This week we conclude our Faith Heroes series. The first week, we met Ruth and saw the powerful story of redemption. The second week, we met Esther, who saved her people from extinction. Last week, we met Gideon, who needed multiple signs from the Lord of confirmation to move forward, and it resulted in forty years of peace in the land.
Today, we go back (almost to the beginning of time) and meet a man named Noah. You might be familiar with Noah. He built a big boat. There have been several movies made on the subject, including Evan Almighty, and there is even an “Ark Encounter.”
Let’s discover why Noah is a Faith Hero.
In the beginning, there was Adam and Eve, and then Cain and Abel, and then the earth became populated as the generations expanded.
Over the years, as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, there was lawlessness and the idea that man could achieve the same level as God. The people were so bold that they started building a tower to reach heaven.
When God saw what was happening, He threw the people into chaos, and they could not understand each other. As a result of the chaos God inflicted on man, several new languages or dialects developed, and the people could no longer understand each other.
Since the people could no longer understand each other, they gave up building the tower, but we catch a glimpse into the pain that God was experiencing.
“The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” – Genesis 6:6
It’s important to note that the original design of creation never included sin. Adam and Eve were perfect (in the beginning), but then came the bite of the apple as a result of the serpent (Satan) tempting Adam and Eve.
And then…the fall of man began…and the redemption plan was put in place for Jesus (God’s Son) to come to earth and offer redemption for mankind’s sin.
At the time of Noah, human beings lived for hundreds of years, not years as we do today. Adam lived to be 930 years old. Noah’s genealogical line flows through Seth, and his family walked faithfully with the Lord. Some family members lived to be as old as 969 years old, and the youngest lived to be 365 years old until the Lord took him.1
Noah was born to Lamech, who lived to be 777 years old. At the age of 500 years old, his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth were born to him.2
As the world was thrust into chaos, the Lord looked down and saw many bad things and decided to wipe out everything on the earth.
In Genesis 6:7, it says:
“So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”
But then, just as the chapter closes, there is a little gem hidden in scripture. It says in Genesis 6:8,
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
Noah came from a long lineage of God followers – followers who walked faithfully with God and did all He asked and commanded.
It was in his blood so-to-speak. During the days when they lived hundreds of years, you would potentially have up to ten generations of your family living together. He would have seen the example of faith every day in his family.
Scripture says Noah was a “righteous” and “blameless” man who walked with the Lord when corruption was running rampant.3
Time to Build an Ark
God gave Noah the task of building an ark or large boat to house his family and two of every kind of living creature (male and female).4
This was no ordinary ark. According to the description provided in scripture, it was the size of 500 railroad stock cars, and weighed approximately 14,000 tons, and housed more than 125,000 sheep-sized animals.5
As a quick reminder, Noah was 500 years old when his three sons were born. When Noah completed the building of the ark, he was 600 years old. During the construction of the ark, his children grew up and got married. It appears that his children did not yet have any children of their own.6
I’m sure Noah got some interesting looks and scoffs, questions of why he was building an ark, and who knows what else, but he followed God’s command to build the ark for an impending flood.
What’s interesting is God called the animals to Noah. When the animals arrived, they were loaded on the ark, and the door was shut. It took seven days to load all the animals and family members on the ark.
The flood did come, but Noah’s family and the animals were safe in the ark. For forty days and nights, it rained.7 It rained so much that the sea level rose and rose and rose.
Eventually, the ark was floating above the tallest peaks in the world. Imagine for a moment; the flood's water level was higher than Mt. Everest. According to scripture, the floodwaters lasted for 150 days.8
Scripture also says every creature that had a breath of life in its nostrils perished in the great flood of Noah’s time.9
Looking For Land
At the end of 150 days of rain, the water began to recede. It took nearly three months for the water to retreat some amount.
After forty days, Noah sent out a raven, and it kept flying until the water had dried up. As the ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat (in modern-day Turkey), Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had retreated enough for dry land to be visible.
The dove returned, having no place to land. Noah sent the dove out a second time after seven days, and it returned with an olive leaf.
Noah knew the water had receded. He then sent the dove out a third time after another seven days. When the dove did not return, he knew the land was completely dry.10
God instructed Noah to open the ark and begin re-populating the earth. The animals and Noah’s family had lived on the ark for almost an entire year. They were saved by the gracious hand of God.
Noah made an altar to the Lord upon leaving the ark and offered a sacrifice and blessing to the Lord. At this time, God said He would never again “destroy all living creatures” as He did with the flood.11
God established a covenant with Noah and his family, saying,
I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” – Genesis 9:11-17
Noah is a faith hero because he was righteous and blameless when the world was lawless.
Sometimes our families have generations of faithful followers of God (like Noah’s family), or there is only one generation of faithful people.
Noah was blessed to come from a long line of faithful God followers, but maybe there is a pattern of divorce in your family, and you want to stop the trend.
You can change your family’s destiny by choosing to work through it instead of giving in, or maybe your kids will be the ones to break the pattern. Perhaps it’s something different. Whether you are breaking the cycle of divorce, abolishing family alcoholism, or being the first to graduate from college – the example is set for you by Noah on how to live a righteous life.
Just check out Noah's family tree; he learned it by watching them!
Lord, thank you for the example of Noah and his family of how to live a righteous life. Please forgive us when we make mistakes, and guide us back to the way we should be. Thank you for Your forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love. Amen!
- Genesis 5:3-27 ↩︎
- Genesis 5:32 ↩︎
- Genesis 6:9-12 ↩︎
- Genesis 6:19 – 7:5 ↩︎
- Information found on a graphic by Karbel Multimedia, copyright 2011, Logos Bible Software ↩︎
- Genesis 7:6, Genesis 7:11 ↩︎
- Genesis 7:11-12 ↩︎
- Genesis 7:24 ↩︎
- Genesis 7:22 ↩︎
- Genesis 8:1-14 ↩︎
- Genesis 8:21 ↩︎
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