Summary: This was the third in a series of character studies from Hebrews 11. A look at believing in the tough times.
Standing Face to Faith
Rev. Denn Guptill
Every story has a beginning. And this one is found in Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
Did you catch that? A righteous man. The only blameless person living on the earth at the time. He walked in close fellowship with God.
You know his story, you learned all about it in Sunday School. But really you know Noah for the boat he built, but have you ever thought of all that went into building that boat? Seriously, the man built a large, a very large boat in the middle of a country that had no major body of water and had never seen rain?
It had to be an act of either insanity or faith. And we don’t have to guess because the Bible tells us that it was an act of faith, in the scripture that was read this morning we heard 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.
God had decided to destroy the world because of its unrighteousness and the evil that had become so rampant and there was Noah standing face to faith.
Did you ever have a teacher in high school or college that graded on the curve? You know the theory that if a test was a good test and the teacher was a good teacher then the grades should fall along a bell curve. You’d have so many As and Fs, a few more Bs and Ds and the majority would fall in the C range. C being average and by it’s very definition most people are average, that’s what average is. And so a curve would end up looking something like this. However, if the test wasn’t a good test or the material wasn’t taught well enough the entire curve would move down and when that happened a professor who was committed to the entire curve thing would grade accordingly, and move the marks up. Is that somewhat clear?
The problem was when the curve was here, and one or two students still scored high, thus indicating that the problem wasn’t with the test or the teacher but with the students. And the prof wouldn’t move the marks. We referred to those people in the nicest possible way as curve blowers.
Noah was a curve blower. Had there not been a Noah then God could conclude that either he hadn’t taught the course properly or that the test was too hard. But if we go back to the book of Genesis we read in Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
Because Noah was righteous, because Noah was obedient, because Noah enjoyed a close relationship with God that was the evidence that it could be done, if people had a wanted to.
I wonder if any of us would have joined Noah in making it into the faith hall of fame, after all the people who are mentioned are simply ordinary people who did extraordinary things through the power of God, they were sure of what they hoped for and certain of what they did not see.”
One of our favourite Australian singers was a guy by the name of Graeme Connor and on his Tropicalli CD is a song that includes the line, “If we only believe what we can see, then we will only see what we can believe.” Think about it, “If we only believe what we can see, then we will only see what we can believe.” The secret then of faith is seeing out beyond the horizon of our sight. Or believing more then we can see.
1) Do We Have Enough Faith To Believe That God Can Do Great Things, Through Us? Now the first part is easy isn’t it, “Do we have enough faith to believe that God can do great things?” of course we do, throughout history God has done great things. He created the heavens and the earth in six days, he parted the red sea, he brought down Jericho, he closed the lion’s mouths for Daniel, He sent His Son to be born of a virgin, and three days after His Son died on a cross he raised Him from the dead, God has always done great things. But that isn’t the question, the question was, “Do we have enough faith to believe that God can do great things, through us?” Yes, or no? As strange as it may seem God has used people throughout history to carry out His will, do you believe that He can use you? I love the Old Testament story of David and Goliath, and one of my favourite parts of this story is when David come out and Goliath gets his first look at the champion of Israel, and he is a little put out, after all he was a giant and all they were going to send to fight him was a boy? So he taunts David a little bit, lays down how bad he going to hurt him and then David has his opportunity for rebuttal and he says in, 1 Samuel 17:45-46 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!