The writer of Hebrews begins this amazing chapter 11 by telling us the value and work of faith. He says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). He affirms that everything we do is predicated on our faith that God is trustable and can be relied upon, that His Word is the agent by which He framed the worlds. It is through faith that we have the understanding of this historical record, coupled by trusting that God cannot lie. He wants us, by faith, to assume the veracity of God and that God made these things by His Word and with nothing but His Word! This New Testament writer expects his audience to catch hold of faith, and thus latch onto hope in an unflinching manner that makes their destination certain.
He explains what faith is able to achieve when he outlines the journeys of two real flesh and blood people. His conclusion is seen, and the truth is established through these two men that God has a reward for you also. He writes, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). This young man sought God, searched Him out, found what He required, and gave it to Him.“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).Pleasing God should be our goal as it was Enoch’s pursuit. These are two forerunners/witnesses who have shown us what can be obtained by diligently seeking, investigating what God has for those who love Him. God, Himself, is Abel’s witness that he was righteous, thus, a diligent seeker. Enoch was rewarded, as was Abel, according to what God does for those who diligently seek Him. Those who dare to go to the greatest lengths of sacrifice to know Him, to search Him out, will always receive a great and matchless reward. Enoch was supernaturally taken to paradise so that he did not see death because God took him. Enoch was doubtless a person of great faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). It takes faith to believe that God exists, and this faith must come from God Himself, and it takes faith to believe that once you see and know God, that He will reward you. Since faith is essential to pleasing Him, we must endure the rigors of faith-cultivation, meaning you must go through God’s testings. Just as the earth lies silently under the piercing of the farmer’s sharp tools which break up the dirt under its deep plowing, so must we also not fight the penetrating, probing instruments of our faith-cultivation, the tilling of our earth, our humanity.
The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews does not tell us exactly how God brought these two biblical characters to faith, but we know the ways of God are not like our ways. His methods are probing and relentlessly accurate! Regardless of what He does, His goal is to bring us to unvarnished faith that will seek Him until we find Him. We are of the same substance as these men who persisted through many hardships to become diligent seekers. The diligent seeker does not seek things for himself. He only seeks the One! The One he seeks is “the hardworking farmer [who] must be first to partake of the crops” (2 Timothy 2:6). In this case, our Father God is the hardworking farmer! He must have the joy of rewarding you, the diligent seeker. In the Gospel of John 4, Jesus tells us the identity of the first and great diligent seeker when He says, “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’’’ (John 4:23–26). Truly Jesus is telling us all things concerning the Father’s plans for us and our relationship with Him through the Son, for the Father is diligently seeking ‘the true worshipers’ through the Son, and the destination of the diligent seeker is God’s throne, and his reward is God Himself! “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13–14).
Searching Him Out,