Hebrews 11:7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
We are studying Hebrews, chapter 11, in Sunday School and taking a detailed look at a few people of great faith. This week we explored the faith of Noah, and it has definitely made me search my heart. I can say I have faith all day long, but do I have the faith of Noah? I’m not sure. If you go back to the beginning of the Bible and read Genesis, you will be reminded that the people of the earth had grown very wicked in their ways. God created man in His image, but he also gave man the gift of free will. Men and women were making choices that were so ungodly. God looked at the people, and all he that saw was corruption. Their thoughts were corrupted with evil thoughts, and good thoughts could not even be entertained. Everything that the people thought and imagined was totally evil. God grew weary of these people. Genesis 6:6 says, “So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” Can you imagine it? God created man, surrounded him with beauty, met all of his needs, and then sin entered the world and man fell so far from God that it broke the heart of the Creator. His heart was broken so badly that He decided that He would wipe the face of the earth of every living thing…animals and people. Maybe He wanted to start over, make a clean slate. But God, oh there’s that but God saying again, but God saw Noah, and Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
God told Noah that He was going to send a great flood to cleanse the earth, and He told him to get busy constructing an ark. He gave Him the floorplan and dimensions, and He laid it all out for Noah. But y’all, prior to this there had never even been any rain on the earth. From the best I can understand, everything was watered with a vapor or mist that came up from the earth sort of like that of the rain forest. It had never rained. It had never flooded. Yet, God told Noah to build a gigantic boat for he and his family and two of every living creature so that they might be saved when this flood came. Also note that Noah didn’t live near a large body of water, so he had probably not even seen a big boat, much less one the size of the ark that he was to build. But Noah commenced to building a boat. He believed God, he had faith that what God told him was the truth, and he reached out on faith and did as he was commanded.
Now, we have to realize that this was not an easy task for Noah. Have you ever been to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky? The life size replica of the ark is massive. As we walked through my thoughts kept going back to how in the world did Noah and his sons accomplish this enormous undertaking? They had no power tools, no table saws, no nail guns. There wasn’t a Lowe’s or Home Depot on the corner to run over to and purchase the wood. He also didn’t have a huge construction team of men working on this project. As a matter of fact, he was scorned, laughed at, and ridiculed by the people around him. He had to complete this project on his own with the help of his family only. It is remarkable to me that this man and his sons could have completed this on their own, but it’s not surprising at all when you factor in the fact that it was God’s will. When God’s will is behind any task, nothing can stand in the way of completion.
It took years to construct the ark. The Bible doesn’t really pin point the exact amount of years, but it was quite a few. During that time, Noah was likely taunted day in and day out. People laughed at him, but what did Noah do? He kept on preaching and warning the people, and he kept on building that ark. He had never seen rain. He had never heard of a flood. He had never built a boat. But he knew that he could trust in God. He had so much faith, and it had to be a fantastically strong faith in order for him to accomplish what he accomplished in such an overwhelmingly negative situation. Though mocked and ridiculed, he persisted. He didn’t give up. He followed God.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve heard the story of Noah and the ark since my early childhood days, and even though I’ve heard it hundreds of times, I had never really invested a lot of time thinking about just how much faith was involved in this endeavor. Noah was truly a man of faith. He sets a standard that we should all strive to live by. God spoke. Noah believed. Noah acted. Are we that faithful? Are we listening for the voice of God? Are we heeding His will? Are we living for Him despite the negative feedback that we get from those around us? We have to get back to God. We need to renew our relationship with our Lord and Savior, and we need to start building our arks! No, there will never be another flood of the whole earth. God promised that, and He does not break His promises. But just look around, Peeps? He has to be growing weary of the people of the earth again. Wickedness and evil are no longer hiding, but rather these things are right out in the open for all to see. The people are straying so far from God. We need to pray, get in His Word, and really live for Christ sharing the gospel with everyone we meet. Yes, we will probably get mocked and ridiculed too, but that just means we are doing it right! We need to learn to have a whole lot of faith just like Noah!