Heroes of the FaithJanuary 10-14
Heroes of the Faith: Noah
So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. – Genesis 6:7-8 (ESV)
A preacher, ending his sermon, announced that he would preach on Noah and his Ark on the following Sunday and gave the scriptural reference for the congregation to read ahead of time. A couple of mean boys noticed something interesting about the placement of the story of the Flood in the Bible. They slipped into the church and glued two pages of the pulpit Bible together. On the next Sunday, the preacher got up to read his text. “Noah took unto himself a wife,” he began, “and she was” – he turned the page to continue – “three hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high.” He paused, scratched his head, turned the page back and read it silently, turned the page. Then he looked up at his congregation and said, “I’ve been reading this old Bible for nigh on to fifty years, but there are some things in it that are hard to believe.”
The story of Noah wasn’t fictional. The world became so wicked God would flood it. Only Noah and his family would be spared, for it was God’s intention for them to restart humanity. Appropriately mentioned in the “Hall of Faith” in the Book of Hebrews, Noah is considered an exemplar of the Christian faith. Noah found “favor” or grace with God. This is the first time the word grace is used in the Bible but it is definitely not the last. Grace has been defined as “God’s unmerited favor on behalf of sinful and undeserving man.” Grace is never based on what one has done. Grace is a gift.
We are starting a series called Heroes of the Faith. Noah found favor with God and so too will all others who repent and place their faith in the Son of God. Jesus said as much in John 3:36, where He said it’s a double-sided coin; “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” How have you experienced God’s favor in your life?
Thank God for rewarding your faith in Him with His grace and favor in your life.
Noah Walked With God
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. – Genesis 6:9 (ESV)
Henry David Thoreau once said, “If I seem to walk out of step with others, it is because I am listening to another drum beat.” This is a picture of Noah. Noah walked out of step with the world around Him because He walked with God.
What an epitaph! Noah was a righteous man. Noah’s character is described by two words, righteous and blameless. This verse shows just why God saved Noah and his family. He saw Noah as “a righteous man” and in his own generation, “blameless.” Even more, Noah walked with God, and that term, “walked with God,” is always associated with a deep, close, personal relationship. Like Enoch before him and Abraham after him, Noah lived in the awareness of God’s immediate presence. He walked with God by faith, trusting him, believing his Word, doing his will, in sweet, blessed communion.
God didn’t say Noah was perfect, for none of us are, and in fact, far from it (Rom 3:10). Everyone, Noah included, falls short of God’s glory but God’s grace is great and He saves those who are humble of spirit. Would you describe yourself as someone who walks with God? Why or Why not?
Thank God for His grace and mercy which enables you to have a personal relationship with Him and to walk with Him.
Noah’s Ark Building Faith
And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. – Genesis 6:13-14 (ESV)
THINGS OVERHEARD ON NOAH’S ARK
Here is a list of things you may have heard on Noah’s Ark. OK, who’s the wise guy who brought the mosquitoes on board? Help! I need some Pepto for the elephants, QUICK! Don’t Make Me Pull This Ark Over And Come Back There! And whatever you do, DO NOT pull this plug out. Are We There Yet?
Noah’s building of the ark required faith. It had never rained before. The idea of a worldwide flood probably seemed preposterous to the people of Noah’s day. But Noah believed in an unseen God. Noah believed the message that God had given him. And Noah responded by doing what God said. God told Noah to prepare an ark big enough to hold one male and one female from every kind of animal and creature. With the length of the project spanning 120 years, building the ark was quite a notable achievement. Noah’s greatest accomplishment, however, was his faithful commitment to obeying and walking with God all the days of his life.
Is God asking you to do something? Perhaps God is asking you to start trusting Him.
Luke 1:37 reminds us that nothing is impossible with God. Praise God for His ability to accomplish the impossible.
Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. – Genesis 6:22 (ESV)
The “Storm of the Century” had waves over one hundred feet high. It was a tempest created by such a rare combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it “the perfect storm.” When it struck in October 1991, there was virtually no warning. “She’s comin’ on, boys, and she’s comin’ on strong,” radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia, and soon afterward the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace. Sebastian Junger wrote a fictional book about the events that took place on the Andrea Gail. It was eventually made into a movie, and both the book and the movie were called “The Perfect Storm.”
Genesis 6 -8 contains details of the ultimate perfect storm. This storm was the first of all storms. Noah built an enormous ark to ride out the storm, following every meticulous step God gave him. Though it undoubtedly cost him his reputation, friendships, and possibly respect from his family …not to mention the physical pain and mental anguish of wondering if he heard God correctly …Noah demonstrated the powerful product of godly obedience. Genesis 6:22 simply reminds us that Noah did everything God commanded him to do because he loved God.
Our obedience proves our love for God and it is just as Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15) so it is “by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep his commandments” (1st John 2:3). John gives a great definition of love in writing “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1st John 5:3a). What does your current level of obedience to God say about your love for God?
Praise God for giving you His loving commands to guide you through life’s storms.
Some Great Lessons from Noah’s Ark:
When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember My covenant that is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. – Genesis 9:14-15 (ESV)
Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails. Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals. Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside. Don’t miss the boat. No matter how bleak it looks, there’s always a rainbow on the other side.
The rainbow in Genesis 9 is a heartwarming reminder of His genuine love for us. God makes a “covenant” with Noah. We might call it a “contract.” God promises never again to destroy all life on earth by a flood and the rainbow is a reminder of that promise. God is faithful to remind us of His presence. In Christ, we have the Living Word of God to reference in order to hear Him speak into our daily lives. We can see Him in creation, and in each other. All humanity was created in the image of God, beautifully diverse and individually wonderful and unique. God is faithful to place signs of hope in our daily lives. He promises, when we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him.
The flood didn’t fix humanity. We are still sinful in nature, living under the curse which began at the fall in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Nevertheless, because of who God is, not who we are, He chose to have compassion on us. Not only did He promise never to destroy all living creatures, but He made a way for us to stand in His presence, fully forgiven and redeemed through faith in Jesus.
Praise God for His New Covenant with us. Matthew 26:28 says, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”