“But without faith it is impossible to please him…” Heb. 11:6
This writer boldly declares that man may actually please God by his faith. This is worth exploring. Oftentimes, faith is pictured as a “leap in the dark” which would be more accurately termed as presumption.
Consider our Lord standing upon the pinnacle of Jerusalem’s temple being encouraged to jump by his adversary the Devil. Jumping, no doubt, would require faith that God would respond. It would have made a glorious testimony, however our Lord did not follow that suggestion, simply because he had no direction from God.
Faith is not a leap in the dark or forcing God to respond to my action. Faith is obedience to God’s revealed word. Note the listing of the men and women of faith in Hebrews chapter eleven. First, note verse three. God has given the account of creation to us in scripture. We understand that account “through faith”, faith being based upon God’s word.
Let us look at the listed examples. Abel demonstrated being right with God by offering his sacrifice which God desired over Cain’s which was in opposition to God’s way. Enoch’s life pleased God which is called faith when he was translated before death. Noah built an ark, after God “warned” him. Abraham “was called”. He left and sojourned as a result of that call. Sarah received strength to conceive a child, based upon God’s promise. The list continues, but each one is based upon God providing information and action taken upon that information.
This lesson is very practical. For the “just shall live by faith” (Heb. 10:38) means that we practice what God says in his word. When we do this, our glorious God is pleased.
William A. Bembeneck