The Hall of Fame of Faith Series: Noah
Dear Visionary Leader:
In Hebrews 11:7, we read concerning Noah, and “by faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
The Titanic set sail in 1912. The same year my grandmother was born. It was coined unsinkable, yet, that’s about the only thing it ever really did; sink! It was filled with lavish splendor. There were ballrooms, theaters, beauty salons, tennis courts, sauna baths and much more. I believe the sinking of the Titanic is a great object lesson for our age.
First, the Titanic was marked by confidence. How confident they were! The engineers said because of the watertight compartments on the Titanic, that it was unsinkable. If one compartment would leak, then another would keep it up. Mr. Bruce Ismay, who was the White Star Chairman of the Board said, “I cannot imagine any condition that would cause the ship to founder. I cannot imagine any disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.” Every sailor on board said confidently, “It cannot sink.” One sailor said flippantly, “Even God couldn’t sink this ship.”
Second, the Titanic was also marked by carelessness. People weren’t thinking about the ship sinking. They were all just having a good time. Mrs. Irene Harris, one of the passengers on the ship said, “We were out on a lark and revelry was the keynote. The weather was superb. The comfort and luxury aboard were all that had been promised. The days passed too quickly. I felt as if I could go on until the end of time. And those who were keeping watch on the ship, every now and then would sound the hour and they would say, ‘All’s well, and the lights are burning brightly.”‘
Yet, on April 14th, 1912, as this ship was gliding along on an ebony sea, just as smooth as silk, there was no moon out, but it was a clear night with the stars lighting the heavens; the ship was moving along very carelessly thinking that she was an unsinkable ship.
Third, the Titanic was marked by calamity because on that night, moving along at 22 knots, at 11:40 p.m., it hit an iceberg. A 300 foot gash was ripped alone the side of the ship. One of the passengers on board said it felt as if someone had taken a giant finger and drawn it along the side of that ship. Suddenly, one compartment, two compartments, three compartments, four compartments and five watertight compartments were cut open. No alarms sounded at first. For those who were a little frightened, a soothing word of assurance was given that there was no danger and so they went right on the amusements were continued.
However, at 12:45am, a rocket was fired. It was to be the first of eight attempts to signal someone else for help. But, all of these attempts were futile for no one saw the rockets that were fired into the air. Finally, it became apparent that they should board the lifeboats. Thus, an urgent call went down through the corridors, women and children first. By 1:30am in the morning, that dream cruise had turned into a terrible nightmare. There were over two thousand persons on board and only lifeboats for half that many. People were crowding into the lifeboats. Men even disguised themselves as women, trying to get on to the lifeboats! The lifeboats that could be filled were filled, and they drifted away from the Titanic and got in a circle around it.
One observer said it was like relatives standing around a deathbed of a dying loved one. And they watched that ship as it began to fill with water and slivered into a watery grave. The impossible had happened! The Titanic had sunk! Only a handful of survivors made it!
When the Titanic set sail, there were all kinds of classes and degrees of people on board: upper class, middle class, and lower class. But after the ship sank, there were only two classes of people recorded in New York City: saved and lost.
What a stark contrast there is between the sailing of the Titanic under Captain Smith, and the sailing of the good ship grace under Captain Noah. We are going to learn life lessons from Noah’s ship, the unsinkable ship of faith.
Message Continues In Visionary Coaching
We Need To Recognize Noah And His Faith
In Hebrews 11:7, we read, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark.” Noah prepared this ark by faith! Noah’s faith was a working faith. Read carefully these words: “By faith, . . . Noah prepared an ark!”
His faith led him to do something. In James 2:26 we read, “Faith without works is dead.” When we studied Abel, who offered the proper sacrifice, his faith was a worshipping faith. When we studied about Enoch, who walked with God, his faith was a walking faith. It is a beautiful order that God is giving us. We worship, walk and work for God.
Noah could have said that he had faith, but had he not built that ark, he would have had no faith. He showed his faith by his works. Noah built that ark with concrete evidence of his faith. We cannot say we have faith in God if our faith in God doesn’t have enough faith to cause us to study the Bible; if our faith is not enough faith to cause us to worship Him; if our faith is not enough faith to get us to go to church; if our faith is not enough faith to get us into the baptistery; if our faith is not enough faith to transform our life! One of these days a lot of people are going to die and go to hell because their faith was not real! Faith without works is dead! Noah’s faith was a working faith.
