him. If Enoch had to have an epithet, it would have been “A man who lived and walked in close fellowship with God“. Let us remember that Enoch was Cain’s son but he did not follow his father’s way. Enoch was also the father of the man who lived the longest on earth(969 years). In the genealogy recorded in Genesis we see that the author talked about people who lived and died but not so with Enoch.

When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” Genesis 5:21-24

The author of our epistle did not mention Adam and Eve because they were far from righteous. We have no record in the bible that Adam, Eve or Cain repented. Adam blamed Eve and Cain said “Am I my brother’s keeper?”. But we have seen Abel who revered God and offered the best to him. Now we have this man Enoch who because of his relationship and fellowship with God prophesied on the coming generations. Enoch knew how the ungodly sinners insulted and spoke blasphemy against the Holy God. He could prophesy because he was in fellowship with God.

Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14

Many times we admire Christians like Paul, Hudson Taylor , George Muller or Keith Green. They have served God with all their heart and till today we see the results of their toil. They have left behind them a godly heritage, were reputed for their faith and godliness. One common thing these people shared was fellowship with their Master. Living in constant communion with God was what their soul was longing for.

David was called “a man after God’s own heart” because he had fellowship with God :

I can never escape from your Spirit!I can never get away from your presence!” Ps 139:7

Whom have I in heaven but you?I desire you more than anything on earth.My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,but God remains the strength of my heart;he is mine forever…But as for me, how good it is to be near God!I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter” Ps 73:27-28

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.” Ps 84:10

Enoch already enjoyed great fellowship with God. Why should this fellowship temporarily be interrupted by going to the place of rest?

This man loved spending his years in fellowship with God. God was also pleased to have fellowship with him. For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. Enoch was such an exceptional friend to God.

Our author wants also to emphasise a very important aspect in his arguments – It is impossible to please God without faith.

The faith we are talking about here is not about the faith we have for God to provide. The faith we are talking about is about God’s knowledge. You believe and know God’s sovereignty and character. Enoch pleased God because he learned about God’s character for years. If you do not know God how will you know how to please him? How can you please your spouse if you do not know what (s)he likes and dislikes? The faith Abel had was rooted in his knowledge of God. He knew God deserved what cost him the best. Jesus was amazed by the centurion faith. God always commended people who surrendered their abilities and trusted Him instead. When we draw closer to God, have fellowship with Him, we’ll know His will and desires. This will then enable us to ask things we know are God’s will.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is the very element which makes us realise that God is everything we need. He is the sole provider and the only being that should have all our intention. When you really know who God is, you know that everything belongs to Him. You are sure God can provide because you know Him. This is the faith we are talking about. It is not a prayer like “Oh God I’m informing you that I don’t have food, can you please provide?”. It is rather a prayer of faith like a child who knows for sure his parents will give him. The child does not know if there is no money and does not bother where the food will come from but knows for sure that father and mother will provide the food.  Here we are not talking about parents who have no money and still manage to give food to their child. We are talking about the rich, holy and almighty God of Matthew 6 and 7:

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Mat 7:9

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?… And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Mat 6:30-34

Christians do not receive from God because they do not actually believe God can provide. They do not believe God can provide because they do not know Him enough.  Peter dared to walk on the water because he knew the One calling him. James tells us:

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6-7

Our fellowship with God and our knowledge of Him determine our faith in Him. Those who have doubts are simply those who do not believe God is able. As for me, I am sure God will provide the help I need in the ministry He entrusted me. I am sure of this because I know what He did. If you’re someone who really love your wife, how would you feel if your wife doubted your love? Many times we act like that with God. When we doubt we are actually saying to God that there is still a probability He cannot do it. What an offense to God!

“Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him

Many times people read books about faith to be boost their faith but they still find themselves the same afterwards. The main reason is because they do not know God enough. It is normal that man will doubt God if he never really encountered with Him. I know the abilities of my colleagues at work. I give them task I am sure they can do without even questioning myself if they will do it well. How come? It is because I have worked with them, I observed how they process, I know their reasoning and I saw that they mastered it well. The more we get to know God and have fellowship with Him, the greater our faith in Him increases.

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Posted April 27, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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