Abel and Enoch

by J. Randal Matheny
manwalking.jpgThe Hall of Fame of Faith begins with an unlikely candidate. Abel got himself killed, for not fault of his own, because he sought to please God. That he still speaks would seem a small reward for doing the will of God.
But then comes Enoch. He gets swept up to heaven for pleasing God. He passes go without dipping into the grave. Now that’s a reward we can understand.
Our experience, however, is more like Abel’s than Enoch’s.
So that’s where the next statement comes in.
“Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NET).
In the book of Hebrews faith is about plodding on, taking the lumps, seeking God, even when the reward is not obvious, even when the reward seems far away and, yes, even when the reward might even appear doubtful.
The pleasing-to-God faith suffers now to serve him in order to celebrate later.
We eat the the Supper and think of our reward at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Until he comes,” says Paul.
Because we all are more familiar with the experience of Abel than of Enoch.

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