16th January 2023
Read - Hebrews 11:7 (take some time and read Genesis 6:1-9:28)
Message Alan Burke
A long time ago now, I lived in a house with a view that in my mind was and still is unmatched. Since moving out there is no view from any of the houses I have lived in that have even came close and I was willing to give it all up to get married. On a clear day I would wake up and look out the window to see rolling countryside down to the sea. You could see the Bann river, then the sand dunes at Portstewart with the links course, behind that Portstewart Promenade, behind that Portrush, you could make out the causeway in the distance, there was Isla, Jura to the left. If I had built a boat when I lived there most people would have thought that reasonable enough, imagine though that I was building a vessel of enormous proportions the size of a modern battleship in the back garden and the Mrs was giving me a hand and I’d kept the kids from going to school to help and we were cutting down the every tree we could get to use most people would think I’d lost the plot. But that is exactly what God called Noah to do.
Before we think of the faith that led Noah to build the ark do this a few things. Since the fall things had got bad, it shouldn’t surprise us for they were never going to improve until the Serpent Crusher comes finally. The world and in Noah’s day we are told that the earth was incredibly wicked, God saw “how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Gen 6:5). Things were bad, the spiral into sin was so that the Lord looked upon the earth that He had made, and no longer is it good or very good as he had declared at the beginning (Gen 1:31), instead things had got so bad because of sin. Notice what we are told in v6, how the Lord was grieved.
Sin grieves God, don’t miss that, sin grieves a holy God. The Lord looked and saw and was grieved that he had made them. Just so we don’t miss the issue here, the reason for the judgement of God that comes we are told again at the end of v7 that God was grieved. In the midst of this incredibly wicked place, God was bringing his judgement because he was grieved at the sin of the people of the earth. He was bringing about his judgement to “wipe mankind, whom He have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air” (7) because of the sin of man God was bringing and brought judgement upon the earth. Noah though, he found favour in the eyes of the Lord. Noah and his family would escape, Noah was to build an ark.
In Hebrews 11 in this section that the apostle is teaching us about faith, and the faith of those of old reminded us as it begins in verse 1, that “…faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. (Heb 11:1). For Noah, what is remarkable is that he is an illustration of this, for faith looks to that which is unseen, being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see. Noah had to live in a way that none of us have had to, for Noah had to show his conviction of things not seen and it was shown in him building an Ark. We like Noah are in a similar position, we by faith are sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, not of a flood but that Christ will return (Heb 9:27-28). He will return, but for many people they believe in something based on their own imagination but Christ Jesus is coming again and this time it is to judge the whole earth and make all things new. For all of us we should be asking that the Lord would enable us all the more to live accordingly, having faith, being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Q51 What is forbidden in the second commandment?
The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, (Deut. 4:15–19, Exod. 32:5,8) or any other way not appointed in his Word. (Deut. 12:31–32)