God Pleasing Faith, The Creator, Lesson 3, Hebrews 11:4
Psalm 33 is clear about the origin of all things and it answers all questions within that subject about everything that exists.
Charles Darwin postulated the origin of the species by his sight and his intellect however he missed the mark completely for only by faith does God reveal the origins to have come by the word of his mouth.
Darwin gave us 502 pages in order to explain the origin of species but God has explained it in one verse for:
Psalm 33:6,9, says: By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouthÖÖ9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
And in Hebrews 11:3, Paul tells us how we know that, for he has writen: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
In essence God is telling us that we can study the natural elements as far back as our sight will reveal and if we can look back to the beginning there will be nothing to see for all that was made was made of things which do not appear.
So faith gives us understanding of how the heavens and the host of them that we see with the physical eye, the material universe and how it functions in time, came into being.
All matter came into being by the breath of Godís mouth, for he spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast.
All matter was made by word.
And all matter will stand fast until His word commands otherwise for matter is not eternal.
Peter spoke of this in I Peter 3:10, But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Again God will speak and all matter will obey him for the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
And then John told us of the new creation which will again be brought into being by the Word of God.
We read of this in Revelation 21:1, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Matter is simply a tool of God, a tool based upon time, but God does not consist of matter, for He is Spirit and as Spirit is eternal.
Regardless of what a person concludes about the origin of things it will be based upon a faith of sorts for when things came to be there was no human being there to observe it.
Scientists in general have faith in science and therefore make their conclusions based upon their faith as far as origins are concerned.
Billions upon billions around the world have been taught a godless view of this that all that is seen happened by sheer chance over billions of years but that conclusion is based only upon blind faith having no evidence to support it.
Biblical faith, a faith that brings one to believe that God spoke all into existence by the word of his mouth is not a blind faith for God gives an overabundance of evidence on all sides, left and right and front and back and up and down.
360 degrees not only in one plane but in all planes.
Evidence abounds that only a designer and a builder beyond anything man could imagine could put into place instantly by the word of His mouth a universe and a planet Earth which teems with complex life forms at every hand.
And all depending upon one another for life to continue.
Every single thing that you can examine, from the tinniest particle to the largest star, cries out to those given ears to hear that such a designer and builder made it thus.
Only those who are blind and deaf fail to see and hear the message from God, transmitted through His creation that He exists, for all of His creation points out His glory.
In this very blindness and deafness to such obvious and abundant messages from God it is proven to the person of faith that what God has told him or her is absolutely true.
If an examiner of such things were truly honest they would in astonishment bow before such a Creator, falling before Him in worship.
But sin has entered the picture and has brought knowledge of good and evil where men suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
Paul as usual said this in a cogent, concise and strong word in Romans 1:18-22:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
And a natural result of this kind of thinking is the conclusion of a fool, who decides to deny all he sees that declares the glory of God and decides in his heart, No God for me!
And that is what it boils down to! I will have no God!
Every man or woman who enters this world who is given the ability to function and think, faces Godís creation and its voice that tells them that the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;
God gives all evidence to lead to faith in Him, faith that will open eyes and ears to the things beyond the senses, things too high and noble and mighty for the sinner to endure.
The faith that is expounded in Hebrews 11 is an enduring faith, a faith that will carry you to eternity.
It is a faith in which the just shall walk, for the just shall live by faith.
So now that Paul has established the fact of the foundational truth of a Creator upon which faith is based he begins a treatise on men and women who by faith saw their responsibility to Him and carried it out.
They saw as their first responsibility the pleasing of their Creator in the doing of his will in contrast to the doing of oneís own will.
And an example of that contrast began with the first two brothers, Cain and Abel, sons of the first parents, Adam and Eve.
For as Paul points out in Hebrews 11:4, By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
God is not a God of the whatever.
God is a God of the specific and because of this he could judge Abelís sacrifice more excellent.
He is a God of detail for all of his creation speaks of this.
All of his creation is a creation of order.
I live in the woods and notice that even the leaves as they fall so randomly in the forest land on the forest floor in a beautiful order.
We are told to: Let all things be done decently and in order.
And that order is so much defined by God as was true about sacrifice.
But we find in Proverbs 14:12, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Man in his fallen state is a man who believes it best to figure it out all by himself.
He is a man who says this is the right way and goes that way but God says that way will lead to death.
In this it is of course inferred that man, because of sin, is not capable of figuring things out for himself and must rely on another to go the right way.