Moreover, Noah’s faith was a warning faith. We read, “By faith Noah, being warned of God.” God had spoken to Noah. Noah just didn’t decide, “Well, I think I’ll build an ark because I want to have faith to build an ark.” We cannot have faith for anything that God does not first of all speak to us about. Faith is not mere positive thinking. It is not faith in faith or faith in yourself. It is faith in God! All true faith is rooted in the Word of God! The Bible tells us in the Book of Romans that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Before we can have any kind of faith, God must first of all speak. If we don’t learn anything else in this series of lessons on faith, I want us to learn this: that true faith, real faith, lasting faith, Bible faith is rooted in the Word of God. You must hear the voice of God before you can have faith.
Furthermore, true faith can wait on God. Now, Noah prepared an ark, but it was a hundred and twenty years before the flood came. Noahwaited all of this time for the fulfillment of the promise. Real faith waits on God. Faith rests in the promises of God. Sometimes faith does not see the fulfillment right away. Our faith needs to be a working faith, a warning faith and a waiting faith.
Do you have the kind of faith that gets hold of God and will not let go of Him until the answer comes because He has spoken and cannot lie? Noah’s faith was a faith that could stand alone. The time is coming when they who will want to kill Christians, will think they did God a favor. We will have to be willing to stand alone in this world that crucified our Lord and would be willing to crucify Him again. Yet, in a godless age like that, Noah stood for God and his faith did not waver.
We should get our eyes off the crowd and on Christ! Real faith is faith that can stand alone. Real faith does not depend upon appearances. In Hebrews 11:7, we read, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet.” There’s no evidence that it had rained up until this point. To the contrary, the Bible tells us that “a mist went up and watered the earth.” There had been no rainbow up until this time.
Noah didn’t say to God, “Now, God, You say it’s going to rain. Just put a few clouds out there, let me feel a few drops, and then I’ll believe.” Faith is the evidence of things not seen. The Bible says Noah had not seen these things. All he had was the Word of God! God said it, and that settled it! We are not to walk by sight. We are to walk by faith! It may have been a cloudless day when God gave this announcement to Noah, but nonetheless, he obeyed God.
We Need To Realize Noah And His Fear
In Hebrews 11:7, we read, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark.” Noah was moved with fear and he prepared an ark. Noah resolved that he was not going to drown. He resolved that he was going to save his own life.
When God created me, and when God created you, He put within us an instinct called “self-preservation.” It is a God-given instinct. Some people accuse preachers of using fear to motivate people. Everybody is motivated by fear. The doctors use fear to motivate us. They say, “You better lose some weight, or you’ll have a heart attack.”
The insurance people use fear to motivate us. They say, “You’d better drive safely or you’ll have an accident.” We do a lot of things simply because of fear! We wear an overcoat because we are afraid, we could catch a cold. When we cross the road; we look both ways because we are afraid, we are going to get hit by an automobile. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of fear.
It’s just plain common sense. We’re motivated by fear every day in hundreds of ways except in the greatest way sometimes, the spiritual way! Our greatest danger is not the danger of being hit by an automobile. Our greatest danger is not the danger of starving to death. Our greatest danger is not the danger of catching a cold. Do you know what our greatest danger is? Jesus said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Your greatest danger, the supreme danger, is that one day you would stand before God, unpardoned, unforgiven, uncleansed!
I had rather frighten people into heaven, than tranquilize them into hell! There is something to be warned about. The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Are you ready to meet God? Do you know that you’re saved? If not, you ought to be motivated like Noah was; by faith and by fear.
We Need To Remember Noah And His Foresight
Our text states, “prepared an ark.” Noah made preparation. He had some foresight. Noah did not wait until it started to rain until he started on the ark.
What is God telling us about Noah’s faith? He’s saying that like Noah, we should get ready! One of these days, it’ll be too late. Had Noah not made preparation before the flood, it would have been too late when the flood came.
Noah moved with fear! He had some foresight! It’s amazing how many people have wisdom about the future in so many things, but not wisdom when it comes to getting right with God. I want you to see what Jesus had to say about the lack of foresight of Noah’s generation. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus is talking about His Second Coming when He said: “But of that day and hour knows no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” No one knows when Jesus Christ is coming. You don’t know. I don’t know. No one knows! The angels in heaven don’t even know. But notice, as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Now, Jesus gives us an indication of what the days are going to be just before Jesus Christ comes back to this earth.
There are identifying marks of Noah’s day. In Mathew 24: 38-39, we read, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noahentered the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all way; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
What were the three marks of Noah’s day? The first mark was indifference! “They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” What does that mean? It means that they were going on with the same routines of life. They were thinking about physical and material things, rather than spiritual and eternal things.
