May 3, 2024


Hebrews 11:4-7 - 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.


Hebrews 11:4-7 highlights the importance of faith in the lives of three Old Testament figures - Abel, Enoch, and Noah. The passage begins by recounting how Abel's sacrifice was accepted by God because it was offered in faith, even though it cost him his life at the hands of his jealous brother Cain. Abel's faith still speaks to us today, showing that God looks at the heart behind our offerings and actions. Next, we see the example of Enoch, who walked with God in such close fellowship that he did not experience death, but was simply taken by God. Enoch's life pleased God, demonstrating that faith is essential to a relationship with Him. The author emphasizes that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Anyone who wants to draw near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Finally, the passage turns to Noah, a man who was warned by God about the coming judgment of the flood. Although Noah had never seen rain before, he responded in reverent fear and obedient faith by building the ark as God commanded. By his faith, Noah not only saved his family, but condemned the world's unbelief and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Through these three examples, Hebrews 11:4-7 powerfully illustrates that faith has always been the defining characteristic of those who are commended by God. True faith takes God at His word and acts upon it, even when the way is costly or unclear. It pleases God and aligns our lives with His righteous standards. The passage calls us to examine the depth of our own faith and challenges us to live wholeheartedly devoted to God as Abel, Enoch and Noah did.


The examples of Abel, Enoch and Noah in Hebrews 11 provide a stirring portrait of what authentic, life-transforming faith looks like. Reflecting on their stories should cause us to ask ourselves searching questions: Is my faith a living faith that expresses itself in concrete actions and choices? Am I willing to offer God my very best, even at great cost, as Abel did? Do I cultivate such closeness with God that pleasing Him is my greatest aim, as it was for Enoch? When God reveals something to me in His Word, do I respond in obedience like Noah, even if it seems utterly contrary to the ways of the world around me? Faith is not an abstract idea or intellectual assent, but a wholehearted trust in God that realigns our lives to His ways. The author of Hebrews is clear that faith is not optional for followers of Jesus - it is essential. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." This can be a sobering thought, causing us to realize how often we rely on our own wisdom, strength and plans rather than trusting God. Yet Hebrews also reminds us that God generously rewards faith. When we seek Him sincerely, we will find Him. When we step out in obedience, we discover His faithfulness. True faith draws us into deeper relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. As we look at the fallen world around us, it's easy to feel discouraged or even fearful. The examples of Abel, Enoch and Noah remind us that God's ways have always been counter-cultural. Following Him in faith has always required going against the grain of the world's values and priorities. Like Noah, we may find our faith leads us to make choices that seem bizarre to others. Yet as we walk in faithful obedience, we become heirs of true righteousness and experience God's saving power, both for ourselves and others. May the testimony of these heroes of faith spur us on to deeper trust and devotion. In a world of compromise and self-reliance, may we be found faithful, wholly devoted to God and joyfully confident in His promises. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and run with perseverance the race He has set before us.


Gracious God, thank You for the gift of faith that enables us to draw near to You. Forgive us for the times we have relied on our own strength and understanding rather than trusting in You. Help us to learn from the examples of Abel, Enoch and Noah what it means to live by faith. Give us the courage to offer You our best, no matter the cost. Draw us into such close relationship with You that pleasing You is our greatest delight and ambition. When You speak to us through Your Word, grant us responsive and obedient hearts. Strengthen our faith to stand firm in You even when the world around us is turning away. Thank You that You reward those who earnestly seek You. Help us to lay aside every weight and sin that hinders us and to run the race of faith with perseverance. Fix our eyes on Jesus, our ultimate example and the perfecter of our faith. May our lives be a testimony of faith that points others to You. Use us to introduce many to the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ. We pray this in His mighty name, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Amidst the gathering storm, Noah's ark stands firm, A testament to faith that defies the world's scorn.

Amidst the gathering storm, Noah's ark stands firm,
A testament to faith that defies the world's scorn.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.