God Pleasing Faith, Noah Obeyed God, Lesson 7, Hebrews 11:7
Hebrews 1:7, 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.
We know from scripture that Noah was a man who lived by faith.
For over one hundred years, each day was a day that Noah welcomed as a day to live by faith.
For each day was occupied in preparing an ark not only for his family but for all the animals God would send to him when the time was right.
No doubt in the faith venture that Noah was embarked upon, he faced extreme opposition and ridicule but faith sets aside all the doubts and excuses and opposition and obeys the God on whom the faith is set.
One of the great truths of God’s word, a truth which none of us fully appreciate is that faith comes with a power so great that it opens the door to the power of God.
For we are told from scripture that through faith kingdoms were subdued, the mouths of lions were stopped, swords were escaped, weaknesses were made strong, and armies were turned to flight.
God’s power has no end and shame on us for accessing so little of that power.
Think of that when you access the power from the wall receptacles of your home to move your drill or saw or your microwave.
What would we moderns do without electrical power?
Think back to right after the hurricanes of how we whined because we were without electrical power for a few days.
Man’s power is limited but God’s power to back up your faith is without end.
So how many spiritual plugs do you have plugged into God’s power station for that is what faith consists of, accessing God’s power?
Just think of the immense result of Noah’s faith which brought him to complete an ark to the saving of his family.
Noah by faith accessed this power for he did according to all that the Lord had commanded him for that is how faith in God will bring success.
There were no shortcuts, no compromise, no easy paths but Noah simply did what God told him to do.
He said to God’s astounding command, “Yes Sir” and busily engaged himself for a century with hammer and ax and saw and chisel while facing the crowd of doubters and preaching to them as we are told in 2 Peter 2:5, the righteousness of God.
Remember from the life of Noah that faith always moves one to do all that God commands to do.
Salvation is by the grace of God alone, without any works on man’s part, but God does not save without a purpose and that purpose is to bring into his kingdom workers of good works.
Paul told the Ephesians that we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
God is in the saving business but he does not save for vain purposes but for good work.
We are called the body of Christ, not to be a sleeping body, not to be a lazy body, but a working body.
Noah was saved to do the good work of preparing an ark to the saving of his household.
He was warned of God of things not seen as yet and this brought him fear which moved him to work to the saving of his family.
Is not this work the same for every father who has been saved and now walks by faith and looks into the scriptures and hears the warning of God of a coming judgment and therefore by his daily walk prepares an ark to the saving of his household?
How are you doing fathers?
Are you engaged with hammer saw and chisel on a daily basis building an ark for your family?
Are you pitching your ark both within and without with pitch to keep the ark afloat?
Is this a diligent daily work or will your ark leak and sink when tested?
Will your children be in the ark when the coming judgment of God drops?
Noah’s faith was such as to bring his children in and I think this should be a lesson to all fathers that God will reward your faith with the saving of your household.
Noah’s task was immense but God’s power will satisfy any task. God will not ask you to do anything that his power is not capable of fulfilling.
God gave Noah a family and that family was saved and that lesson is for us to see to it that by faith our family is saved.
Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Noah is given to us as an example of a father who is obedient to God and that obedience transfers to the salvation of his household.
God told him in Genesis 6:18, But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
So Noah got about the business of bringing up his sons so that when the time came they would willingly follow him in the service of God, that is, in this case the service of the only family on the earth saved to continue the human race.
Now our verse of study, Hebrews 1:7 includes the statement: by the which he condemned the world.
The word “by” I believe refers to the ark being built by Noah and his sons.
For every day for a century the people, looking upon the ark, were faced with a mirror in which their own sin was exposed.
The ark proclaimed a coming judgment which could only be believed by faith.
We who have access to Jesus Christ know that the ark of Noah is a type of Christ.
The ark with its one door, pictures a savior but as the ark of Noah condemned the world because it preached righteousness so too does Jesus Christ condemn the world for without being in Christ all is lost.
It is very apparent that the world of Noah’s day hated Noah for his life contrasted in every way from that of the world.
Every board or beam of the ark as it was placed I imagine was ridiculed but this was only based upon a type for the real ark of God is our Lord Jesus Christ.
The ark testified that the works of the world then were evil and Jesus Christ in John 7:7, had the same message to his disciples: The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
Christians today are feeling the heat of that hatred for as the world moves further into darkness the light of God’s word seems brighter and more obvious to hate for every word of God opposes the darkness of the world.
