“We live by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Hebrews 11:1). I wonder if we could consider Mrs. Noah to be one of the “ancients commended”. “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear build an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7). This ark, built by faith, took one hundred and twenty years to build.
The Lord expects us to live by faith. Hebrews chapter 11 expresses the faith we are to have regarding the foundations of the earth, our sacrificial offerings, our belief in the existence of Jesus Christ which pleases God, our daily provisions, mission trips, our spiritual heritage left behind, our trust in God to protect and our faith believing the biblical accounts are true. Many things we can not see, many things we can not touch, but we know through our spirit, these things are true.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness according to 2 Peter 2:5 and Ezekiel proclaimed when God declared to send a famine, only these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job if alive, could save themselves by their righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14). Noah preached righteousness during a time when, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.’” (Genesis 6:5-7). But, there was one man the Lord found favor with; Noah.
Noah was considered blameless among the people of his time and he walked with God. The bible declares the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of brutality, for the Lord told Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” (Genesis 6:11-13). This blameless, righteous man who walked with the Lord also had a family. The bible does not say Noah’s family was righteous, for we see the character of Ham when mocking his father while drunk; curses where set upon him and his son Canaan. The bible is silent about Noah’s wife, but I am sure she had to have some sort of faith to be married to Noah.
Noah and his family spent years in ridicule, subject to jokes, lewd comments, harassment and mockery. This culture in which Noah lived was so heart harded, so spiritual depraved, degraded with evil for when a miraculous procession of God’s animals walk in to the ark, not one soul was saved. Let us ponder this for a moment if you will. How could anyone witness such an astonishing, extraordinary, inexplicable phenomenon as this convoy of mild animals, two by two, proceeds into the ark and not be totally transformed? The same way God calls ALL of his children, but some sadly turn a deaf ear to his beckons. My heart grieves to think God is lament and mourning those lost.
Noah’s wife and family watched as their patriarch preached God’s commands, observed and listened as Noah pleaded with those to believe in The Maker of Heaven and Earth. The violent, lustful, corrupt individuals, I am sure, were having a time making fun of this family. Maybe the laughs continued for all those years building, maybe the laughs grew tiresome after a few years, seeing Noah would not waiver in his faith and maybe the harassment stopped once all realized, this family is different.
I am sure Mrs. Noah had blistered hands, a habitual sore back, aching muscles and weary spirit. I am sure at times she may have felt exhausted, spiritual worn down or maybe even days where hands were thrown in the air, “I am tired of this.” What year could it have been when doubt creeps in saying, “Is this going to happen?” “What are we doing?” Is it year fifty, sixty? The faith Noah had must have kept her going through difficult times. Besides preparing food, managing the children, loving her husband and cleaning her residence, Mrs. Noah had the challenging job of believing, walking by faith and not by sight.
We all know the end of the story, but do you know the end of yours? Has God planted a seed or vision for you, no one can see it, people have not been as encouraging as you may have wished and you wonder if this seed will ever flourish? I had the seed, the vision, the faith and the testing in which all God’s children experience. The Lord’s season of planting is not the same for all vegetation. There are some trees, fruits, veggies and plants that spring forth quickly. There is a feeling of such accomplishment when you see the fruits of your labor. But what happens when the seed planted takes time to grow, thrive and develop? Do you continue watering it? Do you continue nourishing it and pulling the thorns, weeds and thistles that choke the life out of it? Can you picture the end result, even if the end is not for another decade?
That seed God has planted in you is precious. A vision for your life where you need to remain faithful through testing and trials is part of God’s plan for you. In the book of James, he considers it pure joy whenever faced with trials, because the testing of your faith develops perseverance. This perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4). I love that scripture declaring “perseverance must finish its work”. The vision you may have received is set for a specific time, but you have to be prepared and ready for the challenge. Your motives need to be pure, your heart has to glorify God in all things, your delicate sensibilities may need to be refined for the harsh treatment of our culture to Christians and your knowledge of God’s Word has to deepen.
The bible does not say Noah was discouraged for he knew God and walked with him. I pray as a wife, if your husband has a vision and walks with the Lord, then you encourage and stand beside him. I think it is fair to say we all know what to stand next to and what to rebuke. For example, Tommy has been given dreams of helping the homeless, building a church up north, and providing for people who are in the storms of life. We are able to help few now and be a blessing, but these dreams are powerful with many people. These are not normal dreams for him, nor is it something we discuss regarding moving north, but we leave it all in God’s hands. If it is from the Lord, then his will be done!
If and when the time comes for us to be moved by the hand of God, I pray the Lord instruct, guide and lead our family to whom or whenever that is. I desire to live by faith and not by sight. Noah walked with the Lord; he did not stand with the sinners or sit with the mockers or walk with the wicked. He desired the law of the Lord and meditated on him day and night. Noah and his family were planted by streams of living water, bearing their fruit in due season and their leave never withered (Psalm 1).
I am not sure how I would have responded to Noah if I was his wife. If Tommy had told me we where going to build and ark, I probably would have said, “A what?” That is what I love about the Lord, he can imagine things we can not; the Lord’s creativity has no bounds, and his vision for you life is unique, special and just for you. My sister, I pray your faith abound every passing day, never wasting a moment doubting, complaining or growing complacent. Read and meditate on James 1, praying for God to enlarge your faith as these families of old, enhance your wisdom and knowledge of his Word and increase your willingness to follow him.
Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:
I know faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). I know you have planted a seed in my heart. I understand it takes time to grow which increases my faith. I pray as I sit in your waiting room, in the wilderness, my faith abounds each passing day. My heart overflows with joy believing I could be used for you, be your hands and feet and spread the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.
May I be an encouraging wife if my husband has been given a vision for our family. May be grow and study, listen and glean, humbling ourselves before you and in due time you will lift us up and honor our family (James 4:10). As we build our own ark, I believe you are the cornerstone, the rock, the foundation on which we are laying our hopes and dreams. You are the foundations in which no storm, test or trial will dissipate our desires (Matthew 7:24-26). As we hammer every nail, secure each board, may we mediate on your Word and be preachers of righteousness.
I pray our hearts never are so hardened, we can not hear your voice. As we live in this word, as it becomes colder and lukewarm, and as we continue building our foundation of faith, may be succumb to the ever changing philosophies of the world, may we never reject the truth for a lie and may we continue to train our children in the way they should go and they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I pray we bold come to the throne of grace, boasting only in the name of Jesus Christ, unashamed of the Gospel and running our race.
I pray we continue to water this dream, this vision, our hope, this abounding faith with your Word. May we never cease to study and meditate on your wonders. I believe in your perfect will and timing is when we will move forward. How ever long that is Lord, I am in this for the long haul. I will not give up when I do not get my own way, I will never demand my own timing and I will submit before you, you will be done and not mine.
I pray for godly friends to encourage and support one another. Another family to pray and stand in the gap with us, believing all things are possible for those who trust in the Lord. Thank you for giving me a dream. Thank you for encouraging me in my faith, not allowing me to forget just how big my God is! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray.