“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. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:5–6, AV)
I really did not want to get up at 4:00AM in the early spring to go surf-fishing with my dad, but it was pleasing to him. The problem was that it was cold at the Jersey shore in March and we could go for many weekends being cold and just sitting there watching our rod tips and catching nothing. Yet, there was something in me that wanted to please my father.
Here in these two verses, the author of Hebrews gives us an example of a man who’s life pleased God. Yet the point the author clearly presents is that it was this man’s walk of faith that was pleasing to God. The author again is giving his audience an example and a statement about true faith. True faith pleases God.
In Genesis 5:21-23, we read about this man named Enoch. He walked with God for 300 years after he became the father of Methuselah (v22). Since he walked with such devotion to God, the Bible tells us that Enoch did not see death. God took him directly to heaven without seeing death. His walk with God set the example of true faith. The author of Hebrews states that for this reason, Enoch pleased God. He follows that up in verse 6 with this universal principle. It takes true faith to please God.
What does this faith look like? The author now amplifies the definition given in the first verse of this chapter “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, AV). He states that one must believe that the invisible God does exist and that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. These two things characterized Enoch’s life of faith. It is only by believing in the unseen God and trusting in His future reward, that one will draw near to God. This is a picture of true devotion, a devotion that only happens by true faith.
Jonathan Edwards wrote a treatise titled, “Religious Affections.” In it he explained that the greatest assurance of our salvation comes through the affections of our own hearts towards God. Enoch was a man who demonstrated such affections of the heart. So much so, that God took him without seeing death. It was the veracity of his faith that made the difference.
The questions are these. How are the affections of our hearts towards God? Do we seek him with a whole heart? We will only do this by true faith. “Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 16:10, AV) There is true joy in the heart of one who walks with the Lord by faith.