Summary: God asks Noah to build the ark. What is he asking us to do?
Tonight we are going to start looking at men and women in the Bible who were commended for their faith. The last two weeks we have thought about what faith is but I think it is helpful to talk about people who lived out their faith. So to start off, I want to have Brian come up and lead us in acting out part of the story of Noah…
Spontaneous Melodramas by Duffy Robins – Pg. 15
Now that we have acted out the story let’s look at the real thing. Grab the Bibles in the pew and open them to Genesis chapter six, which ironically is on page six. We are going to look at verses nine through twenty-two.
*Have one of the youth read the passage*
In Hebrews 11, Noah is commended for being a man of faith. It says, “By faith, Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” Noah was warned about something that had never happened, was told to do something that had never been done, and he put his trust and belief in what God had told him and then he backed up his beliefs by building the ark.
How did Noah become such a man of faith? More importantly, how can we learn from Noah so that we can have that same kind of attitude, that same kind of trust, and that same kind of faith in God? I think we can learn three very important things about Noah by looking at verse 9.
The first thing this verse says about Noah is that he was a righteous man. What does that mean? Being righteous meant that he was living right in God’s eyes by obeying God’s Word. Noah followed God’s Word no matter what. He understood that God was in control and that God knew what he was doing. No matter what the command, whether it seemed unattainable or just stupid, Noah followed the Word of God.
“You want me to do what?!” would have been my response if I was in Noah’s shoes. Imagine if God came to you and told you this same message. “I am going to flood the world with rain from heaven and destroy the evil that is filling up the earth. So…I want you to build a ship completely out of wood. Oh and um, I am going to save the animals too so go out and bring two of every kind of animal, about 70,000 animals, on the boat with you and your family.”
“You want me to do what?! How am I going to do all that?!
As hard as it would be for us to say yes to this request it would have been even harder for Noah to say yes because there were two things that were very different during Noah’s lifetime from ours. First, it had never rained before during Noah’s lifetime. In Genesis 2:6 it says that the earth was watered by underground streams that came up and watered the whole surface of the ground. Second, Noah had never even heard of or seen a ship either. Not only had he never seen one but he definitely didn’t have the tools that we have today.
Noah very easily could have sputtered off some excuses and just said, “God, that is way too much. There is no way I can do that.” But Noah didn’t do or say either of those things. If you look at the text we can see that Noah didn’t even say anything back to God at all. God gave Noah the command and then, as we see in verse 22, Noah went off and did everything that God commanded him.
How often do we go and do everything the Lord has commanded us to do? There is an episode of the Simpson’s that I think displays our obedience well. Ned Flanders had lost his wife a few episodes back but now is starting to date again. Ned gets really frustrated though because he wants to have sex but knows that the Bible says not to have sex before you are married. He starts to justify it though and explain it away. Eventually Ned sits down and cuts out all of the verses in the Bible about sex and puts verses that condemn sex before marriage on one side and all the other verses that talk about sex on the other side. As he sits there looking at the two piles, a gust of wind comes and blows all the verses condemning sex out the window. Ned jumps up in excitement feeling that it is ok for him to go have sex now.
We tend to pick and choose which parts of God’s word we want to obey and others we conveniently ignore. Everyone here has or will do it at some point in your life. Some people are adamant about God’s command to not murder but yet then ignore God’s command to have good language and not to use the Lord’s name in vain. Some people are passionate that we are not supposed to have sex before we are married but then they ignore God’s command to not be unequally yoked, meaning not to date or marry non-Christians. Some people will be passionate about not lying but then they ignore God’s command to give part of the money we make back to God in the offering plate. We might as well sit down and just cut out the verses we don’t like. We need to be striving to follow ALL of God’s Word.