Epistle to the Hebrews (11:7-10)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.” Hebrews 11:7-10

Prior to the floods we read:

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”But Noah found favor with the Lord.” Genesis 6:5-8

God wanted to wash away this world tainted by sin with water. The world was corrupted, man’s thoughts were evil and depravity was everywhere. The world today is incomparably more sinful than the time of Noah. People have become so depraved that they invent new ways of sinning.

Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.” (Romans 1:30)

Today, with the advances in technology man has removed the morality put by God from his conscience. Man has become so perverted and hates God that he even dared to change his gender! This is a clear announcement of rebellion against God’s authority. At this time when there was sexual perversion (e.g. homosexuality) in Sodom, God destroyed it.  But the degree of sexual immorality at this time cannot be compared to what exists in the world today. These sins broke God’s heart and one sad thing is that God regretted that He created man. When God created man, he said it was very good. The very best of what He created, man, was now His foe. He created man in His image and how displeased is He now when He looks at such evil creatures. At Noah’s time, God described man as : “everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”

I do no have words to describe how deep God’s wrath on humanity is. When God crushed His Son on the cross(Isaiah 53) and abandoned His Son(Ps 22) it was something terrible. Only Jesus could removed such a wrath on humanity. It required deity to satisfy God and Jesus did all what was required to remove God’s wrath on us. God did not receive worship and reverence from men, the only things He got were insults, contempt, perversion and disobedience. So the only reason that really made God want to save men was love(John 3:16).

Amidst all this turmoil and preparedness for annihilation, God sees a man, Noah.

Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.” Genesis 6:9

He was like a dim light giving hope for the human race.God saw in the heart of Noah someone who was willing to obey Him. Noah agreed with God that the world was corrupted and went on to build an ark because he believed judgement was coming.

By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world

Noah also had fellowship with God as Enoch. But Noah abused on alcohol after the deluge and was not blameless. But if there was a man who has been blameless throughout his life, it was Jesus.

It was because Noah believed in what God said and who He was that he obeyed. Previously we saw that faith cannot exist if we have an evil heart like Cain. We have also seen Enoch who was renowned for his fellowship with God. It is impossible to have faith in God if we do not have fellowship with Him. Now we are talking about Noah who had an obedient heart.He did everything God told him to do:

So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.” Genesis 7:5

If we do not have faith in God how are we going to obey Him? Obedience and faith are closely related. Abraham also obeyed God when he took his family to go in a country he did not know. If you obey this means you have faith. Abraham trusted God for his survival when he left his country to go in the unknown.

He went without knowing where he was going.

Many times we do not obey God because we do not believe He can do it. We do not believe He can do it because we do not know Him.  Abraham is the reference when we talk about faith (Gal 3). Abraham understood that he owned nothing on this earth. He knew he was just a passenger and his faith was on something permanent, heaven.  How many of us will be willing to leave our comfort and go in uncertainty because God said so? To obey in such circumstances really requires faith. Obedience is such a vital element in faith. Many times we disobey God and do things our way because we do not want to trust Him. We fear to put ourselves at risk if we obey God. But this is what faith actually does. Peter wanted to walk on the water because he trusted Jesus but by doing so he has put his life at risk. So did Abraham when he left his country. His family could have blamed him if the children got bitten by snakes, starved and got sick on the way to the new land. This man obeyed God even though he did not see with his eyes the security for his children in this unknown land. If Abraham already knew the quality of land he was going to, he would not have required faith.

Faith solely looks at God and not at what we hear or see. We will obey because God said so even if it absurd.Throw your net on the other side and you’ll catch many fish(John 21:6). Go and wash yourself 7 times in the Jordan river and your leprosy will be healed(2 Kings 5:10). Walk around the walls of Jericho 7 times and the walls will fall (Joshua 6). Many times faith in God requires you to do things which do not make sense. If if was too easy and logical, you would have had faith in your own reasoning and not in God. But God wants to distinguish Himself through miracles that are beyond man’s understanding. There are things He will do that are not always logical to us. This actually helps us to acknowledge that there was no coincidence in what happened. Naaman was not healed by luck nor did the walls fall by coincidence. There is nothing logical in it so it’s only by faith you can believe that such things can happen. You have the choice to have faith and obey till the end or refuse to believe and disobey. Noah probably received mockeries because he was building an ark on sunny days. It was not logical to build such a big ark when everything was ok. But Noah preferred to obey because he had faith. Many people refuse to believe that Jesus will save them from their sins because it does not sound logical to them. It sounds foolishness to them that the Messiah died on the cross. But it pleased God to save the world through the death of Christ on the cross. You can either have faith in Him or refuse to trust Him.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say,“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.” 1 Cor 1:18-21

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Posted May 1, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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