Summary: Understanding faithfulness
INTRO: Playing catch with Joel the other day, talent, working on his form, giving him some pointers to help him. Told Joel he could be the Ace’s pitcher next if he was faithful to the sport. Brought back memories of people I used to play with who had so much talent and natural ability but were not faithful to the sport which in the end was the downfall of them.
TEXT: Gen. 6:9-12
I. Understand the term faithfulness.
A. Definition: Webster’s Dictionary - An allegiance to duty to person, loyalty.
1. Original language - Heb. (OT) means a firmness, stability, idea of trust and consistency.
- GK (NT) means truth, reality, genuinus, trustworthy.
B. Four closely associated qualities of faithfulness:
1. Believe: Must think it’s true, believe in something or someone.
ex Children trusting in parents for needs (Eric and Felicia not worrying), chair.
2. Obedience: You cannot be faithful without obeying. If you’re faithful to God that means you
have to obey what He tells you.
ex God may test your faithfulness by what may seem to be weird to the natural mind.
-Abraham sacrificing son, Moses hands in air (war), Joshua marching around Jericho, Paul jumping on boy, Jesus mixing mud and saliva put into eyes of blind, Ezekiel lay on right side 390 days and 40 left side (bound with rope).
3. Endurance: Staying power, endure to the end (Nolan Ryan).
a. Spiritual truth - Matt. 10:22 “all men will hate you because of me, but he who stands to the end will be saved.”
ex King Saul, Judas
b. No reward for finishing part of the race or finishing part of the job.
4. Hope: Reward at the end. Proverbs - “A man will die without hope.”
ex College, good job, field enjoy, salary (light at the end of tunnel).
II. Noah’s faithfulness: Gen. 6:9-12 (READ)
A. The decree (v. 7) - God was about to wipe mankind off the face of the earth because of their wickedness, along with every living creature.
1. Rotten to the core: Only thing left was to destroy everything.
ex Cooler full of food, heat, crack in it, months, throw the whole thing out!
2. Broke Lord’s heart - after creating mankind (God said it was very good), now God was going to destroy mankind because of its wickedness.
ex Mike, parents broke off relationship because of the pain.
3. Bright spot - Noah was a righteous man (means to be right in a point of law, pardon of sin).
a. Blameless among his people - walk with God was pure, consistent over many years, scripture tells us blameless among his people.
b. Not contaminated - even though lived in a wicked corrupted society, a society so wicked God was going to destroy it. It didn’t drag him down. (Lot, Abraham was dragged down). Noah wasn’t because of his faithfulness to God.
Key: Didn’t get dragged down because he walked with God. Jesus during stressful times in his ministry got alone with God. (If he did, how much more should we).
B. The instruction - v. 13-22 (READ)
1) View events from divine perspective - readers are allowed to look down from heaven and see what the Lord sees and allows us to listen in on his conversation.
2) God’s faithfulness - God’s judgment, wrath is going to fall. God will either reward or punish depending on the faithfulness of the people.
3) Noah to build ark - a giant boat.
a. Dimensions -450’ long, 75’ wide, 45” high- 96,000 sq. ft., 1.4 million cubic ft., carry 14 gross tons.
-About three churches, end to end.
1. Scripture tells us Noah and family didn’t have any help even though it was possible.
a. Scholars speculate that it took Noah 100 years to build the ark.
ex senior project (overwhelming).
-I believe that’s why God does not show us the big picture at times because we can get overwhelmed.
b. Faithfulness - should have nothing to do with time.
1. We can be faithful when time span is short.
ex Exercise for a period of time.
-Americans are accused of no staying power. They need things to happen fast. (Desert Storm, Bosnia).
2. Our concept of faithfulness should have nothing to do with time.
B. Noah was faithful - built an ark, took a long time to build it. Also had to get the animals on board.
1. Preached righteousness with lip and action. 2 Peter 2:5 tells us Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Noah not only built the ark but also preached to them. Picture: travelers stopping by along with town’s people to see what Noah and his family were building (gave him opportunity to preach).
C. Four qualities associated with faithfulness.
1. Believe - Noah believed in God. He walked with God.