Summary: Noah believed God, and he built an Ark to save his family. What can learn from Noah's faith, and what is there in the story of God's judgment that we need to share with the world?
(I opened by pretending to read a children story about Noah. Then I read Hebrews 11:7) “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.”
Now, the first part of Hebrews 11:7 tells us that God WARNED Noah - and Noah believed God. Faith is essentially believing God. Believing that God did what He did, said what He meant, and He’ll do what He promised.
ILLUS: Years ago I was visiting with some relatives and one of them said: “I’ve never met anybody who BELIEVED that God sent a flood that cover the whole earth”
Well, now she had! If the Bible says something happened… I believe it! And that’s especially true of the story of Noah and the flood.
ILLUS: Back in 2007, Reuters wrote a story about the Creation Museum in Kentucky. They wrote: “The Christian creators of the sprawling museum, unveiled on Saturday, hope to draw as many as half a million people each year to their state-of-the-art project, which depicts the Bible's first book, Genesis, as literal truth. While the $27 million museum near Cincinnati has drawn snickers from media and condemnation from U.S. scientists, those who believe God created the heavens and the Earth in six days about 6,000 years ago say their views are finally being represented.”
And Reuters lamented “almost half of Americans believe that humans did not evolve but were created by god in their present form within the last 10,000 years.”
Now, of course my faith doesn’t depend upon the applause of the media, or approval of scientists. I could spend Sunday after Sunday giving you true geological and historical reasons why I can believe that there was a literal man named Noah who built a huge boat filled with every kind of animal - a boat that survived a world-wide flood that washed the earth clean of all evil. And THEN… God started all over again.
I could give you all kinds of useful information to encourage your faith in that, but I only need ONE SOURCE of information for me to believe all of that is true! (PAUSE) God said it happened.
In Genesis 7:20-22 “The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And ALL FLESH DIED that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. EVERYTHING on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life DIED.”
Peter wrote: “… by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged (flooded) and destroyed.” II Peter 3:5-6
And most importantly, Jesus said: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-27
THAT’S ALL I NEED. I don’t need my faith to be confirmed by geology. It is, but I don’t need that. I don’t need my faith to be confirmed by history. It is, but I don’t need that. If God said it happened… it happened.
And that’s how Noah reasoned. God warned Noah, and Noah believed him – and then he ACTED on that belief. Hebrews 11:1 tells us “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of WHAT WE DO NOT SEE.” Faith is not based on what we can SEE
Do you realize that Noah had probably never seen a flood? In fact, the Bible implies that he’d never even seen it rain. Genesis 2:5-6 tells us "God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground."
So, for 120 years… while Noah built the ark: Noah preached to people about a flood they’d never seen before. He warned of massive rains they’d never experienced. And he built a boat unlike any they’d ever beheld.
And the wonder is NOT that the people of his day did not believe. The wonder is that Noah DID BELIEVE! But that’s why Noah was chosen. He was a righteous man - a man of FAITH. When God warned of “events NOT YET SEEN” Noah believed God.
But how could Noah POSSIBLY believe in something he’d never seen? He believed because God told him so, and that was enough.
But that couldn’t have been easy for Noah! It’s never comfortable to step away from the crowd. Noah’s lifestyle… and his behavior “CONDEMNED” the world. “By (constructing the Ark to save his family) he condemned the world” Hebrews 11:7