- An Abel Offering
- Gideon: From the Winepress to the Warzone
- Barak: Relying on God
- Jephthah: Living by Choosing
- Samson: The Bible’s “Incredible Hulk”
- Samuel: Revival Man
- David: The Shepherd King
- Enoch: Walking with God
- Noah: The First Great Ship Builder
- Abraham: Receiving God’s Promise
- Isaac: A Life of Hard Knocks
- Jacob: When God Prevails
- Joseph: The Dreamer
- Moses: From Prince to Pauper and Back Again!
- Rahab: The Prostitute with Faith
Read at beginning of message:
Recap last message: “We are continuing today with the series that I began last week on “When the Heroes of Faith speak?”
2 weeks ago we heard about our first hero “Abel”.
1. Don?t be afraid to give God your best. 2. Motives are important to God.
Last week I introduced Enoch ? the man who walked with God.
1. The Christian walk is a Marathon, Not a Hundred Yard Dash (faith in God is expressed in your walk with Him” 2. God always rewards the faithful.
Today we?re going to look at the life of the first sailor in God?s Navy.
We?re going to look at the life of the man called Noah.
First, let?s see what Hebrews has to say about the life of Noah.
Turn with me to Hebrews 11:7
Hebrews 11:7 (NIV)
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
A short while ago we printed the following cute insights into the story of Noah and the Ark in our church bulletin?
“All I need to know I learned from Noah?s Ark”
1. Don?t miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn?t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you?re 600 years old someone may ask you to do
something really big.
5. Don?t listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety?s sake travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn?t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. When you?re stressed, float awhile.
10. Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God there?s always a rainbow waiting.
It would be enough this morning to say that Noah was an obedient servant.
If the epitaph on his tombstone read “Did what God Told Him”, that would be enough to make him great in God?s kingdom.
But Noah gave God much more than simple obedience.
There are 3 aspects Noah?s obedience to God that makes him a very special hero of the faith.
I believe that if Noah stood here in this pulpit today, this is what he?s say to you.
First, I believe that Noah would say to you?
1. Don?t Wait Until You Understand God to Obey Him. (Gen 6:11-22)
READ GEN 6:11-22
To a rational mind in Noah?s day, God couldn?t have given any more ridiculous instructions.
He told Noah to build a great ship on dry land.
In verse 17, God told Noah that He was bringing a devastating flood to a world that had never even seen a drop of rain.
God told Noah to build a huge ship in the middle of an arid country because of a flood that He was going to send in 120 years.
God told Noah to round up representatives of every species of animal in the world?Now there?s a big job for you!
To the rational mind, everything that God told Noah was absurd/crazy/insane!
But Noah was an amazing example of simple faith in a complex God.
Noah didn?t need to understand in order to obey?.
God said it, Noah did it, end of story!
No questions, no complaints, no excuses!
That?s not how we are, is it?
We want God to explain everything first, don?t we?
We want God to lay it all out before us so we can make sure we understand every aspect of what God wants so that we can have contingency plans in place?
Really what we want is Veto power over God?s will.
We want to be able to look at the task that God has given us, decide whether it fits our agenda, and then decide whether to obey God or ignore Him.
I?d like to share with you the narrative of a person entering basic training to become a soldier?
I remember basic training in the Air Force.
It started about 1 AM when our bus arrived at the barracks.
I can?t decide if we were more tired or scared?.
We got off the bus carrying our bags.
Several big, mean guys in Smokey Bear hats started shouting at us as soon as we cleared the bus.
They made us get in a long line.
The T.I. (Technical Instructor) shouted, “Put down your bags.”
It was 1 AM.
We were exhausted?
So, of course, we dropped our bags.
The T.I. shouted, “I didn?t tell you to drop you bags?I told you to put them down. Now, let?s practice that until you get it right?Pick?em up. Put?em down.”
We picked up our bags and put them down for the next 40 minutes!
Somewhere around 4:15 AM we were finally led to our bed in the barracks.
Reveille sounded 45 minutes later at 5 AM.
We had 5 minutes to get up, get dressed, and be in formation outside the barracks for calisthenics.
For the next several weeks, we obeyed their every whim without any grumbling, questions, or comments.
They weren?t interested in our opinion about a better way for the military to function.
They weren?t interested in how we felt about the marches or the training.
They weren?t interested in helping us to become happy/content in our new life.
They were interested in only one thing?.our obedience!
A few days into Basic Training, a T.I. told us why they demanded such obedience.
He said, “Little girls?when a war starts and I tell you to get down, you won?t have time to ask me why. You?ll either obey or you?ll be dead.”
As hard as it was for me to understand at the time, they were so rough on us because they wanted us to survive.
They knew better than we did how to survive in combat.
Instant, strict obedience was the only way for us to survive on the battlefield.
(taken from “Noah, Setting Sail with the Savior” by Paul Black)
Sounds a lot like something the prophet/judge Samuel said about God in,
1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
God is a lot like a soldier?s T.I. in Basic Training.
He only wants the best for you.
And God?s best always includes obedience from us.
When we don?t obey Him, that?s when our lives get into trouble!
Let me let you in on a great revelation this morning.
We always pray and ask God to bless us/help us/give us/protect us?
In short, most of our prayers center around God doing something that will make us happy.
Did you know that God wants you to be holy more than He wants you to be happy? (REPEAT)
He puts your holiness above your happiness.
Jesus didn?t hang on a rough wooden cross to make you happy.
Jesus died for your sin and my sins, so that we could be holy in God?s eyes.
The only way to holiness is through obedience.
2 Timothy 1:8-9 (NIV)
8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
If Noah were here this morning, I believe that he would challenge each of us.
He would say, “Don?t Wait Until You Understand God to Obey Him”
Do it now?He only wants the best for you.