There is a way that is called in the Bible the way of Cain.
It is a way in contrast to the way of Abel for the way of Abel was a way of faith for Abel believed God, Abel believed Godís order of things, but Cain thought of a way that seemed right to him, and that in his mind was just as good a way as the way of Abel.
But of course Cain nor Abel established the way that pleased God for God himself established the way that pleased Him thus beginning the principle that He who rules makes the rules.
Our verse tells us that Abel offered God a more excellent sacrifice than that of his brother.
It was not judged more excellent by his mother or his father for they did not establish the standard of excellence.
In this story we are to learn that God counts his way always more excellent than any way determined by those of His creation.
This story in Genesis clearly contrasts manís way of salvation with Godís way which is by faith alone in Godís approved sacrifice, His Son, Jesus Christ.
So what do we know about Abel?
We know about Abel in Genesis 4:4-7, And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Cain was a tiller of the soil. He was a dirt farmer whereas Abel was a keeper of sheep.
Cain enjoyed the fruit of his labors for his labors assured him of a bountiful table from the fruit of the ground.
He was no doubt proud of that fruit and I believe this influenced him in what he brought to the Lord as an offering.
However what he brought was not accepted of the Lord for we are told that only Abelís offering was respected.
I am sure the fruit of Cainís labors was beautiful and tasty and food to be welcomed at any table but from God Cain was told, If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
That question by God certainly indicates that Cain knew full well what the offering should be but in spite of Godís clear instruction Cain choose to show off the fruit of his hands.
He succumbed to the idea of pleasing God by his works and that idea has hung around since that day.
I imagine if you asked 100 people what it takes to get to heaven, at least 90 of them would say it takes the doing of more good deeds than the doing of bad deeds.
Cainís idea has a very long shelf life for it comes from the natural mind.
But I suppose there was competition between the brothers and donít you imagine how hard it was for Cain to go to Abel and ask him for an acceptable sacrifice to offer to God?
So again: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Cain reasoned instead of obeying God and in that reasoning he neglected faith for faith is always an obedient response to Godís word for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
God has given man the ability to reason but reason only extends so far.
True faith, Christian faith, never is founded on manmade ideas, conjectures, assumptions or theories.
Faith always is founded on the revealed word of God.
Therefore Abelís sacrifice was more excellent, not because he knew well how to raise sheep, but because he had obeyed Godís word.
Cain reasoned, as many do, that God will be just as happy to see what my creativity and talents bring to the altar.
But without faith it is impossible to please God.
Think hard about a man plowing his fields, taking great pride in his work and thinking that God also will be pleased by his works.
But what does God say about that man who is without faith for God calls him wicked in Proverbs 21:4 which tells us: An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
Godís measure of a man is not in his plowing but in his faith.
Abelís faith pleased God, Cainís disobedience displeased God.
God does not complicate things but instead makes it simple.
Believe his word which means be a doer of his word for that displays our faith.
Abel and Cainís parents certainly communicated to them Godís mind about sacrifice.
For when Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves, God did not accept this and he provided an acceptable covering made of animal skin.
So in this one act God established that in order to be approved of God, to stand before the Holy God, a proper covering was needed.
And it could not be made by human hands, it must be provided apart from their efforts, and therefore it had to be a God
provided covering and lastly the only acceptable covering of their sin required the death or shedding of blood of an approved substitute.
It cannot be imagined that Adam did not communicate this to his sons for we know that Abel did indeed bring to God a more excellent offering and Cain did not and was rebuked for it.
Cain would not have been rebuked if he had not known of Godís requirements but he reasoned instead of believing Godís word.
Even the very act of sacrifice had to be made known to them from outside of them for who but God would even think of the need for sacrifice.
Hebrews 11:4 tells us that Abel by faith offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.
We are told to not compare ourselves among ourselves but God is not holden to this for here he compares Abelís sacrifice to that of Cainís sacrifice, not for the quality of what they brought but by how close it was to Godís specifications for the sacrifice.
Cain brought that which was right and pleasing in his own eyes, but Abel brought that which was right in Godís eyes.
Abel by believing Godís word pleased God for the sacrifice he brought fulfilled Godís picture of his ultimate God provided sacrifice in his Son whom we know as our Lord Jesus Christ.
And in this Abel obtained witness that he was righteous.
The inference of course is also that Cain obtained witness that he was not righteous.