Summary: This sermon addresses the topic of vision, Noah’s vision in particular. The message is designed to help it’s audience understand how spiritual vision functions in the life of a Christ-follower.
Vision Quest, Learning From Men Of Vision
Part 1 – Noah
May 19th, 2002
For the next four weeks we are going to be studying the Biblical concept of Vision. Each week we will examine the life of a well-known biblical character and how vision shaped his life and ministry. We will learn how vision is essential for our lives today and how to apply the principles of vision to how we live those lives.
Before we open to Noah’s story, let’s define Vision. When we talk about Biblical Vision or Spiritual Vision, we must understand that we’re not talking about normal vision or 20/20 vision which is the work of our eyeballs, rather we are talking about something God gives to us through the Holy Spirit.
One person describes Spiritual Vision this way, he said:
A vision is the dominant factor that governs your life.
It determines all the choices you are making.
It’s what’s left after all the layers are peeled away like an onion.
Clinging like glue to the inside of your rib cage...
It’s what your mind naturally gravitates toward when it is not legitimately concentrating on something else.
It’s ... what determines your friendships and your relationships that you are cultivating ...
It’s what your prayers are about--what you dream about and are giving money toward.
Citation: Phil Grant, Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 3.
This morning we are going to take a close look at Noah. Most of us are familiar with Noah. But I wonder if anyone here actually knows Noah’s last name. Noah’s last name was Zark. Z A R K. How do we know this? Well, we’ve all heard the story of Noah’s Ark, right? Get it?
Yes, Noah heard from God and obeyed the Lord’s command to build an enormous ship we call the Ark. Bear in mind that the boat Noah built was no canoe! Picture yourself building a boat the length of one and a half football fields and as high as a four-story building. The ark was exactly six times longer than it was wide—the same ratio used by modern shipbuilders. This huge boat was probably built miles from any body of water by only a few faithful men who believed God’s promises and obeyed his commands. There are several lessons we can learn from Noah.
There is a well-known book titled, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Let me suggest another: Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Noah. Here are just some of the lessons we learn from Noah:
1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. We are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something big.
5. Don’t listen to critics; just do the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. When you’re stressed, float a while.
10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.
Before we examine how Noah’s vision shaped and directed his life let’s digest just a little bit of his background. Noah, whose name means rest, was the grandson of Methuselah. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the second great father of the human race. It wasn’t until Noah was 500 years old that his sons were born to him – they were Shem, Ham & Japheth. He was known as a “just man, perfect in his generation,” and one who “walked with God”.
The story of Noah’s life involves not one, but two great and tragic floods. The world in Noah’s day was flooded with evil. The number of those who remembered the God of creation, perfection, and love had dwindled to one solitary man. Of God’s people, only Noah was left. God’s response to the severe situation was a 120-year-long last chance, during which he had Noah build a graphic illustration of the message of his life. Nothing like a huge boat on dry land to make a point!
Now let’s pause here and consider what is going on. God has informed Noah that He regrets having created mankind. As a result He is going to wipe mankind along with the animal kingdom off of the face of the earth. God then informs Noah that He is going to preserve He and his family IF, and here’s where the vision begins, IF Noah will build an ark 450’ long, 75’ wide and 45’ high! Now why in the world would God ask anyone to build an enormous ship hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean? It was because God was giving anyone who would pass by this unmistakable structure a second chance. When Noah’s neighbors took their dogs for a walk in the evening, as they passed by his house, they had to make a choice. Either they believed that there was a God in heaven Who was worthy of their respect and worship, OR, they decided that Noah was a madman and there was no God Who was preparing to destroy the earth.