Summary: The one who diligently seeks for God has the promise that He will be found.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
J.E. Smith in his commentary on the Pentateuch noted: “Hebrews 11 emphasizes the faith of Abram. He believed God when he did not know where (v. 8), when he did not know how (v. 11), and when he did not know why (vv. 17–19).”
In point of fact, Hebrews 11 is an entire list of people who, although they did not know the where or the how or the why, were driven by faith in what they could not see, being obedient to the promise of a hope they had not yet attained and by that faith won the pleasure and the approval of God.
They understood and believed that He knew all the wheres and all the hows and all the whys, and it was simply enough for them.
Now here we are in this information age, this time of greatly increased knowledge, with relatively little understanding of what is really important I might add, and where is the faith and the evidentiary love obedience and power that marked the lives of O.T. saints and the first century church?
Why have we come to demand and expect a clear statement of every where, how and why before we’ll commit ourselves to the gospel cause?
Could it be that there is an increasing tendency in the church to use the ‘many convincing proofs’ that have been made available to us in recent years as tools to win people over by some mental assent to the facts, thereby drawing people into the church community who have never said ‘I’m sorry’ to God, nor knelt in the blood-soaked earth at the foot of the cross of Christ?
Without faith it will be impossible to please God and disbelief is not the only obstacle to saving faith. The preponderance of information being stuffed under people’s noses concerning scientific and archeological proofs and hidden messages in the Hebrew text and any number of other things designed to help belief may very well become a stumbling block instead.
So the church is becoming a business place with its hierarchy and its pecking order, and every potential venture must be presented with graphs and powerpoint slides and marching music played softly in the background before the bean-counters will break loose with funds and resources to get the job done.
“What, you want to support a new church start over there in that part of town? Where all those people live in trailers and work blue-collar jobs for low pay? What will replace our expenditures for that? Those people certainly don’t have the money. We’ll have to cut back on some of our staff; maybe just cut the youth minister’s salary and let him get a second job. Yeah. That’ll work.”
Don’t think it doesn’t happen.
If you’re wondering how I got here from my beginning remarks and you’re wondering what all this has to do with saving faith let me assure you that it has a great deal to do with how people have attempted to come to God in the first place, and how they presume to approach Him now as one who wears the name of Christian.
Because, friends and family, our text does not apply only to the unsaved seeker coming to God for the first time. This statement of the writer that the one who comes to God must believe that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him applies to every child of God every day of his or her life.
The Christian life is a life of faith or it is a walk away from God and when a church congregation has turned to the ways of the world to manage itself it is no longer functioning as the true church of God, and it marches on without Him, under its own power, until it destroys itself from within.
It is an historical pattern, and it will happen in every local body when first the leadership and then the laymen cease to lean on God for help and direction and then do Kingdom work God’s way by faith.
And Christian, it is true of you and me as individuals.
COMING TO GOD
Let’s take a closer look at this phrase, “…he who comes to God…”
It speaks of approaching God. Not just coming to Him in the sense that we use it when we say, “Oh, I’ve been witnessing to my neighbor for three years and last Saturday morning he finally came to Jesus”.
No, it is a coming to Him in the sense that Paul was talking about in Ephesians 3:12 when he says that it is through faith in Him that we have confident access to Him.