Thursday, September 27, 2012

Having Faith Like Noah

“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.  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 11:6-7, NIV]

Noah’s building of the ark displayed faith as a response to God’s instructions.  God spoke and Noah’s obedience was remarkable, displaying one of the main characteristics of faith.  Even though rain had never fallen on the earth, Noah believed and trusted God.  He built the ark in the face of mockery and opposition.  The absurdity of building a huge ship far from the sea in preparation for a worldwide flood did not daunt Noah.  His trust in God informed and undergirded him. The coming deluge was not a laughing matter; it was certainty. So it is with the second coming of Christ.  So it is with the preaching of the Word of God.  The world may mock, the church may disbelieve, but the Christ will come and all will acknowledge that He is Lord and the messengers of God will be vindicated.  By his faith, Noah accomplished three things:

First, his faith brought salvation to his family.  God warned Noah about the coming judgment and he believed and obeyed God.  Noah was the talk of the whole region.  Every time someone asked Noah what he was building and why, Noah told them.  God used him to help others know of the impending judgment, even though they chose not to believe.  Noah’s wife and sons supported and believed in him.  His daughter-in-laws joined the family by choice and accepted Noah’s destiny.  Noah’s wife and children were blessed to have a godly husband and father who could teach them and guide them into the truth.  Surely there were times the family did not understand Noah, but they never disrespected him or mocked God’s call upon his life.  Blessed is the wife who has a Christian husband and who will support and follow him in service to God.  Blessed is the child who has a Christian father and who respects the faith of his father.  Noah’s children made a conscience decision to accept the faith of their father Noah; and therefore took wives who were willing to forsake the world and accept their father’s faith.  These young women married into Noah’s family despite the stigma of the family being a God-fearing family.  God saved Noah and his family, but everyone else was forever separated from God because they did not believe God’s warning about the coming judgment.

Men, if you will live a godly life like Noah, your family will be blessed.  Your wife deserves to have a godly man.  Your children need a godly father.  Your walk with God makes you a better husband and father.  Women, if you will live a godly life, your family will be blessed.  There is an epidemic of ungodliness among Christian women.  The feminist movement in America has done great harm in suggesting to women that they should not submit to their husband.  Women, submission is a beautiful thing and if you cannot submit to your husband, you will never submit to God.  Children, like Noah’s sons, if you will be a godly child, you and your family will be blessed.  In fact, honoring your parents assures you of a long life.

Second, God vindicated his faith.  The world mocked and ridiculed Noah’s faith and belief in God’s warning of judgment.  As the rain started falling, the most cynical heart surely gave pause for never before had water fallen from the sky!  Then, an unprecedented deluge began as water gushed upward from the ground and the water bubble around the earth ruptured and rain fell from the sky.  Suddenly water was streaming up out of the ground and drenching rain fell from the sky.  At that moment, the wicked unbelievers knew Noah was right.  He did not have to fight to defend God’s plan, he only had to be obedient.  God fights his own battles.  The Bible says, “Except God build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”  We can use that same phrase to get another point across; “Except God fight the battle, they struggle in vain that fight it.”  God does not need mere humans to fight His battle!  When the ungodly raise their hand against God’s anointed, they raise their hand against God!  God will vindicate the faith of His chosen vessels.  It is a dangerous thing to mock God’s man, for God vindicates the faith of his faithful servants.  You see, I do not have to fight against flesh; I simply have to be obedient to God and the vision He has given me.  You and I must build the ark God assigned to our hands, and if we are faithful in doing so, God will vindicate our faith.

Third, God counted Noah’s faith as righteousness.  Noah’s faith was a judgment on others.  It is not that the Christian is self-righteous, censorious, or a faultfinder.  It just so happens that the Christian, simply by living Christ, is passing judgment on other people.  One of the finest men who ever lived in Athens was Aristides, who was called “the just.”  Even so, the town voted to banish him.  One man who was asked why he voted to ban Aristides answered: “Because I am tired of hearing Aristides called the just.”  There is a danger in goodness, for in the light of goodness evil stands condemned.  Noah, by faith, became beneficiary of the righteousness.  Noah had faith in the promised Seed, the Savior whom God was someday going to send to earth.  The only way you can be counted righteous is by faith in the promised Seed, the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.  Noah believed in Jesus even before He was born in Bethlehem.  Genesis 15:6 says, “Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Prayer: Lord, I know that without faith, I cannot please you.  I know that without faith I will never be acceptable to you.  Without faith, I stand alone facing all the trials, temptations, sufferings, accidents, diseases, and even death – alone.  I know that without faith, you will not approve, bless, or reward me.  I know that you will not approve my sinful and carnal living, nor my doubting heart.  God, I know that you only honor righteous living and a believing heart.  Help me to truly live righteous and to truly believes enough diligently to seek you and to grow in faith.  Amen.

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