Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
Hebrews 11:6 puts this verse in the middle of three Old Testament stories:
Without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to God must believe
that he exists and
that he rewards those who seek him.
The first story is about Abel, Adam and Eve’s son. His brother, Cain, brought God an offering of grain and vegetables which God rejected. Abel offered a sheep, which God accepted. Cain was angry at God, so he murdered Abel. The author of Hebrews commends Abel as a man of faith, because he had insight into what God wanted.
The second story is about Enoch, who lived a long life that pleased God. So instead of letting him die, God took him straight to heaven.
The third story is about Noah. When God warned him about “things not seen” (Heb 11:7), Noah built an ark.
John G. Stackhouse defines faith as “yessing”. He says faith is the “yes” we say–or, even better, the “yessing” we keep offering to God–as we walk in step with the Spirit” (Stackhouse, John G. Blog post “Faith as Yessing,” April 10, 2021, blog post at: https://www.johnstackhouse.com/faith-as-yessing/)
Abel pleased God by saying “yes” to God’s choice of offering, Enoch pleased God by organizing his whole life in a way that said “yes” to God. Noah pleased God by saying “yes” to an unknown water-filled future.
The author of Hebrews comments, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” God rewards those who say “yes”.
Our father, we say “yes” to you with our hearts and minds and strength.
Our thoughts are often scattered, we meditate more on our plans and problems than on your Word. But we pause to think of you, to feel the life-giving power of your word in creation, to feel the joy and beauty of your word in scripture, and to say “yes” to you and to your good gifts with our minds.
We say “yes” to you with our hearts. We are wounded by broken promises, abusive relationships, dysfunctional churches, and our own narrowness. But we choose to say “yes” to you in our hearts. Yes to a relationship with you, yes to loving the people you made, yes to living your way in your world.
We say “yes” to you with our strength. We choose not to live in despairing lethargy, not to give up because so many of our projects fail, not to abandon our search for you because we so seldom find you. Instead, we say “yes” with our strength, yes with Abel to doing what is right, yes with Noah to building for an unknown future, yes with Enoch to living fully in your presence and care.
We say “yes” to you, O God.
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.