By Pr Isaiah White
Hebrews 11 is a record of people in the Old Testament who tremendously exercised faith. Each character mentioned in this chapter believed God and demonstrated faith in Him.
The first verse defines faith as an assurance for things not seen and evidence of things hoped for.
If you can have total assurance of absent things and live in a reality of things hoped for, then you are placed in faith.
The heroes of faith presented to us in this chapter depict exactly that. One of these heroes is Noah.
Who was Noah?
Noah is first mentioned in the Bible when his father Lamech predicted the upcoming destruction of the earth and his role in restoring mankind.
“He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:29).
It is from that prediction over his life that he got his name Noah. The name Noah means “rest.” It is derived from the Hebrew word “Nuah”, to rest.
The name could also mean “comfort”. While he was born in extremely apostate days, there was a prophecy upon his life that he would be a comfort amidst turbulent times
Noah teaches us that some of us are named after an oracle of God and the name we are given is a complete mission the Lord has placed upon our lives. Each one of us ought to act upon that prophecy in faith, like Noah.
Building the Ark
When Noah was asked by God to build the Ark, the people in his land had never experienced rain or floods in their history (Genesis 2-6).
When God proposed to Noah to build an Ark, he and all the people then did not even know what it was or its function. Everything God proposed was new.
The danger was new and so was the solution. Noah trusted God on the things he did not know and understand.
He just faithfully acted. A simplistic and unspiritual mind would conclude that this was blind faith.
Faith, according to the Bible, is not blind, gullible, or senseless.
Instead, godly faith is exemplified by trust.
When God told Noah about the danger (rains and floods) and the solution (the Ark), his attention was neither on the danger nor the solution, but on who declared both.
He did not have to understand how the floods work and the nature of those floods.
He did not have to understand how it rains and what it means to rain; he simply focused on who said it would happen.
Our biggest struggle is that we fail to focus on what God says and concentrate on the process.
Noah did not understand the seasons to come, all he knew was the God who declared the seasons.
I do not care what the economic experts are saying or what your diagnosis indicates, you do not have to trust the statistics over God.
Noah never trusted in the Ark but in the God who gave him its schematics.
He acted out his faith because he trusted God. That is what faith in action is about.
Act with faith
I would like to encourage you to ‘build the Ark’. Our relationship with God does not happen in the laboratory where everything must be materially tested and proven, it only happens in faith.
We do not walk or even act by sight but by faith. We are called to trust God and do what He tells us to do regardless of the contrary evidence before us.
That trust is based on what we know of God, relying on Him for the things we do not know.
In particular, godly faith looks forward, from an eternal perspective, and produces obedience, even in the face of hardship.
God takes what we cannot see, or understand, and uses it to make good on His word.
Since faith relies on what we have seen of God and trusting Him for the future, it becomes the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1–3).