Summary: Thoughts from Hebrews
“By faith, Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
I do not believe I have ever regretted the wording of the New American Standard Bible. It is an accurate and reliable translation. But in this verse I have to admit that I wish the translators had stuck to the wording of the KJV concerning one phrase. The NASB says, “in reverence”. That is accurate. But the KJV says, “in Godly fear”. My friends, from Adam’s sin in the garden, to the present, and until the day of the Great White Throne Judgment, the thing that condemns all of mankind, is having ‘no fear of God before their eyes’. (Rom 3:18)
What is missing in our country’s collective heart, that is rapidly leading to the downfall of the greatest nation on earth? No fear of God.
We have recently winked at our own President’s adultery and deceit, and said, ‘Well, he’s just a man. He does his job well. Who are we to judge?’ and let him off with a haughty sneer curling his lip.
Godly men try to warn about subliminal messages condoning homosexuality being put into our children’s minds through cartoons and children’s toys and programming, and some of the most famous newscasters in the world scoff openly on TV.
The pendulum of justice has swung so far in the direction of the protection of the criminal and so far away from the protection of society, that known murderers, rapists, burglars, robbers, embezzlers, are being set free because slick lawyers with hair-splitting arguments, and godless men in godless organizations like the ACLU have people so afraid of standing up for right, that it’s easier to turn them loose than to demand they account for their sin.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Reverence has become an old fashioned word to be laughed at as men who believe only what they can see and touch and appropriate to themselves, strut boldly through life boasting in their sin because there are so few left brave enough to point a finger and say, “Be sure, your sin will find you out!”
This was the condition of mankind in Noah’s day. Their fate should be a warning, but it is not heeded. Our historians and scientists argue the plausibility of a world wide flood. If they do accept the fact of it, they argue about where, exactly, the ark may have rested and entertain us with documentaries of treks to Mt. Ararat to view what may be its remains. But never will we hear them discuss the biblical warnings of the last days that correspond to the events of Noah’s day. Never will we hear them quote Jesus Himself, saying that the last days will bring judgment of fire rather than water. They don’t want to hear it; they don’t want to believe it. They cannot see it, and they will not accept what they cannot see. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Noah believed. In reverence. In Godly fear, he obeyed.
By his obedience, he saved his household, and became the father of the post-flood world. We should all line up and thank Noah when we see him; because his obedience, his Godly fear, continued the race so that one day we would be assembling together, in Godly fear, worshipping our God who saves to the uttermost, walking in obedience, offering ourselves as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, waiting for the day He calls us up into His ark of safety and closes the door and takes us home.
Noah’s obedience condemned the world. So does ours. They may scoff and chide and even persecute, but in the end it is our obedience to faith that will condemn the scoffers, who witnessed our faith yet suppressed the truth in their unrighteousness. In the meantime however, we are building an ark. Noah shaped the wood, drove the nails, sealed with pitch, preached the coming judgment. We exercise faith. We pray. We walk in obedience to His Word. We preach the coming judgment. We work to deliver all who will believe and enter in. This is faith, by which we are heirs of righteousness. Let’s fear, believe, work, preach. Like Noah.
And all the more as we see the day draw near.