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…
This description of the faith of Noah involves several distinct parts —
1. The warning of God.
2. The motive of Noah — fear.
3. The preparing the ark — the result of fear.
4. The consequence of this — the saving of his house.
5. The work this did for others around — condemned them.
I. THE WARNING OF GOD. The men whom God had made had all rebelled against Him; the world was turned against its Maker. As men grew older and more experienced they increased in arts and sciences, but they decreased in religion and the fear of God. These men lived by sight, not by faith. God determined to punish the godless world, and looking around, He saw only one man worth saving. Only one family worth saving! I doubt not many then would have said it was uncharitable to say there are few who would be saved; uncharitable to say that among many professors there were few who from the heart feared God. But "God seeth not as man seeth." Such, then, was the warning of God. Now is not this account like that of our day? "As it was in the days of Noah," so is it now. Is not the advance of trade, and science, and agriculture, and knowledge, thought of before the advance of religion? Now see the part of Noah. He obeyed the warning, and prepared the ark, and saved his family. God ordered an ark to save Noah, and Noah made it; he did not trust to the invention of his own brain as to what would be the best thing in all probability to save him from the water, but he made the ark. God had ordered an ark, and the ark of gopher wood, and Noah made it; the ark — only the ark, could save Noah from death. Why? Not because it was the most scientific mode of salvation, not because it was the most learned way of safety, not because it was the most likely means of salvation; no, it was not on this account that Noah made the ark; he made it because it was the appointed means of safety, because God had ordered it.
2. Noah was active in his work, and while he worked he preached. Why was Noah active? Because he feared God and loved his family.Now some men invent one way of escaping the last deluge of fire, and some another.
1. Some say God's mercy shall be our ark, which we will hope for without seeking.
2. Some say, our own works shall be our ark, an ark we will provide by our own labour, but not after the fashion God has ordered, an ark not made of gopher wood.
3. Some say, we will make an ark with our works like what God orders, but we will mot begin it yet, we will wait till the clouds begin to darken for the storm, that will be soon enough; we will repent on a death-bed.
4. Some say, we will make something like an ark, but we will not take much trouble about it; we will make it after the material God orders, but we will be satisfied with a mere framework, we will trust to our general religious character to bear us safely through the dreadful fire; we will not concern ourselves about individual acts.
5. Some say, we will have none; no flood will come. Such are all the schemes we have to provide against the last flood. But what shall happen to them?
(1) Those who make no ark will find no ark. Those who trust to God's mercy without seeking God's mercy, shall find no mercy.
(2) Those who make their own ark shall enter it, but it will dash to pieces against the first obstacle, and sink its terrified crew against the rocks of everlasting despair. Those who trust to their own works will find they stand them in no stead.
(3) Those who put off making the ark till the clouds darken the sky shall have scarce struck a nail in it before they shall be arrested by the flood.
(4) Those who are satisfied with the outward framework, will find the fire pierce through every open crevice of the ark, and they shall be burnt up in the ark which they have made.
(5) Those who made no ark at all shall be swallowed up quickly.
(6) And then, who shall be saved? Only he who shelters in the true ark, that only rides upon the waters safe and secure; the ark made according to God's direction.
II. But again, THE MOTIVE which induced Noah to build the ark — fear, produced by faith, and love, inducing fear. "By faith in things not seen as yet, Noah moved with fear, prepared an ark, wherein eight souls were saved." He believed God's word. Faith, then, was the spring of all. If he had not believed, he would have been idle, as the idle world. His faith produced works. And again, it awakened him as to the real interest of his family; he was not concerned about their present pleasure, but about their future safety.
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.