What Faith Is

What Faith Is

(Hebrews 11:1) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  I know I am repeating myself, but this is important!  We must get this one right.  Hebrews 11:1 is God’s definition of faith.  Most Christians, preachers included, define faith as “a leap in the dark”.

A few days ago, a well-known preacher was being interviewed on national television, and he was asked.  “What is faith?”  For a second I was thrilled—I thought a well-known preacher like this will surely get it right and give God’s definition.  But, alas, he did not.  His answer was “faith is believing that God will do what He says He will do”—Just another way of saying “a leap in the dark”.

How many times have you heard?  “Don’t judge a book by its cover or the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  This is simple enough—whether it is a “book” or “grandma’s pudding” you must see or taste the evidence.  Then you can really have trust, confidence, or faith in the “book” or “pudding”.  A book may look good or the food may look good and even smell good, but until you “read” or “taste” you just don’t know—“Leap in the dark!”

I still don’t like the idea of “leaping in the dark”.  I prefer to “look before I leap”.  Don’t you?  Let’s notice one verse of scripture.  (Genesis 17:12) “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.”

I don’t know how many times I read that verse before I really paid attention to it.  As part of the covenant with Abraham, God said circumcise the male child on the 8th day.  Did God just pull a number out of a hat or pick one out of the air?  Why not the 7th day?  That is a biblical number used many times.  Why not on the 11th day?  That’s supposed to be a lucky number.  With all the numbers available, why did God pick the 8th day?

When I began to dig a little deeper, I was surprised and even shocked at what I found.  When I get into the field of medicine, it’s easy for me to get in over my head, so I go to the people that know what they are talking about.

I’ll put it in the simplest of terms (that’s the only way that I could understand it).  The “stuff” that is in the blood—I think it is called “Prothrombin”—causes coagulation.  Now here is the surprise part.  When a male child is 8 days old, that “stuff” is twice as high as it is on any day of his life!  Even if that child lives to be a very old man, no danger of him bleeding to death on the 8th day.

Talking to doctors and nurses, I think they agree that one out of 200 male children is a “free bleeder” (they don’t have that “stuff” in their blood)  Stop and think:  Thousands of years ago God in His infinite wisdom put in a “safeguard” for the “free bleeders” even though there was only one out of 200.

Back in those days, many centuries ago, God’s people spent a lot of time in the wilderness where there were no medical associations, American or otherwise, there were no emergency rooms to take a child to or doctors that made house calls.  Why they didn’t even have a Wal-mart or Burger King.

Common Sense—How did the writers of the Bible know this thousands of years before the medical world knew?  The only reasonable answer I can give is that the Creator God that made man told them what to write.  God’s people trusted Him and circumcised the male children on the 8th day for generations.  Even Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day.  (Luke 2:21)

Of course I can’t speak for you, but when I see this kind of “substance”, “assurance”, and “evidence”, it makes my “faith and confidence” stronger in the Bible and God who directed it to be written.

Thanks for reading and God bless!


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