“So Noah did everything as the LORD commanded him.” Genesis 7:5
Today’s reading stopped me in my tracks at v.5 with a question of my own faith. To me this verse speaks volumes to our ability to define what true faith is and more importantly where each of us stands when the LORD asks something of us that is not tangible nor can be perceived by our senses. Throughout all of today’s reading it is Noah’s simple faith and his trust in the LORD that defines obedience. Obedience like faith is an action word, in order for either to be valid we must act, Noah acted, he prepared the ark and waited, not questioning “when” and “where”, simply he waited. His simple act of obedience is what saved him, today we are still saved by our acts of obedience (Mark 16:16). In Hebrews 11:7 we are reminded once again of this profound faith, ‘a faith that is not fleeting but substantial enough to generate confidence’, “By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivataed by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (HCSB)
Jon Courson in his commentary on Genesis 8:9 describes beatifully “reaching out in faith”. He states: “Have you hungered and thirsted for righteousness? Have you hungered and thirsted for the ‘coming upon’ of the Spirit? Jesus said if we being evil know how to give gifts to our children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Ghost to them that ask (Matthew 7:11). If you want to be filled with the Spirit, reach out with a faith that’s based upon God’s promises.” Noah reached out and because of his faith/obedience God confirmed His Covenant and “…blessed Noah…” (Genesis 9:1).
The question of faith hinges on three tests:
1. Are we responding to God’s Word? Noah responded as evidenced in Genesis 7:5 and confirmed in Hebrews 11:7. He believed that God meant what He said.
2. Noah rebuked the world. Noah lived a life of contrast, he knew that it was “okay” to be different.
3. Is righteousness the prize? In Hebrews 11:7 it is clearly stated “…righteousness that comes from faith.’
We have so many lessons to learn from Noah. To me the most poignant is the salvation bestowed upon him because of Grace, Faith and Obedience.
My goal for 2012 is to first, respond to God’s Word; second, live differently; and lastly because of my response receive the righteousness that is promised by God to those that believe.