The writer of Hebrews covers the faith of many in the past (See Hebrews chapter 11). The writer says of Noah, “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.” (Hebrews 11:7 NIV)
The faith of Noah was extraordinary
When God spoke to Noah and instructed him to build an ark, complete with detailed directions, (Genesis 6:13-21) “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22 NIV)
The magnitude of the premises Noah accepted were astonishing.
First, that God would destroy the evil upon the earth, “So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” (Genesis 6:13 NIV) This had never happened before, he could have easily passed this off and taken a position of denial.
Second, by faith Noah needed to accept God wanted to make a covenant with him (Genesis 6:18) and no one else on earth. He could have easily said “it can’t be me” and wondered off.
Third, Noah worked a long time, likely 120 years on the Ark project. How often do we get sidetracked, or loose interest in a project? Most books purchased are never completed as the reader looses interest. Faith must be very strong to sustain us over 120 years.
Fourth, Noah followed the instructions. We can easily start taking a short cut to save time or labor. If the Ark was one foot shorter, a lot of material and work would have been saved. However, Noah, in faith followed the plan exactly.
Fifth, Noah must have had faith the animals would come. If we were attempting to capture animals today, how hard would that be? Noah believed the Lord would handle that detail.
Sixth, Noah believed the Lord would handle the details of keeping the animals on the ark; they could have eaten each other.
Seventh, Noah accepted that the ark would work when nothing like this had ever been built before. He did not question the engineering detail as directed by God as he merely followed the plan.
Eighth, Noah waited in the ark for God’s timing. Even though the ark rested on “the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4) he waited until God told him, “Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you--the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground--so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it." (Genesis 8:16 NIV) After being cooped up in the ark, with all the animals and manure, he could have wanted to exit early, but by faith waited until God’s timing.
Then, Noah worshiped the Lord, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” Genesis 8:20-21 NIV) The Joyful worship came after long steps of obedience.
Noah’s life provides us a glimpse into the calling God has placed on us as Christians to be ready to give an answer for the Hope of Christ within ourselves as he wrote a pathway for Christians to spare them for preaching the Gospel and preparing for the time when life’s hardships would threaten to overtake them. Yet, God made a covenant with Noah’s family which He makes with all families today who are obediently serving Him in righteousness right where they live.
What was unique about Noah? He remained steadfast in his calling to persevere even when derided, divided from some members of this family and seemingly destroyed in spirit at times. He followed God’s plan and the vision set out exactly. This is a faith walk that God can use, a moldable, teachable and obedient vessel. God would protect Noah and his family as a direct result of this obedience. Noah had stepped out into unknown territory as an ark like this of such great proportion had never been built before and was certainly uncharacteristic of his time. But Noah himself could not have brought the replication of the animals and the resources Noah stored on the ark as he was told. Only God brings the fruit and the blessing from obedience such as this.
If Noah had not waited upon the Lord, would the replication have come? Can we learn from his example that waiting upon the Lord is part of His plan to bring a huge blessing? God kept His promise to Noah, because Noah kept his promise to God. Noah kept the Light in his sight rather than the darkness of which the society at the time was consumed. And, the lesson for us today is the same, hide God’s promises in your heart, keep your promise to God, follow His plan exactly, and remain focused upon the source of light and hope, Jesus Christ in whom your faith will be made stronger and your faith will produce fruit far beyond what you could have asked or prayed for.
Are you building an ark for your family like Noah in these uncertain times? Let CEN help you by downloading ReadyChristian today!
- What is God saying to Christians all over the world today as they see the rain falling?
- What steps does CEN need to take this coming year to support and equip Christians like Noah?
- What steps do you need to take as part of the CEN awareness, readiness and response mission?
- Are you willing, as Noah to follow God’s direction and instructions for “as long as it takes?”
- After the flood, with the destruction of every living thing except for what was in the ark, worship broke out. How do we help others experience joyful worship in the midst of disasters in which they find themselves today?