“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.” Hebrews 11:6
We know that having faith means that you have complete trust or confidence in someone or something. There are many stories in the Bible that depict men who had a strong faith and belief in God. Out of those men we see that Noah and Daniel truly believed that the Lord could be trusted and that He would keep His Word. We can also see that faith and obedience go hand in hand as it relates to our Christian walk. Honestly, you really can’t have one without the other. If we say we believe, or have faith in God, then that means we adhere to His instruction, His Word, His Commandments. If we are living our lives according to God’s Commandments and instruction, then that means we are walking in obedience – we’re submitted to the LORD.
Noah was a man that the Lord favored. Scripture says,
“…Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) Noah and his family lived in a land where there was corruption and wickedness. The people surrounding Noah’s family had no desire to serve God, so the LORD decided that He was going to destroy all that He had created. He told Noah what His intentions were and let him know that his family would be spared if he followed God’s exact instructions. Noah was instructed to build an ark, or a large boat to store food, to provide shelter for his family and to provide shelter for a selection of animals that would be traveling with them on the boat (Genesis 6:14-16).
The LORD spoke to Noah and said He would bring flood waters upon the earth to bring all corruption to an end. He was going to wipe out every person and creature created, leaving behind only a small group of people on the earth. The Bible doesn’t say that Noah knew what flood waters were, or what an ark was for that matter; however, when he heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him, he trusted the Lord and was obedient to the word that was spoken to him. He didn’t question the LORD or exhibit any signs of doubt but, instead, was hopeful and confident that through his compliance, he and his family would be protected by the Almighty God. Scripture tells us that those that delight in the Law of the LORD, and seek Godly counsel, will be blessed (Psalm 1:1-2). The LORD kept His word, and when the flood waters prevailed, Noah and his family were saved. This man of God was found righteous in the sight of the LORD (Genesis 7:1). Noah was a just man, one of integrity, Law-abiding and God-fearing. This pleased the LORD, and Noah was rewarded for his faith and obedience.
Much like Noah in the Bible, Daniel also had unwavering faith. He faced many trials and tests and each time he passed. Daniel was taken captive in his youth by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, along with a few other young men who were also sons of Israel. Daniel, along with the three other young men, were to be trained for three years learning literature, the language of the Chaldeans and their customs. The king also wanted them to eat the finest food and drink he provided. This specific diet and educational structure were to be carried out to prepare them for the king’s personal service. Daniel had decided that he wouldn’t defile his body with the king’s food and drink because he wanted to remain obedient to the LORD, even though he was under someone else’s (the king’s) lordship (Daniel 1:8).
God gave Daniel favor for his obedience, and he was allowed to continue to eat clean, healthy food according to his Jewish customs and dietary laws (Daniel 1:9-16). When Daniel was older, he was serving under a king by the name of Darius and his faith was tested yet again. Daniel was blessed by God and carried himself with respect, honor and had noble character. The king planned to promote Daniel over the entire realm, and this made some of the other men (who had the same or similar rankings) jealous of Daniel. The men couldn’t find any error in Daniel so they plotted and schemed against him in hopes of trapping Daniel and turning the king against him. A royal statute was put in place that anyone who would pray to any other god or man other than the king, within a certain time frame, would be thrown into a den of lions as punishment. Daniel was a devout follower of the God of Israel, and he would pray three times a day, unashamed and unafraid of the looming consequences (Daniel 6:10). He was thrown into the den of lions for not obeying the royal statue put in place; but God sent an angel and closed the mouths of the lions ,so that they wouldn’t hurt Daniel.
He put his faith and trust in the LORD and knew that the living God would vindicate him because he was innocent and had committed no crime. (Genesis 6:22-23). Daniel was released and the king made a decree that everyone in his kingdom was to fear the God of Daniel. He proclaimed that the LORD was indeed the one true living God, His kingdom would not be destroyed and that He would have dominion forever. Hallelujah! Daniel was prosperous, was honored by God and had much success over his lifetime because of his faith and obedience to the LORD.
As Christians, I’m sure we’ve all had moments in our lives where our faith was tested. God is looking to see who will be faithful and who will trust Him to keep His word. We don’t always know exactly what lies ahead; the LORD doesn’t always show us play by play, in detail, what He has in store for us, but He expects that we’re going to depend on Him to provide. Whatever you’re in need of, God will provide (Philippians 4:19). Like a good shepherd tends to his sheep and makes sure they have everything they need, so shall the LORD protect you, nurture you and supply your every need (Psalms 23:1). God is looking for people whose faith is strong and those who will be obedient to His will for their lives. Blessings, joy, and peace follow those who seek to please the Father by walking by faith and walking in obedience.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6