Take time to listen to what people talk about today. Listen to the conversation in the barber shop, in the office building, and you’ll find out that ninety percent of that conversation is built around such things as buying and selling and eating and drinking and marrying and getting married and building and tearing down. We are interested in material things, rather eternal things. Did you know that we live in a materialistic age today and that people are indifferent to spiritual truths? It’s not that most people are anti-God; they’re just indifferent!
Another mark of Noah’s time was immorality. In Mathew 24: 38. “They were marrying and giving in marriage.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting married or giving someone to be married. Yet, scholars tell us that this is a term that speaks not of normal marriages but the multiplicity of marriages. It speaks of sexual promiscuity and immorality. The Bible links the days of Moses and days of Noah with the days of Lot. In Lot’s day, it was sexual perversion, sodomy. “As it was in that day, so shall it be.”
I cannot believe some of the things that are being presented as entertainment today. You want to find out the level of any particular society, see what amuses them, see what they laugh at. When people start laughing at sin, when people get their amusement and their titillation from laughing at the breaking of God’s seventh commandment that says “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” you can mark it down, we are in the days of Noah!
The last mark of Noah’s day was ignorance. In Mathew 24:39, we read “And they knew not until the flood came.” Now, they should have known, but they didn’t know. It was not that they had
not been warned. It was not that they did not hear!
One of the stunning marks of our age is man’s intellectual abilities and his spiritual ignorance. Men and women today worship at the shrine of his computer. People have all their degrees and all of their accouterments of knowledge all around him! And yet, they are spiritually ignorant!
Noah was different from everyone else. Noah, in the midst of indifference, immorality, and ignorance, made preparation. Have you made preparation? Are you ready for Jesus Christ to come? If not, why not?
We Need To Reflect On Noah And His Family
The Bible says that not only did Noah save himself, but he got his family into the ark. We read, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, prepared, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house.” This refers to his family, his household.
Not only was Noah saved, but his wife was saved, along with their children and their wives were saved. Are your children in the ark of safety? Do you have the kind of faith that Noah had; a household faith? Noah said, “I’m going to heaven, and I’m going to take my children with me!” Are your children going to hell while you go to heaven? Or are you going to hell and taking your children with you to hell?
I can imagine a little boy back in Noah’s time, coming up to his dad and saying, “Daddy, may I talk with you for a moment?” And the dad, a very kind dad, says, “Why, sure, Son. Sit down. Let’s talk. I’d love to talk with you. What’s on your heart?
“Well, Daddy, you know Mr. Noah, the man who’s building the big thing that he calls an ark?” The father says, “Yes, I know him.” “Well, Daddy, some of the boys were over there playing today, and Mr. Noah sat down on a sawhorse and began talking with us. He said that God is very angry with everybody and that He is getting ready to destroy the world by flood. He said, if we are going to be saved, we are going to have to put our faith in God and come aboard that ark! I was just wondering, Dad, what do you think about all of that?”
The boy’s father begins laughing. “Son forgive me for laughing, Son I’m not laughing at you, Son I was just thinking. It’s so funny that you would ask me that today, Son, because, you see, here’s the funny part. When I was a little boy, I went over to play around that ark also. You see, he’s been building that boat for a long time. That old man came out and he told me the same story. It scared the wits out of your daddy when he was a little boy. Yet, that’s not the funniest part. Here’s the funniest part: I went home and told my daddy, your granddaddy. Do you know what? My daddy, your granddaddy, said that old fool told him the same story and scared him when he was a little boy. Son, don’t pay attention to that old religious fanatic! Noah has been saying something about a flood for years! Don’t worry about it, Just run out and play. Remember, Daddy loves you. Have a good time today!”
Any fathers like that around today? “Oh, don’t you let those preachers warn you about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! Don’t you go down there and become a religious fanatic! Remember, Dad loves you, Son, and Dad wants you to have a good time.”
Noah brought his family into the ark! Why do you think God put this in the Word? We are not only to be saved, but that we should get our kids on board!
We Need To Review Noah And His Forecast
Did you know that Noah was a weather forecaster? In Hebrews 11:7 we read, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house, by the which he condemned the world.” How did he condemn the world? He condemned the world by warning the world.
God had spoken to this generation. Noah had preached a hundred- and twenty-year long sermon with a hammer. In Genesis 6:1 we read, “that the spirit of God moved upon those people.” Don’t think that they didn’t know. It was probably only fifteen or sixteen hundred years from the time of Adam when the flood came.
