It took Noah several years to build the ark. Some think perhaps as many as 120 years. (see Genesis 6:3) The Bible says that during that period of time, Noah not only built the ark, he was also a ‘preacher of righteousness.’ (see 2 Peter 2:5) No doubt many of his friends and neighbors questioned him when they saw his family beginning to cut down trees and hew them into timbers. Then Noah and his sons began to lay out some type of structure that was almost as large as a football field. When they questioned Noah about his unusual actions he told them, “God is going to send a flood to judge the world of its sin. You need to turn from your sin and trust in God before it is too late.” How did they respond? Peter indicates that they mocked both Noah and his God. (see 2 Peter 3:3:3) No doubt they said, “You’re a fool. You’re a religious fanatic. What’s a flood? What’s rain? You’re wasting your time, energy, and finances to build this enormous boat. You ought to be out enjoying life like the rest of us.”
Perhaps even Noah sometimes wondered about what he was doing. No doubt his sons on certain occasions questioned their dad. Yet the Bible says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” (Hebrews 11:7) Noah invested an enormous amount of time, energy, and money in building the ark, even though he had never seen the first drop of rain. Why did he do this? Noah did what he did for two reasons:
1) NOAH FEARED GOD
The Bible says that Noah moved with ‘reverent fear.’The fear of the Lord is a difficult thing to explain. On the one hand, we know that God is kind, merciful, loving and gracious. However, the Bible also teaches us that God is holy, just, pure and righteous. The prophet Habakkuk said, “Your eyes are too pure to look upon evil.” (Habakkuk 1:13) In other words, God will not tolerate sin. The holiness of God requires Him to judge sin. Noah knew this. The Bible says that during the days of Noah, everyone’s mind was focused on nothing but evil. This brought sorrow to God and He wished that He had never made man. (see Genesis 6:5-7)Noah saw the wickedness around him and he knew that a day of judgment was coming. Therefore, Noah moved with fear and obeyed what God told him to do. But there’s something else that caused Noah to build the ark.
2) NOAH HAD FAITH IN THE GRACE OF GOD
The Bible says that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9) Was Noah sinless? The Bible tells us that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23) Why then did God consider him to be righteous? It was because of his faith in the grace of God.
The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Noone is earning their way to heaven; not even someone like Noah. Heaven is not a reward. It’s a free gift that God offers to us because of His grace. What is grace? Grace is God’s favor that we have neither earned nor deserve. Why does God graciously offer us forgiveness and heaven? He does so because that’s who He is. The psalmist said, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15) How does God offer us His grace? He does so through the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) Though Noah did not understand all of this, he by faith feared God and did what God said.
Join me again tomorrow as we continue in our study. God bless you my brethren.