By faith Enoch

Hebrews 11.5a

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

I have always loved the story of Enoch, a man who so walked with God that the Lord just took him out of this world. Genesis 5:21-24 tells his story:

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

The Hebrew name for Enoch is Chanokh which means “dedicated.” We all know that in the Old Testament days a name had meaning for one’s life. I am led to believe that Enoch’s name is our first indicator of his walk with God. Enoch’s life was dedicated to God and he walked faithfully with God.

Now, this would not mean that he lived life as one who never committed sin for we know that would only be Jesus. The verse tells me that Enoch was man who knew how to live in communion with God. A man who knew how to ask forgiveness, make sacrifice for sin (OT requirements), repent, and spend time at the altar.

The Scriptures tell us that Enoch was a father of at least 5 children (note the “s” on the words son and daughter) so he must have had a wife and a busy life. Yet he was a man who was without excuses, was faithful and dedicated to God! Enoch’s life pleased God and one day he was no more, couldn’t be found, disappeared! He was not lost for God took him and commended one who pleased God. 

We are also privileged to know of Enoch’s son, Methuselah. The Scriptures tell us that Enoch was 65 years old when he became father of a baby boy, Methuselah. Methuselah’s name comes from two Hebrews words: muth means “death” and shalach which means to bring, to send forth. Methuselah’s name means to bring forth death, in other words judgment. It is interesting to note that Enoch was Methuselah’s father and God was sending a prophetic message of impending judgment in Enoch’s day through his son’s name.

So we are able to take note that at the time of Enoch’s dedicated, faithful, and pleasing walk with God things were not too pretty on the earth. So much so that God used Methuselah’s birth and life to warn of impending judgment. Methuselah lived 969 years…that would be 969 years of grace, mercy, opportunities to repent and turn back to God. When Methuselah died, the flood came.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-14.

I know, I know, I know…this is longer than you want to read but I’m trying to lay the background for a couple of meditative questions for you and for me.

  1.  I note that Scripture specifically states, After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years.” SSSSssssoooo Enoch lived 65 years before his faithful walk. At the age of 65, Enoch experienced a heart change that caused his walk with God to become faithful, that caused him to live according to his name – “dedicated” to God. Was it the prophetic warning of his son’s name, Methuselah? Was it the birth of a child and the responsibility to raise him in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Was it that the culture at the time revealed the need for a personal and intimate relationship with God that would be a witness to his children? We don’t know but I do know that the Genesis 6 verses sound very similar to the times of today. The question is what does your life, my life tell our children and present generation about God and culture? Does our walk with God display the self-focused, self-indulgence, self-exalting, selfishness of this present culture or display the beautiful, wonderful, magnificent attributes and character of God? The God worthy of our love, dedication, and sacrifice!
  2. The Scriptures above give testimony of Enoch and Methuselah’s lives. When all here is said and done, what testimony will we leave behind…that we walked faithfully with God? Pleasing to God? Though our lives were not perfect, when we were convicted of sin that we were in a hurry to repent? Will our very lives give testimony to the judgement to come?
    • But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
Hebrews 11:5b

O Father, How we praise, honor, and bless Your Holy Name! Wash us by Your Spirit and Word that You would commend us as one who pleases You!
In Jesus Name, Amen!

Hebrews 11.5b

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Hope for today: all grace abound to you

HopeAnd God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

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By faith Abel

Hebrews 11.5

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:5

The writer of Hebrews now begins to give the readers illustrations of great men and women of faith. He begins with Abel. We find Abel’s story in Genesis 4:3-7:

In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

When reading the story of Cain and Abel, there is always the question as to why Abel’s offering was more acceptable to God than Cain’s. Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Abel’s offering was by faith and Matthew 23:35 tells us that Abel was a righteous man. Abel’s offering came from a heart of obedience. He gave God the first born of his flock and of their fat portions and did so willingly. There is no mumbling and grumbling, it was an offering overflowing out of a heart of faith.

On the overhand, Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. The Scriptures do not tell us why but it does tell us that the Lord had no regard for Cain’s offering. Could it be that Cain’s heart was not for God and the all-knowing God was aware?  In fact, 1 John 3 warns us, Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. While we do not know Cain’s heart, the Lord does and He tells us that Cain belonged to the evil one and his actions were evil.