When you do some arithmetic, you will discover that Methuselahs’ life overlapped Adam’s life by two hundred years! Methuselah, who lived right up until the time of the Flood, had talked with Adam! He knew about the fall in the Garden of Eden! They knew about the coats of skin! They’d heard about Abel’s offering and Cain’s offering! They knew that Enoch had been taken! God had spoken to these people! God had warned these people!
How did Noah condemn the world? He forecasted the judgment that was to come! He told about the flood, but they would not believe him! What is the judgment of this generation going to be? Jesus Christ says in John 3:19: “And this is the condemnation; that light has come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”
Noah spoke to that generation, and he warned them, but they would not hear. Therefore, they were condemned. They could not come to God and say, “Oh, God, I didn’t know.” They did know. The Bible makes it clear and plain that God’s Holy Spirit, through His preachers, had spoken unto them. When was the last time you warned your friends or colleagues of the judgment to come?
We Need To Receive Noah And His Fortune
Our text states, “And became the heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Noah had an inheritance. He became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
However, that’s not all he inherited. Have you ever thought about the time, the effort, the money, the labor that Noah put into that ark? Have you ever thought what it would have taken to build a ship of such immense proportion? Think of the labor. Think about building that ark. I don’t know how many carpentries he had to hire. I don’t know how much it cost. The ark was Noah’s life’s work. The entire time Noah was investing into his ark, the rest of the people were buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage. They must have thought that Noah was a fool. They were investing in stocks and bonds and real estate. Yet, there came a turning point when all of their so-called real estate wasn’t very real because it was all covered with water and they lost it all.
Well, what about Noah? Did Noah lose it all? No, he gained it all! Think about Noah. He stepped off of that boat, the whole world was before him. I mean, he owned it all! The Bible says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” You can’t out give God. Don’t you worry about what you’ve invested for the Lord Jesus Christ?
Real wealth is not found in this world. The wealth of this world is just a pittance compared to the real fortune that I’m talking about. Noah became an heir of righteousness! He didn’t earn righteousness. He inherited righteousness by faith! You need to be righteous today, and the only way that you can be made righteous is not by good works, not by keeping the Ten Commandments, but by trusting the Lord.
The ark was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter tells us that the ark was a type or a picture of Christ. Noah’s faith has been for all time a picture of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The reason the ark only had one door is because Jesus said, “I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes unto the Father, but by Me.” Jesus said, “I am the Door. By Me, if any man enters in, he shall be saved.” There was one door. The gang plank was faith. We enter that door by faith!
When Noah went in, God shut the door. In Genesis 7:1, we read, “And God said to Noah, ‘Come thou and thy family into the ark.”‘ Notice God didn’t say to Noah, “Noah, go into the ark.” God said to the contrary, “Noah, come into the ark.” That meant that God was already in that ark.
Now, that may not make a difference to you, but it makes a big difference to me. If say to you, “Go into that room,” that means I stay out here and you go in there. But if I, from in the room, say, “Come into the room,” that means you come in where I am. When Noah went into that ark, he went in where God was.
How safe was Noah and his family? He was as safe as God was. When will I go down? I will go down when Jesus goes down, for I am in Christ. He is my ark of safety. The Bible says that God said to Noah, “Come into the ark.” And when he went into the ark, the Bible says that God shut the door, for the Book of Ephesians says that “after that we believe, we are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
Noah may have fallen down many times in the ark, but he never fell out of the ark. He was in the ark, and God shut the door! All the storm and all the wind and all of the waves and all of the water battered against that ark! It was Jesus who took our judgment, but inside we are safe! Inside we are secure! Inside we are satisfied! Inside of Christ, we are made righteous!
You know, some people don’t believe in eternal security. I’ll tell you what they do believe. They believe they’re going to be secure, but they believe they’ll be secure one day when they get to heaven. They think they’re going to step into heaven, slam the door behind them, and say, “Whew, I made it. I’m secure!” Yet, the angels fell from heaven. If you’re not secure down here, you wouldn’t be secure up there.
Security is not in a place; security is in a person. His name is Jesus. That ark is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s our ark of safety. We come into Him by faith.
What was Noah’s fortune? He became an heir of righteousness! That means that his sins were forgiven! God gave him a new heart! He wasn’t just merely saved from a flood. He was saved for all eternity, and one day we’ll meet Noah in heaven. When Noah and his family went into the ark, they were the minority in the world. When they came out of the ark, they were the majority in the world!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking