Tuesday, July 26

By Faith Noah

This is the fourth post in a series on Hebrews 11. Here are post one, post two and post three.

After telling us about the faith of Enoch, the writer moves on to the next faithful "ancient" on his list.
By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 NET)

In Genesis, we can find God's warning to Noah about "things not seen".
I am about to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy from under the sky all the living creatures that have the breath of life in them. (Genesis 6:17 NET)
The flood God warned of was unseen in the sense that it was still to come, and it was also unseen in the sense that it was beyond and unlike anything Noah had experienced. God spoke a warning and gave a command for Noah to follow, and that word from the eternal, unseen realm was more real to Noah than what his own five senses must have told him. There was no sensory evidence of what was to come, only God's word, but Noah was convinced of what was not seen, and out of his reverent regard for God's communication to him, he acted in this visible world on the basis of the surety of what was yet unseen to him.

He obeyed God's command to him, but those around him--the "world"--did not heed God's warning as Noah did. Noah's faithful obedience stands in stark contrast to their attitude of disobedience. His faith in action condemned them.

But more than that, he came into possession of something through his faith. Noah "became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." His status changed as a result of his faith, and he was given the righteous standing before God that comes through faith. *

*This is not the way the writer of Hebrews most often uses the word "righteousness", but it does seem to be the way he uses it here.
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