And Noah walked with God for his testimony before the world was a bright light contrasted to the darkness in which the sinner of that day dwelt.
Noah’s testimony also condemned the world in the sense that his daily walk of righteousness exposed their unrighteous lives of unbelief and naturally stirred up their hatred.
Noah’s faith reveals to us that our lives as children of God are to be such as to condemn the world.
We are to be light exposing the darkness.
We are to stand out in contrast to the world and by living lives as instructed by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5 we are to live pure lives, lives without fornication, uncleanness, covetousness or filthiness.
We are not to think when we receive persecution that that is some rare thing for if your testimony is right with God the world will be condemned by it and will react accordingly just as it did in Noah’s day.
Faith brought Noah past the reviling of his generation for he knew his faith was the evidence of things not seen and that is enough to accept the present trials of affliction.
Faith also thrives upon the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 5:11-13, where Jesus told us:
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Early in the Bible God told his people Israel that he brought them forth from Egypt to be a peculiar treasure unto him above all people.
And in the New Testament in I Peter 2:9, Peter again reminded the church: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
But even before these times God chose Noah to be, among the men of the world, the most peculiar for he believed God and obeyed God to the saving of his household.
The world, men and women who were like all the rest on earth, structured by Satan to think and act alike, the ones not thought peculiar, perished but the ones thought peculiar were saved for they sought safety in the ark of God.
The message of faith is that God’s children are to be a peculiar people, a holy set apart people, a people who oppose the broad way, the popular way, the pleasant way, for they are the people who walk the narrow way and know that their walk will condemn the world.
And even when reviled and persecuted for that condemnation we are to: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
And that reward only comes because of faith.
Now in ending our study of Noah we read the last phrase of Hebrews 1:7 which is: and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
The key word here is the word “heir”.
And in its use here it refers to one who is entitled to possess.
God calls his saints heirs of the promise, heirs of righteousness, heirs of salvation.
So in this case it refers to that which will fully come in the future.
It was said of Abraham, one who came after Noah that he looked for a city whose builder and maker is God.
It was also said of Abraham that his faith was accounted unto him for righteousness.
Noah became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
That is what faith does; it puts you into the line whereby you are made righteous, not of the law or any works that you may do but because you are put into one who is righteous, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Symbolically when Noah entered the ark he entered the place of safety and by being in the ark was declared righteous.
All those not in the ark did not have this status and therefore remained in their unrighteous state.
The Bible uses the word “righteous” in two ways.
In our Hebrews 11:7 passage it is described as the righteousness of faith which means a righteousness that is imputed or accredited to another.
This is described in Romans 4:5, But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Noah believed God and constructed the ark.
But in all the century of good works in constructing the ark there was not found safety or salvation from the coming deluge and destruction.
Noah could have stood looking at the ark and glorying in his work and thinking that just in his work God should be pleased enough to save him.
But looking at the ark was not enough to bring him righteousness.
Noah had to, by faith enter the ark and when he and the other seven did so God closed the door and God executed his judgement upon all those who were without faith.
The Old Testament writings are the physical manifestations of what is brought out in the New Testament relating to the spiritual.
As we have said the ark, as a place of safety, as a place of salvation is a clear physical manifestation of God’s ultimate place of safety and salvation given to us in Jesus Christ.
When a person trusts in Christ to bear his sin, God puts him in Christ who is his ark, his place of safety, his place of salvation and therefore God credits the righteousness of his Son, Jesus Christ to his account.
God looks at the ark, is satisfied, and he shuts the door.
This is a legal act, where God declares those in the ark as not guilty, but also he declares them as righteous as his Son.
Romans 3:21-27, But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
And secondly the word righteous is also used to describe the right conduct that follows the declaration of being declared righteous by faith.
God declares you righteous by entering the ark of God, Jesus Christ, but as soon as you enter, a work of conformance begins toward the fulfillment of that righteous state in which you are declared to be.
Romans 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
God is good to tell us of the faith of Noah for it is still the faith that pleases God.
It is the faith that will bring the sinner into the safe harbor of God’s only and true ark, his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are not to just look at the ark, and marvel at his strength and power, we are to by faith, get aboard and only by exercising faith will we be saved.