The Walk of Christ
Leslie S. Rainey is a missionary. He served the Lord in Palestine until refused a renewal of his visa. He is the author of several books especially prepared for college students in Zambia, the country in which he now labours. We always appreciate his thoughtful ministry.
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:5
Enoch brings before us the walk of faith. This is God’s purpose in relation to man, for walking with God implies faith in Him and fellowship with Him. In Genesis five there is portrayed a catalogue of antideluvian longevities who are overtaken by the cold clutch of death. Yet in the history of Enoch death is not experienced but escaped. Enoch believed in the event that in the minds of the people of his generation would not likely take place. That event was the coming to earth again of the Lord Jesus Christ with His saints to execute judgment upon the ungodly (Jude 14-15). Enoch proved it was possible to walk by faith and live in the light of His coming. In his life is observed the possession, persistence, and progress of faith. The hope set before him was born of faith. In the corruption of his age, Enoch steadily walked with God, he witnessed for God, and was well pleasing to God. In our generation the same principle is to be applied, “for 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 (Heb. 11:6). Enoch was fully persuaded in the Word of God and the necessity of faith as essential to pleasing God. Not only must we believe God exists but also that He is energetic and active on behalf of men. Even the word “cometh” as used in this verse so closely linked with the biography of Enoch, is suggestive of worship in its sevenfold usage. Inasmuch as we seek after God with all diligence, we shall prove God’s wisdom and wealth, and our attitude and actions in the present will be controlled by absolute confidence in things pertaining to the future. “And every man that hath this hope in Him (the Lord Jesus) purifieth himself, even as He is pure (1 John 3:3).
The Work of Faith
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:7
The salvation of Noah in the ark is summed up here. In Noah we see how faith works. The divine oracle warned him beforehand of what was coming. Both here and Matthew 2:12 the statement is translated “warned of God,” although it may be rendered as “divinely instructed” (Heb. 8:5). Noah’s faith led him to fear. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and directly men begin to listen to God, they fear because of sin and wrath. Noah did not wait to see — “he was warned of things not seen as yet.” Noah obeyed the voice of God and set to work. Day by day he wrought in the ark proving his obedience to what the Lord had said. His action had a double effect. He saved his household and condemned the world around him. As a preacher of righteousness he warned the people of his day and left on record a spiritual legacy for all who fear God. His righteousness was not a hope for the future but a real present possession by the gift of God. Thus in the study of these men of faith we note that it is faith that opens the way to God (v. 4); it is faith that secures our walk with God (v. 5); it is faith that works and witnesses for God (v. 9); and it is faith that leads us on to enjoy the wealth of God whose Word declares, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Few men of modern times have been given to know the meaning of faith in personal experience more than was George Mueller, the founder of the Orphan Homes, of Bristol, England. Mueller’s whole life and life’s work were a demonstration of implicit faith in God and His unfailing faithfulness.
Mr. Mueller often likened faith to some of the organs of the body. Faith, he would say is the eye, for by it we look to the Lord Jesus. An eye that is dim is still an eye, and an eye, though it be tear-filled, is an eye none-the-less.
Faith is the foot also, for by faith we go to the Lord Jesus. A foot that is lame is still a foot. It may cause a halting walk and delay progress, yet it does not prevent eventual arrival at a set destination. He who walks slowly, nevertheless walks.
Faith is the hand with which we lay hold of the Lord Jesus. A hand may tremble, but it is still a hand. It was a trembling hand that touched the hem of the Saviour’s garment, yet that faith resulted in the healing of a stricken body.
Faith, then, is that disposition of trust that looks toward Christ, walks to Christ, and lays hold of Christ, finding in Him the answer to every need. It is founded not upon feelings but upon the promises of God; and His word cannot fail.