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Noah Had Godly Fear

building-a-faith-that-worksBy faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. – Hebrews 11:7

Noah, in Genesis 6 was warned by God of things about to happen as God was planning to judge sinful mankind. Noah responded with faith. He believed what God was telling him and the result, the action that followed, was that Noah moved with godly fear. He worshiped, loved, honored, respected, and feared God.

The outworking of that godly fear, which is really just having a right view of God was that Noah prepared the ark, preached to the lost, and saved his family.

Noah and the world had not even seen rain at this point. (Genesis 2:5-7). So Noah really was acting on faith. And he faithfully worked on that ark for 100 years, and preached to the people around him the whole time, yet he saw no conversions, no repentance, and no faith by the time it began to rain.

Because of his faith, because he took God at His Word, Noah and his family, and the human race were saved from extinction. He believed God, he feared God, he obeyed God, and the Bible says he became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Abraham Obeyed

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. – Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham obeyed God. And what an act of obedience this was. God called Abraham to go out of the place where he was, his homeland, the place he was born and raised and now had a wife, and go to a place God would show him. But God did not tell him right away where he was going. He just told him to go. And Abraham obeyed and went. That is faith.

He did not question. He seems to have had no doubts. He got up and moved his family – taking his father and other members of the family with them, and he headed out to a place where he did not even know he was going.

The Bible has a lot more to say about Abraham and his faith. You can read about it in Genesis 12 and Romans 4.

Sarah Conceived Past Child Bearing Age (did the impossible)

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. – Hebrews 11:11

As we look at the life of Abraham and the faith he had we are also told in the Scriptures that his wife Sarah had faith as well. So far we have seen that faith produces the works of obedience, godly fear and building an ark, pleasing God and walking with Him, and offering a more excellent sacrifice. At the root of these so far we see a common theme – faith worked its way out in obedience.

But now we come to Sarah, and we take a turn. Her story is different. By faith she received strength to conceive and bear a son. She took God at His Word, trusted that He was faithful and would do what He promised, and as a result of her faith received strength, the ability to have a baby although she had been barren and was now 90 years old. Life spans had decreased at this point after the flood and Sarah lived to be 127 years of age. She had first been told about the promise of the birth if Isaac some 25 years before she conceived.

So her faith in God was present for 25 years to the point that she gave birth to a son at the age of 90. This was unheard of – for a barren woman of 90 years to give birth. And yet she did.

Now was her giving birth an act of obedience? No. Not really. She could no more control the conception and birth of her son that could Abraham. She was at a point in her life where it was naturally impossible for her to get pregnant.

So what did her faith work? It worked the impossible. When we take God at His Word we can see the impossible happen. Why is that? Because true, active, working faith is not faith placed in self or in other people, the object of this faith is GOD. And when we take God at His Word and trust Him, we must remember that He delights in doing the impossible.

Many things that seem impossible to us are not even a challenge for God. For Him, nothing is impossible. And Sarah’s faith gave her the strength to see God do the impossible through her. You can read more about this impossibility becoming a reality in Genesis 17-18, and 22.

(Next: Faith and Assurance)

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