In last week’s lesson on faith, looking at Hebrews 11:6, we learned from Enoch that faith in God comes by developing a relationship with God. Let’s go to Heb. 11:7 and see what Noah has to teach us:
“By faith Noah, after being warned about what was not yet seen, in reverence built an ark to deliver his family. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7 HCSB)
Most of us are familiar with the story: The world has become very, very wicked, and God decides to destroy it. In His great love however, He prepares a way of escape (sound familiar to anyone? This was just a fore-runner to Jesus! But that’s ANOTHER story!). God calls Noah. Noah is told that the earth will be destroyed by a flood, and that he is to build a huge boat.
Now, it has never rained up until this point, there aren’t any huge bodies of water, and likely Noah has never seen even a small fishing boat, let alone one the size of a modern ocean-liner. In order to obey, he has to follow God’s instructions TO THE LETTER!
And he does. The ark is complete, God fills it with animals, and Noah and his 7 family members go inside. Water begins to fall from the sky, and God then keeps the ark safe through the entire flood. When the water has receded enough to support life, He opens the door to a new beginning.
To help us understand just where the faith comes into this story, I’d like to put it in a bit more “modern day” setting. Since floods and huge ships are common in our day and age, I’ve taken the liberty of changing a few words. Let’s say God comes up to you one night and tells you He is going to destroy the entire world, except for a you and anyone you can find to go with you, and He’s going to do so by the means of a “Burriado”. Then God tells you to build a “Cappicot” so that you and your friends can be saved.
Your response? “A Burriado???? A Cappicot??? Hum. I have no idea what a Burriado is, much less a Cappicot! I most certainly didn’t hear that from God! My imagination must be working overtime, or the enemy is putting thoughts into my head just to confuse me . . .”
Or your reaction could be quite different: “Okay Lord! I have no idea what you’re talking about, but if you want me to build a Cappicot, I will! Let’s see. Hum. I think we’ll start with a web search. Maybe someone somewhere else in the world has built a Cappicot before . . .
How could you tell that it was God talking and not your imagination? How could you learn how to build your Cappicot? By relationship with God, my friends! Noah had a relationship with God. They were friends. Noah knew His voice. Noah had trusted God in the past. Noah knew that if God said a Burriado was coming, then a Burriado, whatever that was, was coming to destroy the Earth. And if He needed to build a Cappicot, whatever that was, he knew God well enough to know God wouldn’t leave him in the dark. God never tells us to do anything without giving us proper instructions!
Is your relationship with God such that you would know His voice, beyond a doubt, as Noah did, that you would go out on a limb and build something you’ve never even heard of simply because He told you to do so? If the answer is “yes”, then it can be said of you, too, “By faith ______, after being warned about the BURRIADO that was not yet seen, in reverence built an CAPPICOT to deliver his family. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
But if your relationship is NOT strong enough with God to know His voice and to trust Him in whatever He does, then you could be caught outside the CAPPICOT when the BURRIADO arrives!
Enough to ponder, friends. But do ponder this: Faith in God is so rooted in a friendship with God that when He speaks, no matter WHAT He says, you will both recognize His voice and obey without questioning!
God bless you!
(To access tne entire “Faith” mini-series, please click here.)