4By 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. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.By Faith - Abel
Abel and Cain, one of the first stories we find in the bible. Cain kills Abel because he's jealous and angry. God disciplined him for doing so and he's forced to wander the earth forever. But in this passage God speaks not of Cain, but of Abel. Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice. As we read in Genesis:
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.Because Abel brought the right sacrifice to God, he was commended as righteous, so even though he died for it, his action still speaks to us today.
As some of you know, I raise rabbits. ah...but I do like my bunnies. they are fun, challenging, help provide some income and such like. And sometimes I ponder...what would it be like to give up...just give it up the best of what I have, the one that I've longed for. Butcher and present to the Lord the firstborn of what you have raised. Not so easy I think, yet Abel did it...and from what I read he did so willingly. A hard thing. I have a rabbit in my herd that I bred her myself and I've people wanting to buy her...but I'm so inordinately proud of that rabbit. Sell her? Ah...that's a tough one, but give her up willingly...naw...that's not something that would be so easy to do. And farmers would have a tough time with that too. The first born..the one that shows what you're doing, you're doing right, and then to sacrifice that to God. That shows a truly thankful heart. Abel's action declared him righteous to God. I want my heart to be that willing.
By Faith - Enoch
5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.By faith, Enoch didn't die. God took him straight up to heaven. Why? Because he pleased God. Simple reason. Why did he please God? He had faith.
Faith is what is necessary to please God. Faith is what is necessary to draw us closer to God and to want to seek him out.
Wow...is that ever speaking to my heart this morning. Faith is what causes ME to seek God. Even as I stumble, doubt myself, doubt my relationship with God it all comes back to this.... my faith in God's existence, in who God is, is what causes me to seek after him. This God finds pleasing. Wow....my faith pleases God.
By Faith - Noah
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.Noah obeyed God without seeing the cause for it. In reverent fear he built an ark. This huge boat and he built it because God told him to. He saved his household but condemned the world. Laughed at, mocked, for years (100 or so they think it took him) he simply obeyed God and built an ark. That's perseverance, that's faith, that's holy fear of the Lord.
Makes me wonder....what will I do for God? What might God ask of me? And what in faith will I be willing to endure?