And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Herod met privately with a number of religious scholars. Herod was a Roman so he wasn’t familiar with the Jewish Scriptures and traditions: “He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, ‘Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?’” (Matthew 2:4). They told Herod the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (according to Micah 5:2).
This began a massive search for the child. Herod wanted the wise men to report to him when they found the child. Fortunately, God warned them to return by a different route. Then Herod had the Roman soldiers kill all babies in the area two years old and younger. Herod was dead serious about seeking Jesus but he was seeking him for all the wrong reasons.
God wants us to seek after him. I like the image used in this verse in Acts: “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27). God wants the nations to seek him and feel their way toward him, though he isn’t far from any of us. The Bible often speaks of those who do not know Christ as living in darkness. People are groping around in the dark to find God.
Our verse in Hebrews tells us anyone who wants to come to God must believe that he exists and rewards those who sincerely seek him. Herod wasn’t sincerely seeking Jesus; he had other motives.
On the eve of Christmas, maybe we should ask ourselves why we are seeking Jesus? Do we want what he can give us? Do we want answers? Do we want to be part of the “team” for our own social standing? Or do we simply want Jesus?
It’s impossible to please God without faith. Anything that is not of faith is not of God. Let’s receive the faith God gives us to believe and trust him. Without any selfish demands, let’s simply seek Jesus and give ourselves to him.
Lord, sometimes I feel like I’m groping around in the dark to find you. Open the eyes of my heart so I may see you for who you really are: my King, my Savior, and my Lord! I am thankful for all you do for me, but I worship you for who you are. Thank you for desiring a relationship with me that I may grow in grace and become more like you.
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