Study Notes

Hebrews 11:7-7


This morning, we are in our fourth study of Hebrews eleven. In the first study, faith was defined for us. In the second, we saw the faith of Abel, and in the third, we saw the faith of Enoch. Now, we look at verse seven, which speaks of a man that most people on earth have heard of: a man named Noah.

11:7 Noah

Noah - a man known for constructing a floating zoo, to which the animals flocked two-by-two. Or so the story is told. There are several misconceptions about the famed "Noah's Ark" story, and I commend to you the reading of Genesis 6 through 9 for the real deal.

But the author of Hebrews is not directing our focus onto the reasons God sent the flood, or onto the animals that rode the ark through the flood, or onto the way that the ark finally found dry land. He is focusing us in on Noah himself. Who he was, where his faith was at, and how he acted on it.

The book of Genesis tells us,

Gen. 6:9 ...Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

Noah was a righteous man. The word used there means that he was just - he obeyed the laws and did what was right. His conduct and his character were above accusation. If he ever ran for public office, no reporter would ever be able to dig up any dirt on him!

Last week, we saw that Enoch heard from the Lord because he walked with the Lord - as a matter of fact, he was the first one to be named in the Bible as walking with God. Now, the second man is named as walking with God - Enoch's great-grandson Noah. Noah also walked with God, and because he did, he heard from God.

Warned By God

When God spoke to Noah, He warned him about something that was coming. Genesis tells us,

Gen. 6:13 ...God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

Gen. 6:17 "...I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.

Noah heard from God that everything and everyone on earth was going to be wiped out by a flood.

Now remember, there was no scientific evidence for Noah to refer to. There were no sworn affidavits from meteorologists saying that this would happen. There were no satellite photos of a storm gathering. No eyewitnesses had captured the beginnings of rain on video.

Noah hadn't seen it, and didn't have proof of it - God had simply said it.

By Faith

But Noah believed God. Noah believed that a world-wide destruction was coming. Now you might think, "Of course Noah would believe it was coming - after all, God said it!" But throughout time, there have always been people that heard the voice of God or the Word of God that did not believe.

Hebr. 4:2 ...the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

Without faith, people will not believe it - even when God says it.

With faith, you believe it simply because God said it. After all, faith is...

Hebr. 11:1 ...the conviction of things not seen.

Prepared An Ark

Noah believed that this was going to happen, and acted on it. Faith is what gains approval with God, but actions demonstrate that we have faith. That's why James said,

James 2:18 ...I will show you my faith by my works.

James 2:26 without works is dead.

So when God told Noah this was going to come to pass, Noah followed the directions. God told him,

Gen. 6:14-16 "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

The design specs were given, and Noah's faith prompted action. We are told,

Gen. 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

In Reverence

Notice the manner in which Noah obeyed - "in reverence." That word means "to act with Godly fear, to be cautious, or to beware."

I think this is educational for us. Because after all, Noah knew that God had told Him,

Gen. 6:18 "...I will establish My covenant with you..."

But Noah didn't rest on that and say, "Well, me and God have this deal going, you see. I'm taken care of. I can just relax."

No, Noah knew that to be saved from the coming judgment, he had to act. He built this ark knowing that if he didn't, he would be wiped out with everyone else.

It is sad that many people who say they are Christians don't have that same reverence for God that Noah did. They don't have that same caution and Godly fear in their lives. You can recognize them, because they are the ones who are just resting on the promise of a covenant with God, but not acting on it.

They say, "I'm going to heaven, I'm born again. I'm saved by grace, not by works." But they are neglecting the "ark" that they've been told to "build!" They're forgetting the fact that the Word of God says,

Hebr. 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, IF we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end;

They're forgetting the fact that we have been commanded,

1Pet. 1:15 the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior

But the faithful person is like Noah - he or she rejoices that they are in covenant with God, but is also fearful and busy to do what God has commanded. There is a reason Philippians 2:12-13 says,

Phil. 2:12-13 out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for {His} good pleasure.

The Salvation Of His Household

Notice too that Noah's faithfulness didn't save just him. It rescued his whole household. Peter tells us that

1Pet. 3:20 ...the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water.

Noah's wife, their three sons, and their sons' wives were all rescued through the flood. Eight people were saved because of one man's faithfulness.

A possibly painful question to ask might be, "How many people have been saved because of my faithfulness?"

Because I know that my reward will be based on leading many to righteousness, and because I know that if people are not saved, they are destined for the lake of fire where there is only disgrace, weeping, and gnashing of teeth, and everlasting contempt, I have dedicated my life to making sure that my faith leads others to salvation.

Is your faithfulness leading people to salvation? Paul told Timothy to make sure his walk with God was right and growing. He said,

1Tim. 4:16 ...for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

I pray that people are being saved because of your faithfulness.

He Condemned The World

Now, by building the ark, Noah condemned the world. How did that happen? Because the ark was a statement and warning to everyone. A flood was coming, and people had a choice to make. They could believe or not, get in on the project or not, be saved or not. But no one chose to believe, no one chose to help, no one chose to hitch a ride. No one at all.

Unfortunately, the same decision is being made by people today. People don't care, they're choosing not to recognize that the judgment of God is coming. They say, "Come on, get real. Everything is fine. Judgment of God? That's so medieval!" But Jesus said,

Luke 17:26-27 "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Life continued on as normal. People rejected God's warnings, and were suddenly destroyed. The same will happen in the near future when God's judgment comes again upon the earth.

Became An Heir Of The Righteousness

So Noah had faith to believe God's warning and he acted on it. By doing this, he inherited righteousness. So today, Noah is in heaven.

And today, we have again been warned by God. There is a terrifying future rapidly approaching this earth. Only instead of water, this time it will be the opposite. The Bible says,

2Pet. 3:6-7 ...the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Just like the people of the earth during Noah's day, today we are being warned. Judgment is coming, and there's only one way to be saved. In Noah's day, the one way to be saved was to enter the ark. Today, the one way to be saved is to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus said,

John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

This morning, you can choose to be in the ark or out. You can choose to have faith or to receive judgment. You can choose to be forgiven of all your sins, or choose to die in your sin. Which will it be?

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