“These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” – Genesis 6:9 (ESV).
In your mind’s eye, you can picture Noah stopping for a second to relax aching muscles. He is sitting on a wooden beam taking a quick break as he looks over the imposing structure of the ark. From where he sat, Noah could see what had been accomplished while being mindful of the amount of work that still lay ahead.
The people of the region probably thought Noah and his family were fools. The more the ark took shape, the more the people laughed at the very thought of a deluge that would cover the whole earth. The disaster that necessitated Noah building a boat seemed so far-fetched, so irrational. They could hardly believe that a man would waste his life —and the lives of his family— in such a foolish endeavor. God, however, saw Noah in a different light.
The Bible says: “Noah walked with God.” Noah obeyed God. So much so that thousands of years later, the Bible said of Noah: “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.” (Hebrews 11:7) When we think of Noah we tend to think of the Ark, and two animals of every kind. We don’t tend to think of the faith of Noah.
Faith allows us to hear the voice of God amid the cacophony of other voices. Noah heard God speaking to him and we should do the same today. Faith enables us to discern God’s voice amid all the other voices. Noah also had the faith needed to obey God when it was completely contrary to human reason and logic. In Genesis 6:14 God tells Noah to “build a large boat…” It takes whole shipyards months if not years to build a large boat yet God was asking Noah and his family to build a boat “450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.” (Genesis 6:15-16) Faith is when God gives you a task and you accept and act upon it however contrary to human reason it may appear to be.
Faith is doing the will of God even though you are the only one doing it. Noah did what God asked him to do even though he was the only one who was doing so. And faith is going on with God’s work in the face of opposition or setbacks. How many times he must have been tempted to ask, “is it worthwhile?” Or “am I mistaken after all?” Noah probably received some epic criticism from the people around him. But through it all, he remained faithful to God.
- We learn from Genesis 6 that God spared Noah because he walked in close fellowship with God. (Genesis 6:9) What does that mean to you?
- What can we learn from the faith of Noah?