Hall of Faith: Noah, offered Hope

We have all heard of the great flood. In every culture there is a story about the flood that covered the earth.

We all know the story of Noah and the Ark

To this day, many still try to find the Ark, which is believed to be resting on the mountains of modern day eastern Turkey and the Mount of Ararat. However, no one has ever been able to prove or disprove the Ark’s location.

As children, we all learn the story of Noah and the Ark.

Noah was the son of Enoch, who walked so closely with God until he “was no more.”

The name Noah means “comfort, long-lived, and repose.” Repose is defined as being at rest, peaceful, tranquil and calm.

The people were wicked and God decided to destroy the world

Genesis 6, begins with explaining the wickedness of men. The wickedness was so intense that verse 7 tells us, “And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”

But in the next verse, we find some hope. “ But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah…Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God.”

So, with all the wickedness in the world, there was one man listed who found favor in God’s eyes.

When we look up the definition of righteous we find “acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous.” Noah lived a moral and virtuous life. He did what was honest or just.

Noah followed God’s directions to build the ark

Noah walked with God. As the son of Enoch, he would have seen his father’s example and teaching of how to walk closely with the Lord.

God spoke with Noah about his unhappiness with the sin of the world and his decision to destroy the earth.

What would you think if God told you such a thing?

I think at first I would be surprised and then my heart would hurt. We are not told what Noah’s initial reaction to this announcement might have been.

The Lord wasn’t finished, he began to tell Noah to build an ark and to provide the exact dimensions for the ark.

Too many times when God has told me to do something, I’ve wanted to argue or question

Noah and his family loaded the ark with enough food for them and the animals

him.

However, we’re told in Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”

Noah worked on the building of the ark for 120 years. This is longer than a given lifetime today.

Can you imagine the taunts and harassment he must have suffered from his neighbors and friends during this time? Yet, he obeyed the Lord and continued to build the ark. While working on the Ark, he probably shared God’s love with any and all that came near. However, he also would have spoken of righteousness and God’s wrath to come, in warning all those that were around.

The animals began arriving two by two

We are told in chapter 7, that Noah was “six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.”

He took his wife, three sons and three daughter-in-laws onto the Ark with him. Along with his family, the Lord told him to bring two of every kind of animal, a male and a female. He took seven pairs of “birds also of the heavens”. Can you imagine what the smell must have been like? We know how it smells when we walk into a barn or a zoo. Imagine, that magnetized, especially as they stayed upon the ark.

The rains began to fall as the people cried for help

For forty days and nights the water fell, until everything upon the earth was covered.

When it rains for several days in a row, we see how easily the roads and ground can become covered. Imagine having the rains fall so heavily for over a month.

Those friends that were laughing and taunting while Noah built the ark and loaded the animals upon the ark, would have been banging on the ark and screaming for help as the rains increased and overpowered them.

We don’t know how Noah and his family

Water covered the land

reacted to all that was happening around them, but one can only imagine how much their hearts must have hurt for these neighbors and extended family members.

Genesis 7 concludes by telling us, “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both birds, and cattle, and beasts, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died. And every living thing was destroyed that was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the ark. “

Noah and his family waited for the water to subside

The waters covered the earth for 150 days.

We are told in Genesis 8, that God remembered Noah and the waters began to decrease. Noah sent out a raven and later a dove, but both returned for they had no place to rest. Seven days later he sent another dove, and this dove brought forth an olive leaf and when sent out again did not return.

When Noah opened the ark, almost a year after stepping into it, the ground was dry.

I can’t imagine how quiet and different the earth must have seemed to Noah and his family. They boarded the ark to taunts and jeers most likely.

The dove brought an olive branch and the next time did not return

They left the ark to quietness and only the sound of the animals feet on the ground.

So what was the first thing Noah did upon disembarking from the ark?

Genesis 8: 20 says, “And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. “ He worshiped God and offered a sacrifice.

Yet, smelling the sweet savor, “and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” God made a covenant with Noah, not to destroy the earth again with water. This is why we have the

Noah and those on the ark disembarked to a different world

rainbow, to remind of us of this promise. {Read Genesis 9}

Genesis 9 begins by telling us “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

Noah’s three sons were Shem, Ham {the father of Canaan} and Japheth. Genesis 9:19 says, “These three were the sons of Noah: and of these was the whole earth overspread.” However, when Noah was drunk, both Shem and Japheth covered his nakedness. Because Ham did not turn away, Noah placed a curse on Canaan.

Noah and his family worshiped God

Noah lived another 350 years after the flood. He most likely saw his great-great-great {or greater} grandchildren. When he died, he lived for 950 years.

Noah offered hope for civilization, when the Lord could not find any other hope. Through Noah and his sons, the Lord was able to destroy the earth, yet have hope of repopulating it all some day. Just as we all descend from Adam and Eve, we also all descend from Noah and his three sons.

So what can we learn from Noah?

1. Noah was righteous

2. Noah walked with God

3. Noah listened to God

God sent a rainbow as a reminder of his promise

4. Noah obeyed God

5. Noah was remembered by God

6. Noah praised God

7. Noah was blessed by God

8. Noah had faith

Because of his faith and obedience, Noah is named in the Hall of Faith. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

In what ways have you lost all hope, only to find a small ray of sunshine in the most unexpected places? How has that small ray of sunshine blossomed into something beautiful in your life?

 

Photos courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

 

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