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. THE REVELATION WITH WHICH NOAH WAS FAVOURED.
1. It is characterised as a warning.
2. It was a warning from God.
3. It was a warning from God which concerned " things not seen as yet."
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH NOAH IMPROVED THE REVELATION WITH WHICH HE WAS FAVOURED.
1. He believed it.
2. He was "moved with fear."In the affairs of this life a prudential, stimulating fear is not only permitted, but applauded. Hence the child who so fears his parents as always to obey, is beloved; the scholar who so fears his master as always to excel, is admired; the merchant who, through fear, lingers in the port because he knows that a powerful pirate scours the neighbouring seas, is commended; the tradesman who, through fear, refuses to trust his property in doubtful hands, is accounted wise; and the traveller who, through fear, takes a circuitous route because he knows that the nearest road is infested with robbers, is deemed prudent. Since this is the case in the affairs of this life, how comes it to pass that the fear of the Lord is so generally despised? And why are those who live under its influence so generally regarded as men of mean and melancholy minds? Is it because the rod of a mortal is more to be dreaded than the wrath of God? Is it because the loss of earthly property is a greater evil than the loss of the soul?
3. He prepared the ark.
(1) The building of such a vessel must have consumed a great deal of time. Let those who neglect the whole round of religious duty, pleading as their excuse that they have no time to perform it, consider this trait in Noah's piety, and stand reproved. What! no time to serve God, and save your souls? The rebel might just as well say to his insulted sovereign, "Sire, I had no time to be loyal."(2) It must have occasioned him great expense. It is a striking peculiarity in the economy of God to His people, that before He gives them all that He has, He requires them to consecrate to Him everything which they possess. He acted thus towards Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and the apostles. And before He gave Noah his life, and the lives of his household for a prey, He set him upon constructing a vessel, which, considering its magnitude, must have abridged his portion, not only of the superfluities, but even of the necessaries, of life. Judging from the Divine conduct in other cases, we think it not at all extravagant to suppose that the last nail was driven as the last item of his estate was gone. But Noah believed God; and therefore the greatness of the cost was no obstruction to the completion of the work. By the light of faith he discerned that riches and worldly goods are means of honour and of happiness only so far as they are consecrated to God, and employed for Him.
(3) It must have subjected him to much reproach. It is exceedingly probable that the king and the peasant, the philosopher and the fool, the rich and the poor, the hoary headed father and the lisping boy, would all unite in making him and his ark a proverb of reproach and scorn. They would blame him for rendering religion offensive to rational and intelligent men; and they would charge him with cruelty to his family, in spending his substance upon such an extravagant undertaking.
III. THE EFFECTS WHICH RESULTED FROM NOAH'S DILIGENT IMPROVEMENT OF THE REVELATION VOUCHSAFED TO HIM BY GOD.
1. He saved his house. Let all heads of families aim at the same thing. See that your domestic arrangements and private conduct be such as shall entail the blessing, and not the curse, of God upon your offspring.
2. "He condemned the world."(1) In the same sense as a witness may be said to condemn a criminal, when he furnishes incontestable evidence of his guilt. His faith, in this sense, condemned their unbelief; for it demonstrated the sufficiency of the revelation given, and was, moreover, a pattern for their imitation, and a motive stimulating them to action.
(2) Inasmuch as he deprived them of all ground of excuse. He was a " preacher of righteousness"; and, as such, he no doubt instructed them in the nature of righteousness; its necessity and advantages; together with the means of acquiring it.
3. He "became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." The righteousness of which Noah is said to have become "heir," or possessor, is in other places called "the righteousness of God"; "the righteousness which is of God by faith"; "the gift of righteousness which is by Christ"; and sometimes simply, "the righteousness of faith"; by all which expressions is meant, that free justification from all past guilt which we obtain when we believe on Him that justifieth the ungodly. That Noah not only believed all that was revealed concerning the flood; but also all that was made known respecting the perfections of God, the fall of man, and the scheme of redemption by Jesus Christ, is evident from the sacrifice which he offered on quitting the ark, and the gracious acceptance which it obtained from God.
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.