By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…
I. First, notice that in Noah's case FAITH WAS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE. The text begins, "By faith Noah." We shall have to speak about his being " moved by fear"; we shall also remember his obedience, for he " prepared an ark to the saving of his house." But you must take distinct note that at the back of everything was his faith in God. His faith begat his fear: his faith and his fear produced his obedience. Nothing in Noah is held up before us as an example, but that which grew out of his faith. To begin with, we must look well to our faith.
1. Notice, first, that Noah believed in God in his ordinary life. Before the great test came, before he heard the oracle from the secret place, Noah believed in God. We know that he did, for we read that he walked with God, and in his common conduct he is described as being "a just man, and perfect in his generations." To be just in the sight of God is never possible apart from faith; for "the just shall live by faith." It is a great thing to have faith in the presence of a terrible trial; but the first essential is to have faith for ordinary every-day consumption.
2. Note, next, that Noah had faith in the warning and threatening of God. Faith is to be exercised about the commandments; for David says, "I have believed Thy commandments." Faith is to be exercised upon the promises; for there its sweetest business lies. But, believe me, you cannot have faith in the promise unless you are prepared to have faith in the threatening also. If you truly believe a man, you believe all that he says.
3. Furthermore, Noah believed what seemed highly improbable, if not absolutely impossible. There was no sea where Noah laid the keel of his ark: I do not even know that there was a river there. He was to prepare a sea-going vessel, and construct it on dry land. How could water be brought there to float it? That faith which believes in the probable is anybody's faith: publicans and sinners can so believe. The faith which believes that which is barely possible is in better form; but that faith which cares nothing for probability or possibility, but rests alone in the word of the Lord, is the faith of God's elect. God deserves such faith, "for with God all things are possible."
4. Noah believed alone, and preached on, though none followed him.
5. Noah believed through a hundred and twenty solitary years.
6. Noah believed even to separation from the world.
II. FEAR WAS THE MOVING FORCE.
1. A loyal reverence of God.
2. A holy fear of judgment.
3. A very humble distrust of himself.
III. OBEDIENCE WAS THE GRACIOUS FRUIT. Faith and fear together led Noah to do as God commanded him. When fear is grafted upon faith, it brings forth good fruit, as in this case.
1. Noah obeyed the Lord exactly.
2. Noah obeyed the Lord very carefully.
3. Noah obeyed at all costs.
4. Noah went on obeying under daily scorn.
5. Noah's obedience followed the command as he learned it.
IV. RESULTS DID NOT FAIL TO COME.
1. He was saved and his house.
2. He condemned the world. His preaching condemned them: they knew the way, and wickedly refused to run in it. His warning condemned them: they would not regard it and escape. His life condemned them, for he walked with the God whom they despised. Most of all, the ark condemned them.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
WEB: By faith, Noah, being warned about things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared a ship for the saving of his house, through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.