Monday, November 27, 2017

By Faith, Noah


[Drawing of Noah and the ark]

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet
seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.”
—Hebrews 11:7

Noah lived in a time of wickedness and violence. God determined things were so bad that He needed to start over by destroying everything except a germ of life that He had made. He saw Noah, a man who He favored because of Noah’s righteous way of living. The Bible says Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9). God decided that He would spare Noah and his family with yet another test of his faith.

The earth had never known “rain” up to this point. God watered the ground by a mist. So, when God directed Noah to build a huge ark to prepare for a flood of rain, Noah had to believe that something new was about to happen. So, he obeyed and built on dry land, this enormous boat to preserve his family and the animals that God brought to him. Day after day he built, trusting God’s promise.

After the flood came and Noah and his family safely floated above the water for 40 days and 40 nights, the rain stopped. I would imagine they counted the days, and hoped that soon they could discover some dry land. However, in Genesis 7:24, the Bible says that the waters covered the earth for 150 days. After he waited longer, Noah, hoping to have good news, released a raven from the ark. However, finding no place to land, the raven came back to the ark.

Noah waited and sent out a dove with the same result. The dove found no place to light. Once more, this time after seven days, Noah sent the dove out again. This time when the dove returned, he must have felt encouraged with the fresh olive leaf in the dove’s beak. Again, he waited a week and sent the dove out. This time it did not return.

After a full year God invited Noah and his family to leave the ark. Upon stepping onto dry land, Noah built an altar. They worshipped and praised the God who had kept and rescued them. Noah’s faith at last had been rewarded.

We can learn so much from this old story. By obeying God and building the ark, Noah worked by faith. By staying in the ark, seemingly longer than he expected, Noah waited by faith. And once he and his family exited the ark safely, Noah worshipped by faith.

It may be that you have trusted God for something and done what you feel God has shown you to do. Perhaps you have waited and waited, far beyond the amount of time you expected, day by day trusting and praying. Then, you can expect that God will finally come to you. When He comes, how natural to present to Him an offering of thanksgiving for answered prayer, for sustenance, and for the end of the trial.

At some time, most of us will experience a faith-growing experience like Noah’s. May we find the same kind of favor from our loving and faithful God!