Because Abel’s actions were of faith, they still speak today. His actions speak to us and are worthy our pondering today. Are we people of faith with hearts of obedience? Can we be counted among those who believe and trust the Lord and willingly give Him our best with our whole hearts, and trust Him for the rest?

When we walk by faith, our heart attitude will not begrudge God, murmur when giving our time, tithes, offerings, and service. People of faith understand that God can be trusted with our lives. I will trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 17.7a

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Hope for today: receive what is promised

HopeTherefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the Coming One will come and will not delay. Hebrews 10:35-37

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The Lord is my Strength and my Song

Isaiah 12.2

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to You, O Lord,
    for though You were angry with me,
Your anger turned away,
    that You might comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
    and He has become my salvation.”

With joy You will draw water from the wells of salvation. And You will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name,
make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done gloriously;
    let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

 

Isaiah 12.3

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Hope for today: cry for help

HopeThe eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:15-18

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By faith we understand…

Hebrews 11.3

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3

It is one of those read it slow verses…pause for a moment…make sure you read it correctly…took it in correctly and then..shout now, Hallelujah! There is no way a person can understand this verse, believe this verse, and not shout, Hallelujah!

My, my, my…the bullet points:

  • by faith WE understand…who is WE? The writer and every true believer.
  • the physical universe was formed at God’s command
  • we see this physical universe with our physical eyes (“what is seen”)
  • “what is seen (the physical universe)” was not made by anyone or anything that is seen nor is it sustained by anyone or anything we can see
  • God commanded the universe to come forth and it was
  • God created the entire universe out of nothing. He called it to be by His Word, by His own power
  • God didn’t use anything that we can see, touch, or feel. He spoke and there it was!
  • This one True and Living God is so worthy of worship, praise, honor, devotion! The God who so loves that He gave His only begotten Son that we might have personal, intimate relationship with Him.
  • There is no reason to look at the universe and worship the created when we can worship the Creator!

How Great is our God? There is Nobody Greater!!!

https://youtu.be/yiiozM6_QQY

 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:15-17

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said… and God said… and God said… and God said… Genesis 1.

By faith, we understand…to the glory of God!

Psalm 33.6

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Hope for today: trust in His name

HopeWho among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

Isaiah 55:10

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Now faith…

Hebrews 11.1c

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 11:1

As we have looked into the Book of Hebrews, the Lord has proven that Jesus is the Superior One! He is Superior to angels, Superior to the prophets including Moses, Superior to the high priests including Aaron and Melchizedek, He brought forth the Superior Covenant… and now the Holy Spirit speaks of the superior life, the life of faith.

We must remember that the Jews were tempted to return to Judaism and the way of Moses. They were pleased with a religion that gave them the visible things of this world in which they could see, touch, and feel. The writer is wanting the readers to understand that true faith is not rooted in what we can see but the Word of God. Most of us are familiar with 2 Corinthians 5:7, For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Note the verse states we walk…we live…we experience true life by trusting what God has spoken, not what we see. Faith lives in a trusting and committed obedience to the Word of God NMW (No Matter What)! We are sure and certain that what God has said, shall be!

Circumstances, trials, tribulations, disappointments, world chaos, even death does not change our deep and abiding trust in God and His promises. God is Who He says He is and He does every bit of everything He has said.

Life happens and brings with it all manner of circumstances, from joy to agonizing hurt, pain, and loss and the response in every aspect of life for the believer is faith. We are sure, we are absolutely certain, we are confident, we have a deep and abiding assurance that the promise of God shall be fulfilled/performed.

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12

We are not hoping against all odds that this might take place or come to be but in the spirit realm faith has already laid hold to the promise of God as real. It is a matter of  waiting on God for the manifestation of a future reality. The Amplified Bible translate it like this:

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses] (Hebrews 11:1).

This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1

Where did the ancients/we we get this title deed? From God Himself,For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

Shout now, HALLELUJAH!!!

Ephesians 2.8-9

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Hope for today: Blessed are…

Hope And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:1-11

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