“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
- Hebrews 11:7
- Hebrews 11:7
The manager of a minor league baseball team was so disgusted with his center fielder’s performance that he ordered the player to the dugout. Certain that he could do a better job himself, the manager ran out to center field to take over the position. The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager right in the chin. The next one was a high fly ball. He lost it in the glare of the sun, and it bounced off the top of his head. The third hit was a hard line drive that flew between the manager’s hands and hit him right in the nose.
The manager was furious. He ran back into the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by his uniform and shouted, “You idiot! You’ve got center field so messed up … even I can’t do anything with it!”
It’s easy to find a man who thinks he can do no wrong—someone who considers himself blameless. It’s a lot harder to find a person who, in the eyes of everyone he or she knows, is considered blameless. But Noah was that kind of man. Genesis 9 tells us, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
Of course you know the basic story. Just 10 generations after Adam and Eve first sinned, sin was so rampant in the world that God was pained that he ever created us, and he set out to destroy mankind with a flood. Only Noah was found to be blameless. This doesn’t mean that he was completely sinless, but he was found righteous by God through his faith. And that faith was plain as day when he spent over 100 years building an ark in the middle of the desert while his neighbors looked on and laughed. Hebrews 11:7 is a rather short verse, but it mentions Noah’s faith three times: “By FAITH Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his FAITH he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by FAITH.”
Meanwhile, Noah’s neighbors were caught up in the downward spiral of sin. Mankind has a nasty habit of going from bad to worse. In Genesis 3-6, you can see this downward spiral of sin over the course of the first 10 generations of mankind. As time passed, people’s sin became more severe and more depraved. And I can’t help but think that as God observes our nation and our culture today, His heart is—once again—filled with pain. We live in a world filled with sexual perversion, where pornography, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality are commonplace and accepted as “normal.” We live in a world of violence, where murders and even mass shootings have become commonplace, and over a million pre-born babies are aborted from their mother’s wombs every year. We live in a world of spiritual apathy, where even Americans who call themselves “Christian” live their lives as practical atheists, as if there were no God, no heaven and no hell.
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be like Noah. Noah was IN the world, but he wasn’t OF the world. His obedient faith brought him God’s favor and grace. Noah confidently obeyed God’s word and built a ship in the middle of the desert. Why? Because that’s what true faith does. Noah is best known for building an ark—but as shown in Hebrews 11, he’s better known in God’s eyes for building two other things.
1. Noah built a godly character. Noah chose faith … real faith in God. And because of that, he chose obedience to God’s word; he chose to fear God rather than man; he chose to pursue a right relationship with God; he chose to live a blameless life and walk with God. He chose to work with God to build his godly character, which ultimately was so much bigger and more important that building a big boat.
2. Noah built a godly family. I love the way Hebrews 11:7 puts it: “In holy fear [Noah] built an ark to save his family.” Noah didn’t simply protect his kids physically. More importantly, he protected his kids spiritually. He passed on his faith to his sons. As parents, one of the greatest building projects we can ever undertake is to build a spiritual ark for our kids to save them from the destruction of this world’s sin.
And how do we go about building this spiritual “ark”? For starters, we make sure that we are praying and reading God’s word with our kids and grandkids at home. If we don’t teach them these godly habits, who will? And we must make church attendance a weekly priority for our families.
This Sunday is “Superhero Sunday” at Impact. As kids come to church dressed as Batman, Wonder Woman or Captain America, it will provide a beautiful opportunity to point this generation of kids to the truth of Scripture—namely, that Jesus is our REAL Superhero.
We hope and pray that our kids and grandkids will, like Noah, swim against the tide of sinful culture and choose to walk by faith in a right relationship with God. And they will do just that as godly parents, grandparents and churches build spiritual arks … together.
Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for our Worship Service Sundays at 10 a.m. at the new Dr. Ralph Baker School in Victorville. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.