STUDY Hebrews 11:5-7
(click here for notes)
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (NIV)
Walking with God
Enoch was "the seventh from Adam" (Jude 14) in the line of Seth, and he "walked with God". Lamech was the seventh from Adam in the line of Cain, and he was evil. The similarity of the genealogies from Cain (Gen. 4:17-18) and from Seth (Gen. 5:3-31), according to the NIV study notes, "is striking and may suggest the selective nature of such genealogies." The lengths of the life spans listed suggest that names are omitted. Genealogies from non-Biblical sources also include phenomenal life spans. One Sumerian list has three kings each reigning 72,000 years. (NIV Study Notes, Gen. 5:5)
1. In Enoch's genealogy, he is the only one who was said to walk with God. The others lived, then died. What other Biblical characters walked with God? (see Gen. 6:9; 17:1; 24:34-40; 48:15; 2 Kings 20:2-3; Psalm 116:8-9; Mal. 2:3-6)
2. What is the significance of "walking" compared to "living" as it's used in
Genesis 5:3-31? (see Leviticus 26:23-24; Isaiah 30:21; Micah 6:8; Mark 2:8-12; John 8:12; 11:9; 1 John 1:6, 7; 2 John 6)
3. How is "walking" in this context related to our "will" and doing God's will? (see Psalm 40:8; 143:10; John 7:17-18; 1 Corinthians 7:37; Philippians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:26; 2 Peter 1:21)
4. What do you think qualified Enoch to be taken to be with God? (see Heb. 11:5)
5. What other person do we know was taken to be with God without seeing death? (see 2 Kings 2:10-12)
6. The idea of eternal life is a New Covenant concept and is not discussed much in the Old Testament. What Old Testament evidences suggest that death for the righteous might be different from death for the wicked? (see Numbers 23:10; Psalm 169-11; 17:15; 49:14-15; 73:24; Hosea 13:14)
"Without faith it is impossible to please God," says Hebrews 11:6, "because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
7. In what "faithless" ways do people try to please God? (see Acts 15:10-11, 19; Romans 8:2-3; Gal. 3:15, 21; 5:1-3; Colossians 2:18-19, 20-23; 2 Thess. 2:9-12; Hebrews 7:18-19)
8. What is the condition for pleasing God and receiving his rewards? (see Jeremiah 29:11-13; Deut. 4:28-31; 2 Chron, 6:36-38)
9. Verse 6 identifies God as the object of true faith. In light of this connection between true faith and belief in God, what is the essential difference between those who please God and those who don't? (see Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 6:6-7; 8:6; Galatians 4:8; John 5:24-25; 3:14, 18)
10. How does one please God by having faith? (see John 14:12, 21; Romans 1:5, 17; 2 Corinthians 1:24; Galatians 5:6; 1 Peter 1:20-21)
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God." (Genesis 6:9)
11. What did Noah believe by faith even though it was not seen? (Genesis 6:17)
12. What constituted Noah's righteousness? (see Psalm 15:1-5; 18:20-23; 19:12-13; 37:37-38; Proverbs 2:7-8)
13. What was the "holy fear" Noah had? (see Job 24:13-15; Proverbs 1:7; 15:33; 16:6; 19:23; Hebrews 10:30-31; 12:29)
14. How did Noah condemn the world by his faith? (v.7)
15. What qualified Noah for the "righteousness that comes by faith"? (see Genesis 6:9; Ezekiel 3:19; 14:14, 20; Romans 9:30-33)
16. Does seeing that the Old Testament does not discuss eternal life in any depth lead you to questions or conclusions about the Adventist doctrine of soul sleep? If yes, what?
17. Are you "walking" with God, or are you merely "living"?
18. Is God the center of your life, or is your own control the center of your life?
19. Do you have the "righteousness that comes by faith"?
20. What area(s) of your life keeps you from truly walking with God?
21. What in your life feels out-of-control?
22. About what do you repeatedly worry or experience fear?
23. Tell God what you fear and how you worry. Ask him to give you the faith in him you need to let go of your control over those areas of fear and worry. Ask him to replace your worry and manipulation with his Spirit of peace and security. Let him teach you his will, and let him care for those out-of-control people and situations. Leave them in his hands, and accept his healing in your heart.
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Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Revised July 1, 2001.