Hebrews 11:7, “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 which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” We read about Noah here. It speaks of his faith. The whole chapter tells us of people who had faith and, because of it, they have received a good report from God, and you could say that in every one of their lives it was like a success story because of this simple faith. One time we visited a lady and asked her to some meetings. She knew about this way of God, and when we were there and were asking her about coming to a meeting, she said, “You know, I admire you people very much and I admire your simple faith but as for me, I am far too intelligent.” She said, “I love to read in Revelation and in Ezekiel.” You know, all the natural knowledge, all the learning, all the study, doesn’t compare with simple faith. It never has and it never will and, without this simple faith, we can’t please God. We heard about that this morning. We must have it in our pilgrimage through life.
One time, I started to read an article in the paper. Someone was writing about David in the Old Testament and they said, “It is all a myth; the story about David and Goliath is all a myth.” I thought, “I am not going to continue to read this; this would never feed a person’s faith.” Don’t we need to feed our faith, foster it, and cultivate it? “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” so every time we hear the word of God or read the word of God, we need to have it mixed with faith, otherwise it is no profit to us. Paul says that. So when I read the word of God and when I hear it, I need to believe it – “It is God’s word; it is right and true; I can have absolute faith in it.” Jesus spoke to Peter and He said, “Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.” Isn’t that what Satan is doing all the time or trying to do – that power that is working against God all the time – isn’t he trying to sift faith out of us and put doubts into us? Don’t we have to be careful? But Jesus said, “I have prayed for you.” Isn’t it lovely to think about our intercessor? He is going to help us all to keep our faith and to foster faith. Satan is going to try to sift the faith out of us but isn’t it a wonderful thing to think about the power that is on our side to help us to keep faith?
I was thinking about how we can foster our faith. Going through experiences with our Master fosters faith. Remember the time when Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go to the other side,” and they went on the ship. Then a storm arose and Jesus was sleeping in the hinder part of the ship. They were afraid. We get afraid in the storms, don’t we? They called on the Master and woke Him. You remember the story, how He calmed the sea and brought about a great calm. He said, “Where is your faith?” After that experience they marveled and said, “What manner of man is this! For He commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey Him.” The Master knew exactly what to do in the storm and He had promised, “You just go over to the other side.” He wouldn’t lose us on the way. Wouldn’t it strengthen their faith? You remember about Peter, that time when Jesus told him to let down the net for a draught of fish. Peter had been toiling all night. It would be a struggle for him just to believe that, but he did it. Wouldn’t it strengthen his faith when he saw the multitude of fish that was caught, proving His power, the rightness of His word? His advice, won’t it strengthen our faith? Paul said at the end of his life, “I have kept the faith.” We have heard about not losing our love, our need, and it is vital that we don’t lose our faith – our faith in prayer, our faith in the promises of God, our faith in the planning of God, our faith in the ability of God. Don’t lose it; it is such a valuable possession and without it we can’t please God, we can’t be right with God.
Then there is something else here in this verse. It says that Noah was warned of God. I value the word of God so much and the comfort of His word and the advice of His word and the encouragement of His word and I am learning to value more than ever the warnings of His word because, if we obey them, it keeps us safe within the boundaries of His will. It is an important thing that we take heed to His word. I was counting them, far too many to mention. There are over 40 “Take heeds,” warnings and the “Bewares” of His word. Jesus said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, or beware of wrong doctrine, any teaching that differs from the teaching of the Master and of the word of God. Beware of it, be warned by it. Paul says in one verse to beware of dogs. We heard at Convention that dogs disturb sheep. Anything that disturbs our rest and disturbs our peace, beware of it. It also said to beware of evil workers. That is what Job did. It says that he eschewed evil. He made a detour, didn’t get involved in anything evil. Warnings are very valuable. Noah was warned of God. He didn’t see the flood that was going to come, didn’t know about it. God knows and sees far more than we do. Noah took the warnings. One time my companion and I were going to have a little bush walk. We had the opportunity to do it. We saw a couple looking at a sign – “Warning.” Then they walked away from it and came towards us. They were foreigners, didn’t know the language but they saw that sign and seemed to recognize that it was a warning. In their broken English they asked us what it was about. It was only about poison that had been laid for possums or something like that but they were not casual about the warning. It is a dangerous thing to be casual about the warnings. I read one time about a tourist; I felt very sad. He took a liberty with the warning and fell to his death. It is easy to do that but we want to take the warnings. They are very valuable to us.
I would like to tell you something I heard David Nightingall say one time. He said, “If you fell into a hole, you knew that hole was there and you had fallen into it, wouldn’t you like to warn people? I would like to warn you about a hole I fell into.” As a young boy he made his choice and he said, “I didn’t read and pray and as a result I fell into the hole and I didn’t go on but then some years passed and I made my choice again.” He said, “I was almost going to fall into the same hole; I wasn’t reading and praying – that is very important – then I prayed to God and I asked God would He give me a love to read and a love to pray and He has.” That is a very valuable warning to take. It is a hole we will fall into and we will lose out if we don’t read and pray.
It says that Noah was moved by fear. Somebody once told us that fear is taking God and His word seriously. It is a very good thing if we are motivated by fear of God, a respect for Him. That is what Noah was moved by – a respect and fear of God and His word – what God says is absolutely right. We could be moved by other things, wrong things. Those brothers of Joseph were moved by envy. We heard what they did to Joseph. They had the wrong motivating power. I was reading about the disciples. One time they were moved with indignation against two other apostles and it caused them to be resentful of them. That is a wrong motive – power. Samson was moved by the Spirit of God. That causes us to get victory. The first time he was moved by the Spirit of God he slew a lion. Later on it tells us that he was moved by the Spirit and he slew 200 men and the next time the Spirit moved him he slew 1,000 men; he was getting victory and greater victory. It made me think of what Teenie Walker said one time: Keep your victories behind iron bars; hold them and add to them. This man Samson, when he was moved by Delilah, the wrong motivating power, it caused him to break his covenant with God. But Noah was moved by fear. It was the right motivating power. It says here that Noah saved himself and saved his house and it says that he condemned the world. How did he do that? Because he has told us all, every one of us, that it can be done – we can have simple faith and we can be warned and take the warnings and we can be moved by fear to do the right thing and have absolute respect for God. It can be done; he did it.