Sunday, Norma Jean and I were blessed to worship with the Smoky Hill church in Aurora, Colorado.
The brethren, while practicing COVID-19 restrictions, were gracious, friendly, welcoming and hospitable. We were encouraged by our fellowship together and edified by a fine lesson from Jeb Reaves who serves both as a preacher and a pastor.
Jeb’s sermon was based on Hebrews 11:7 regarding the faith of Noah.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
There were four important take-a-ways from that lesson from this ancient antediluvian that still provide direction, instruction and hope for 21st century Believers.
1. Noah was divinely educated.
Noah’s day was one of corruption, immorality and violence. Genesis 6:5 says, the “wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
God saw it. And the sinful state of His creation grieved His heart. In fact, the depth of depravity was so degenerate that God decided to destroy the human race. Except for Noah, who was warned of the impending flood.
Today, God’s warnings are clearly enunciated in his inspired book, the Bible. We are urged not to be unwise, but to understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17). God doesn’t speak to us directly as in Noah’s day, but has given mankind The Bible to educate us regarding spiritual matters. The Word teaches God’s will for our lives. Rebukes us when we’re wrong. Corrects us to get us back on the right path. And instructs us in righteous living.
Furthermore, God warns us today about the wickedness of this world. Evil desires. Bad behavior. And corrupt companions.
2. Noah was sufficiently motivated
Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord,’ was “moved with godly fear.” His reverence and respect for God motivated him. Charles Spurgeon was right when he wrote, “He who fears God has nothing else to fear.” Spurgeon also observed that our holy fear of God is because of His greatness and a realization of our sinfulness.
Like the apostle Peter, we can all say, “Lord, I am a sinful man.” Thus we are persuaded and prompted both by God’s promises as well as His punishments.
3. Noah was properly activated.
It’s one thing to be moved, but quite another to be stimulated to action. Noah “prepared an ark.” Noah and the ark is a favorite VBS narrative. It’s fun to think about this big boat with all of its animals. But have you ever considered the amount of time, effort and energy required of Noah to obey God’s command?
For 120 years Noah put everything he had into this project. As Jeb observed, “His obedience was not limited by the cost.” What about you and me?
It’s not enough to be educated or even motivated. We must be activated. James admonished, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (Jas. 1:27). Like Noah, we must actively respond to God’s call. Obedience is not measured by good intentions, but by doing. “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:20).
4. Noah was eternally rewarded.
The commendation of Noah was preceded in the text with this inspired affirmation.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)
When we’re educated by God’s Word, motivated to respond, and prompted to trust and obey, we will be rewarded.
Noah was safe in the ark and saved from destruction. He’s identified as a man of righteousness, who walked with God, and is honored in the Hall of Fame of the Faithful.
Often, we think of the church being like the ark. However, as Jeb correctly observed, the church is composed of people. People were in the ark. So, the ark is more like Christ. When we’re in Christ, we’re in a position of safety. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
While God has promised to never destroy mankind with a flood again, the Bible teaches when Christ comes again, the world will be destroyed with fire. Then we will stand before the Lord in judgment.
Will you be in the ark of safety, when the trumpet of God and the voice of the archangel resounds?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman