Noah and the Righteousness of Faith

          “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” (Genesis 6:11-12) These words preface God’s famous words to Noah, “Build yourself an ark.”                                

          How do you suppose these words changed Noah’s life? How do you think Noah’s friends and neighbors responded when they saw Noah gathering wood and constructing a 450 foot long boat? Can you hear the laughter of his neighbors as he warned them about the coming flood? Can you see them roll their eyes as he explained that God had spoken to him? How do you think Noah responded to the many voices which would have persuaded him to drop the task.

           “Would a loving God really flood the earth?” “But Noah, I am not that bad. I’m not as bad as that other guy.” These sentiments were probably held by the vast majority of people in Noah’s day. I have no doubt his contemporaries thought they were fine fellows and outstanding citizens. Yet in God’s eyes, in their creator’s eyes, they were wicked. They had rejected God’s standard and will for their lifes and replaced them with their own. They refused to repent in the days of Noah, and in the days of Noah they were destroyed.

          Scripture does not indicate that people have become more righteous than the people who drowned in Noah’s flood. On the contrary as Noah steps out of the ark God promises not to destroy the earth with water again even though human beings are still evil from youth (Genesis 8:21). The New Testament teaches, especially in Romans, that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God’s judgment on sin may not seem immanent but it may come at any time.

          Yet there was one in the days of Noah who was righteous in God’s sight. Yes,  you guessed it, his name was Noah. The Bible does not say he was without sin; in fact the Bible chronicles an example of Noah’s sin right after the flood account. Noah was righteous not because he lacked a sinful nature but because he trusted in the ultimate goodness of God. His faith and trust in God were evidenced by his obedience to all that God called him to do. His faith was a faith that believed in and clung to God’s Word and His promise of salvation. It was a faith in a Salvation, and a Savior, anticipated, but not yet seen.

          Our Christian faith today is a faith that originates from, believes in and clings to God’s Word and His promise of a Savior revealed and made known to us, – yes, in Jesus Christ. Noah’s faith was generated by and positioned in God’s promise of a Savior yet to be revealed. Our faith is generated by and positioned in God’s promise of salvation through the savior He has sent – Jesus Christ our Lord.  

           May you, like Noah, cling to God’s Word, trust in His promises and recieve freely as Noah did, the righteousness that comes by faith.

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