“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
Life is a walk of faith. If you believe in God, then you walk by His faith. If you reject God, then you walk by the faith of the unknown. Each day decisions are made by faith. Decisions about jobs, friends, marriage, or where to eat lunch. Faith is simply part of man’s life. Faith is not blind, but it is also uncertain. Faith is logical, but it is also uncomfortable. Men of God will be asked to operate at a higher level of faith than the rest of the world. Men of God expect to operate by faith and live uncomfortable and sometimes uncertain of what God is doing. But the rewards of trusting God and living by faith are not of this world.
God called one man named Noah and his family to save the world. This would certainly require enormous faith in very uncertain times. Why did God choose Noah? What set Noah apart from everyone else? In Genesis 6:9 God reveals three things about Noah that He wants us to know. Three things that need to be present in the life of men who are going to walk by faith—huge faith!
1. Salvation: Verse 9 says Noah was a “just” man. “Just” in the eyes of God means to be righteous and righteousness only comes through salvation in Jesus Christ. Noah understood what it meant to be saved and he was. The Bible tells us that the Old Testament men and women were saved just like we are today. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Are you saved?
2. Integrity. Verse 9 continues to say that Noah was a “perfect” man. Perfect means complete, sound, or trustworthy. God knew that he could trust Noah to do what was required of him. Are you trustworthy?
3. Obedience: Finally, Noah “walked with God.” Noah experienced great faith because he already led by faith. Practicing small faith brings bigger faith and bigger results. If men want to experience all that God has for him, we must be obedient and trust God in the small things in order to get to the big things and Noah was about to get to the biggest thing of his life. Are you obedient to God in the small things?
God presented Noah with a job that was truly impossible. God told Noah,
“make yourself and ark.”
This was Noah’s job to do! There was no one else. Quite often, God will put us in a position where we have no one else to rely on but God. Yes, it’s good to have others in your corner, but at the end of the day, men of God must be satisfied that it is him and God and no one else. If no one else cares or helps, that is okay. Me and God are all that matter. Success in life is about doing the right things, trusting God, and then let God bring the results, even when no one believes in you.
Walking by faith can be lonely at times. I must understand that I am where God wants me to be and that can make all the difference on the days I want to quit. Quite often, walking by faith is accompanied by a desire to quit. That’s what makes it faith. Walking by faith usually means I am just a few steps ahead of the desire to quit. Don’t let “quit” catch you.
In Genesis 6:14-21 God gave Noah instructions concerning the ark and the animals. Noah built an enormous boat equivalent to the size of the Titanic. It was not until the 1800s that a ship bigger than Noah’s ark was constructed. Most likely the ark would have carried nearly 700 pairs of animals if Noah carried animals after their own “kind.” Noah did not have to carry every type of animal, just every “kind,” and from “kinds” of animals the earth could be repopulated. The ark had room for many more people, but only eight chose to enter and be saved.
Genesis 6:22 says simply,
“Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.”
Noah trusted God to do something that made zero sense to him. Noah did not know what an ark was, and he certainly had no idea what a flood was. However, Hebrews 11 says that Noah moved with godly fear. In other words, Noah understood the consequences of not obeying God. It was logical for Noah to trust God because God had protected Him in a world of demonic and violent activity. Noah had seen God work. Now God would take Noah to a new level of faith, but it would not be comfortable or certain. Noah’s job was to walk by faith and trust God’s plan. God’s job was to produce an impossible result through Noah. When men focus on faithfulness then God brings the results—big results! Often we focus on the results we believe should occur. This is not God’s desire. Focus on being faithful and obedient and the God-sized results will be more than we ever imagined.
Imagine how Noah felt as he built the ark. What were others saying in a culture that hated God? Did they harass Noah as he faithfully worked? Did they attack Noah and his family? Did they think he was crazy? When men live for God, the ungodly will harass, attack, and call us names.
How did Noah respond? He stayed focused and faithful.
How will you respond? Real faith works despite the criticism or opinions of others. Real faith “preaches” through actions, not just words. Real faith does not let the naysayers and critics stop THAT MAN from walking in obedience to God. His actions will have an impact on those around him for good or bad. The choice is his. The power is in his hands.
Noah was given a job to do by God and Noah did it. No complaining. No rebelling. No arguing. No questioning. God’s commands will not always make sense. It is not man’s job to understand or make sense of them. It is his job to obey. That’s it. God will provide the results now and the understanding later.
Noah’s faithful obedience offered the world a new opportunity. A fresh start. If Noah had disobeyed God, then all of mankind and the world were finished. History ends. One man’s obedience in the face of the impossible was critical. Our obedience is also critical. It is critical to those who love us. Those who follow us. Those who need us. People are watching every day and looking to see what we will do. Will we trust God, or will we fall to the insults and pressures of this world?
God wants to show the world who He is through us. God wants to display His love, power and grace through seemingly impossible tasks that He asks men to do. God wants people to look at you and I and laugh at our faith while God proves them wrong. God will turn their laughter into belief.
God used Noah to express His grace and mercy in order to save mankind. God desires to do the impossible through godly, obedient, and humble men. God is no different today, and he wants to use men today to do the same. This requires faith. Walk with God by faith, and God will bring the results—even the impossible results.