If Noah hadn?t obeyed God, even when He didn?t understand, he would have died in the flood along with everyone else!
2nd, I believe that Noah would say?.
2. Don?t Give Up Before God Finishes His Work. (Gen 6:1-3)
Do you know how long Noah spent building the Ark?
The answer is found in Genesis 6:1-3.
Genesis 6:1-3 (NIV)
1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
God pronounced that His judgment would fall on all mankind in 120 years.
Why do you think he said that more than a century would pass before He would destroy the Earth?
The answer lies in Genesis 6:8 and 13.
Genesis 6:8 (NIV)
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Genesis 6:13 (NIV)
13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
God had a job for Noah?to build an Ark.
God knew it would take Noah along time to finish it?So that?s why God said His judgment would fall on mankind in 120 years
There are some skeptics who look at the story of Noah and say that it isn?t really a historical reality, so let?s answer a few questions for the skeptics?
a. Would it really have taken Noah that long to build the Ark?
Do you realize how big the Ark was?
The Ark would have been 450 feet long, 45 feet wide, and 75 feet high. Its total deck area was equivalent to the area of about 20 standard college basketball courts or 36 lawn tennis courts.
The world had to wait until AD 1884 before the Ark?s size was exceeded, when the Italian liner Eturia was built.
The rectangular dimensions of the Ark show an advanced design in ship-building.
Its length of 10 times its width and six times its height would have made it amazingly stable on the ocean. This is the same ratio used by modern shipbuilders to build ships.
Remember it was made more for floating than sailing, because it wasn?t headed anywhere.
It was made to withstand a turbulent ocean voyage, not to be at a certain place in a certain time.
A ship of that size would have taken Noah many decades to build!
Also consider the tremendous amount of time required to do some interior designing for all the animals that would be staying in the ark (an Elephant requires substantially more room than a mouse?) let alone packing all the food that those animals would need. You can bet Noah?s wife had some say as to where their sleeping quarters would be?
Another question skeptics might have is?
b. Would the Ark even hold all the species of animals in the world?
There were probably only about 70,000 different species of animals that needed to be housed on the ark.
Noah did not need to take fish or other aquatic animals/creatures on the Ark.
The Ark was 450 X 75 X 45 ft.
The Volume of Noah?s Ark would have been 1,396,000 cubic feet.
The Gross Tonnage of Noah?s Ark would have been 13,960 tons.
The capacity of Noah?s Ark would have been 522 railroad stock cars which could hold 125,280 sheep-sized animals.
Scientifically, the Ark was large enough to house all of the animals of the day, as well as enough food to feed them.
Another question by skeptics?
c. Did the flood really happen?
For a third time, Absolutely!
Jesus said in Matt. 24:37-39 that the flood happened.
Matthew 24:37-39 (NIV)
37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
If you can?t trust Jesus, you can?t trust anyone.
As far as physical evidence goes there are numerous sedimentary deposits world wide which suggest a universal flood.
Every major culture has a flood legend.
Of over 200 flood legends,
95% say the flood was universal;
70% say survival depended upon a boat;
66% say the wickedness of man was the cause;
88% say there was a favored family;
66% say the remnant was warned;
67% say animals were also saved;
57% say the survivors ended up on a mountain;
35% say birds were sent out;
9% say eight people were saved;
and 7% mention a rainbow.
(quoted in “Noah, Setting Sail with the Savior” by Paul Black)
Okay, I?ve highlighted some significant details about the immensity of the task given to Noah but what?s really important is that it took Noah a long time to accomplish it. It was a task that would have seemed crazy to everyone but Noah. Yet, he faithfully stuck it out to the very end!
Genesis 6:22 (NIV)
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Genesis 7:5 (NIV)
5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
Noah would tell you, “Don?t Give Up Before God Finishes His Work.” God?s answer may be just around the corner.
He has given everyone in here this morning a job.
You wouldn?t be here if He was finished with you?He?d take you home.
The fact that your heart beats and you breathe means that God has a task for you.
Don?t give up on Him?He hasn?t given up on you!
If Noah were here this morning, I believe that he say,
Don?t Wait Until You Understand God to Obey Him.
Don?t Give Up Before God Finishes His Work
And last, Noah would say to you?
3. Don?t Forget to Worship God in Gratitude (Gen 8:20)
Genesis 8:20 (NIV)
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
The job that God gave Noah was hard/lonely/and frightening.
How would you have felt when you entered the Ark and God closed the doors behind you?
How would you have felt as you watched all of humanity outside the Ark die?
How would you have felt as all the land disappeared and you had no idea when it would ever stop raining?
How would you fell when you felt the ship hit solid ground as the floodwaters fell?
God led Noah through one of the most stressful times I can imagine.
Only Noah and his family survived.
Yet, the first thing that Noah did when he walked out on dry land was to build an altar to the Lord and worship Him!
Worship was Noah?s first response to Holy God.
He worshipped God in gratitude.
Friends,) we need to remember to worship our Holy God in gratitude.
Noah could have complained about the smell in the ship.
He could have groused about losing his house/land.
He could have griped about how hard he had worked to save the animals.
He could have grumbled about losing everything and having to start over.
But he didn?t.
He bowed before Holy God in gratitude for all that God had down for him.
And look at Verse 21?God was pleased with Noah?s worship.
Genesis 8:21 (NIV)
21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
This morning, Noah would remind you not to forget to worship God in gratitude.
God has done so much for every one of us?in spite of the hard times we?ve all been through?and He deserves our grateful worship!
If Noah were here this morning, I believe that he say,
Don?t Wait Until You Understand God to Obey Him.
Don?t Give Up Before God Finishes His Work
Don?t Forget to Worship God in Gratitude