Hebrews 11:4-7: The Faith of Abel, Enoch, and Noah
Read: Hebrews 11:4-7
The first eleven chapters of Genesis tell the story of God from creation up to Abraham, setting the stage for the rest of the Bible. These chapters tell of the creation and fall of man, and then talk about two lineages that came from Adam. One of these lineages was a godly lineage and the other was an ungodly lineage. Abel was the father of the godly lineage in which Enoch and Noah both came from. Each of these men have a story that talk about how they related to God:
- Abel: The story of Cain and Abel is one of the better known stories from Genesis 4. It tells how Abel offered a sacrifice of animals that was pleasing to God while Cain offered one of fruits. The issue here was not that one sacrifice was better than the other, rather that Cain had some sort of contempt in his heart, so God did not accept his sacrifice. Driven by jealousy, he killed his brother Abel. Cain’s line became the unrighteous line while Abel’s line became the righteous line. When Abel died, Genesis speaks of his blood calling out, making him the archetype for martyrs to come (Genesis 4:10). Abel’s faith gave him a “good report” as spoken to in Hebrews 11:2.
- Enoch: There are two Enochs mentioned in scripture, but the one referred to in Hebrews is Genesis 5:21-24. He did not experience death; rather he was taken to heaven by God. The author of Hebrews makes note of Enoch’s life, saying that one must believe that God “is” or “exists” and believe that God rewards those to seek him. It is not merely enough to believe that God exists, rather one must trust in the promises of God as well. Without such faith, it is impossible to please God.
- Noah: The story of Noah, like the story of Cain and Abel, is one the more well-known stories in the Bible. The story tells of Noah being the only faithful man on the planet who prepared an Ark to save his family from God’s judgment. God forewarned Noah, and he trusted that God would do what he said was going to do. Noah is commended for receiving salvation from the flood because of his faith. Likewise, he was counted righteous because of faith too.
These three men were from the line of the righteous in Genesis, and are all noted because of their faith and righteousness. At the end of their days, they all received a “good report” that is testified to in Hebrews 11. Those living today ought to do likewise, having faith in Jesus and looking forward to the revelation of his promises. In doing so, when such people die, they will be remembered as one having a “good report” too.
Lord, help me live by faith so that I may have a good report!