By Ronald A. Stringer
The whole world was evil. There were no morals in the hearts of anyone. Everyone who lived on earth lived for the pleasures of the world, except one man. One man lived in fear of God and was “perfect in his generations” (Gen. 6:9, NM). This man was Noah. Noah was the only person in the entire world that obeyed God and lived righteously. He showed much faith in all that he did. In fact, Noah showed so much faith to God that he was one of the outstanding individuals mentioned in Hebrews 11. Noah showed his faith because he was righteous to God while everyone else was unrighteous, he built the ark exactly how God said, and he kept his whole family faithful to God. According to the Scriptures, the world was, “corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11, NKJ).
Despite this, Noah stayed strong in his faith to the Lord. He realized that God would take care of him as long as he believed. Noah’s world is not unlike our own. Bad language, promiscuity, immodest apparel, drug abuse, and many other acts of sinfulness lurk in every corner of our world as well. In today’s society, most people live for the pleasures of the world instead of the treasures of heaven. Many people claim to love God and claim to be in Christ, but in reality, there are only a few people in the world who do try to live right and do obey the gospel. There is a ray of light in the world today called Christianity.
Although there is more than one person living right, some Christians today are still afraid to stand up for Christ. They are weak in the faith and act like babes in Christ. It is hard to imagine Christians being too scared to stand up for Christ in their lives when Noah stood up to the whole world for God by himself. Imagine one lone person trying to teach the whole world what is right and what is wrong. This is exactly what Noah did. All Christians need to have enough faith in God to do what God says and teach others what God says just like Noah did so many years ago.
Noah had to defend himself to the world in a very unusual way. God commanded Noah to build an ark that would protect him and his household from the great flood that he would bring upon the earth. God commanded Noah to build the ark a certain size, use a certain type of wood, and put certain contents inside the ark. The world probably thought Noah was a lunatic because he built this ark. Though people treated him badly and persecuted him for his trust in God, he kept the faith and obeyed God despite what his contemporaries said.
Today, the world persecutes Christians for what they do, what they believe in, and how they act. The world views Christians as a strange group of people who are commonly known as “Jesus freaks” and do not believe in having fun. Because of this, too many Christians today are too embarrassed to do the will of God. Some Christians want to “Tit in” with the world and what they do for pleasure. Noah surely did not seem to care whether he “fit in.” He obeyed God through good times and bad times. He did exactly what God told him to do. Christians today need to learn to be strong enough to do what God says no matter what the world thinks of them. People ought to be concerned with getting to heaven instead of this world’s opinions.
Noah did not have a Bible, but he did have God himself to give him step-by-step instructions on how to build the ark. He followed the directions exactly even though other people thought he was strange for doing it. Everyone needs to follow the example of Noah and follow the teachings of God. Christians can take the Bible, read it, and do exactly what God says to do.
Not only did Noah have to put up with the persecution of the world, build one of the largest boats ever built, and round up all the animals for the ark he also had a family to raise. Noah had the job of keeping his family away from worldly customs and pleasures and keeping them active in the service of God. To win over his family from the world, he had to have the faith in God that God would help him and his family overcome the temptation of the world and the deceitfulness of the Devil. Noah had to have enough faith to convince his family to live right in the sight of God.
Families today often have a hard time raising their children in the love and admonition of the Lord. Some Christian parents believe that they are powerless to prevent their children from doing worldly things. Christians need to learn that God will help them every step of the way in every aspect of their life, including raising their families. Noah could never have kept his family away from the pleasures of the world without God, and Christians today should not expect to be able to either. Noah had a strong faith that made him trust in God to help him. Therefore, his family stayed by his side and worshiped God. Christians today need to have a strong enough faith to trust in God to help them with their families, just like Noah did.
Noah was a great man of faith who, “moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness ” (Heb. 11:7, NKJ). All Christians should live by his example and try to serve God in the same manner he served God. All Christians today should possess the same faith he possessed and displayed when he built the ark exactly as God said, and how he raised his family to be just as God-fearing as he. If Christians have this type of faith, then they will live with God eternally in paradise.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 7 p. 12-13
April 3, 1997