Thursday, 12 January 2012

Hall of Faith Series: Abel and Enoch (Hebrews 11:4-5)

Welcome to the first post in the Hall of Faith Series. 
I hope you'll be blessed.

Abel offering a
'more excellent sacrifice than Cain'
The list of characters in the Hall of Faith of Hebrews 11, starts from the early beginnings of history with righteous Abel, who was the first one on earth to ever experience death and death by violence. 

"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh" (Hebrews 11:4) 

As we all know the account from Genesis, he was the second son of Adam and Eve. Unlike his brother Cain, Abel took heed to what his parents said God required of them after their fall in the Garden of Eden. This was now the only way to approach God as sinners - offering a blood sacrifice. It was, of course, looking forward to Christ, the Saviour, who was to come and be '...the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world' (John 1:29). God gave Abel true saving faith. 

Abel was a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer (see Genesis 4:2). The Bible say in Genesis 4 that one day Cain and Abel decided to offer a sacrifice to God. Cain decided to offer fruits and vegetables he has grown. This does not sound too bad at first. However, he totally missed the whole meaning of the offering. He had no faith in it. It is was just a duty to him.

Abel on the other hand understood by faith what the offering represented. The blood of the blameless lamb was to be his substitute before God for his sins. Through faith he saw his Redeemer. That was what he brought to God - '...the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof' (Genesis 4:4). It was also his best. The Bible says that 'the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect' (Genesis 4:4-5). God looked into Abel's heart and found faith and saw him as righteous. But He did not find it in Cain. 

Cain, of course, was angry with God and Abel and so, murdered his own brother! In 1 John 3:12, it says why he slew him: 'because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.' Even in his death he still speaks faith to us. 

May the Lord give us the faith of righteous Abel! 


The next character in the Hall of Faith is that of Enoch. We know so very little about him, except for these precious words: 

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:  for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11: 5). 

Enoch and Elijah, were the only ones on earth to ever experience this: not tasting earthly death.

God did this for Enoch because he pleased Him. That is indeed a precious thing to have that said about you. But without FAITH it is impossible to please God (see Hebrews 11:6). When we approach God we must believe '...that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him' (11:16). Therefore, Enoch was full of faith in God. 

The only other place in the Bible where we know something more about Enoch's faith is in Jude 1:14-16, where Enoch is said to have prophesied, saying that '...the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that ungodly among them of their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him...' 

This is just a glimpse of the godliness and faith of this man of God. 
May the Lord grant us the faith of Enoch that causes us to please God always. 

Thank you for joining me on this journey. My presentation here is very poor. But I know it will be a learning journey for me and am being blessed with it as I hope it will bless you, too. 

Learn More
Genesis 4:1-16
Hebrews 11: 4-6


Maddy said...

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for sharing this. Amen, may the Lord grant us the faith of Enoch and also of Abel.
There is so much to learn by looking at their witness in the Bible, and as we've read in Hebrews 11 - it was "by faith".
Truly they were His vessels, weren't they.
Man alone is so weak... but through your sharing of their testimony for the Lord, I was reminded afresh that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and trusting in the Lord bears great fruit of bringing glory to Him. May the Lord grant us such faith, and reveal to us and forgive us of our unbelief.


ShazInOzCardsCalligraphy said...

Hi there dear Sarah - truly "without faith it is impossible to please Him", and that is what Cain did not see - he saw as the old man sees and Abel as the new man sees.
May we too walk with God, as Enoch did "let our light so shine before men that they may see out good works and glorify our father which is in heaven"..
love and God bless dear faithful sister, you are such an encouragement to me - and Maddy too thanks, Lord's blessing on all,

Joy said...

Dearest Sarah,

It is rather late (as you know!)but this post was a blessing to me. Abel's faith and life are such a wonderful example and testimony for us, in believing in God and His Word. Thank you for sharing this account, as well as Enoch's. It was encouraging to me!

In His love,
P.S. I look forward to the next Halls of Faith post, Sarah!!

Sarah said...

Dear Maddy,
Thanks for your encouragement. Man indeed is weak but He is strong. May the Lord truly give us faith like Abel and Enoch.

love in Him,

Sarah said...

Thank you, Shaz, for your special encouragement, too. May the Lord fill us always with true Faith.

love in Him,

Sarah said...

Dearest Joy,
your encouragement, too, means a lot to me. Yes, may the Lord grant us faith.

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