Perhaps one of the most intriguing and fascinating stories in the Bible is the story of Noah. The existence of Noah was acknowledged by Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:38). During the lifetime of Noah, human beings have grown into wickedness to the point that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Out of all these people, it was only Noah who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (verse 8). The Bible further added that Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation, and walked with God (verse 9).
With all these good report about Noah, it is not difficult for us to realize that we can absolutely glean valuable lessons from His life. These lessons will change our lives when we see their value and apply them.
Lesson no. 1: Preaching the Gospel with perseverance
There’s no doubt that people nowadays are quick to dismiss anything about religion. As we look around us, we see tremendous similarities with the time of Noah and our time. This is the time when it becomes harder and harder to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. Sometimes, our effort may yield insignificant results, but we must not lose heart. We must draw encouragement and inspiration from the life of Noah.
According to II Peter 2:5, Noah is a “preacher of righteousness”. With a quick study of Noah’s life, we can easily see that he could have preached to the people for at least 100 years! I am sure no one of us could beat his record.
As the days turn to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, Noah could have all the reasons to quit preaching to the people. Imagine, after preaching to the people for at least 100 years, no one has believed his message, except his family who eventually joined him in the ark.
This should tell us something.
Preaching the Gospel of God should be our top priority whether people will listen to us or not. For Noah, the size of his audience does not matter. He has the burning desire to save as many as possible. Even just one believer would make all the difference.
So whenever you feel like quitting, remember the example of Noah. Remember his perseverance. Most importantly, remember that God’s word will not return to him void, but it shall accomplish that which he pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing where He sends it (Isaiah 55:10-11).
Lesson no. 2: God’s love was portrayed when He sent the flood
Some people estimate that there were millions or billions of people during the time of Noah. The Bible tells us that all these people died except Noah and his family, accounting for eight individuals.
Now, one may ask, was God justified to kill all these people simply because they are wicked? Wouldn’t it be fair to give them a chance and change their ways?
The story of Noah and the flood that almost erased human race on the face of the earth is actually a story of God’s love.
It is important to note that the people in the world are continually wicked (Genesis 6:5). Imagine living in a world where all people are wicked, sinful, and rebellious. We can easily conclude that it is an ugly world that you would never want to be in.
God is all-loving and in His infinite wisdom, it is more merciful to end the life of these people than let them continue living in pain and suffering. Breaking God’s commandment will lead to misery and untold sorrow. This is exactly what each person in Noah’s time is experiencing.
Nevertheless, before God would finally send the flood to cleanse the whole face of the earth, he used Noah to warn them and convince them to turn away from their sinful life. Sadly, these people are too addicted to the way of Satan that only the family of Noah heeded the warning.
Now, what will happen to the billions of people who died during the flood? Thankfully, the Bible reveals that they are not forever lost as popular “Christianity” would teach. Ezekiel 37:1-14, Revelation 20:4-6, 11-12, Matthew 10:15, 11:20-24, and Matthew 12:41-42 tell us the narrative when all people who have ever lived and died without the chance of knowing God will be resurrected. Their minds will finally be opened and given the chance to salvation. I recognize that this is a very big topic, so please click this link for more information.
Lesson no. 3: Finding grace in the eyes of the LORD
The Bible has this to say to Noah: Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:8). This simply means that Noah found favor and having the favor of God led him and his family to safety. They were delivered from the great deluge that fell upon the earth.
But of all the people, why Noah? It is worth noting that no matter what we do and how much righteousness we accomplish during our lifetime, God is not obliged to give us salvation or in the case of Noah, rescue him from the flood. God’s grace is the unmerited favor that God bestowed upon us, not because of our own doing, but because of His great love to us.
Nevertheless, we must NEVER use grace as a license to sin. The people around Noah abused the grace of God to the point that God was forced to reluctantly send the flood and mercifully end their lives.
God sends His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins. However, this does not mean that He died for us to continue sinning. After being forgiven of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ and the grace of God, we are expected to live a life dedicated to following the commandments of God.
Noah found grace in the eyes of God because of his consistent desire to follow the commandments of God. Noah would have been not called just or righteous, perfect in his generation, and a man who walks with God (Genesis 6:9) without doing his part which is to obey the word of God.
Therefore, we need to realize that God’s grace is not given for us to sin, but for us to be given the chance to repent and turn from our wicked ways (Romans 6:1-23).
Lessons no. 4: We need to fully obey God
The Bible mentioned this twice in the account of Noah’s obedience: “Thus Noah did; according to ALL that God commanded him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22; 7:5).
The passage mentioned that he did according to ALL God commanded him. This is a powerful statement that we must all take heed.
We must consistently be obedient to God and not just when it is convenient for us. The world of Christianity today has become a religion of convenience, only following the commandments of God that will not directly contradict to their own will.
As hard as it may sound, we need to give 100% of our life to God. In this point in time, we must remember that no amount of commandment-keeping would earn us salvation and at the same time, we cannot earn salvation without keeping God’s commandments.
As what Jesus Christ said, “You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your strength” (Mark 12:30). Loving God is manifested through our devotion in keeping His commandments.
Lesson no. 5: God has the perfect timing
Patience is among the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and it is among the most difficult fruits to develop in our lives. In a technologically advanced world, we are programmed to expect things to happen in an instance. We have forgotten the art of waiting.
In the life of Noah, we notice that God alone has the perfect timing. When Noah was 500 years old, God commanded Him to build the ark. Notice that God did not mention how long will the flood arrive. Biblical clues even tell us that no one knows what rain is since a “mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:6), instead of the rain we commonly know today.
For Noah, it would take a lot of faith and trust to God to build an ark not beside a body of water, but at the top of the mountain! During the time of waiting, from his 500th to 600th birthday, he had the chance to question God’s timing., but he never did.
We must know this one thing holds true:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Therefore, if you think that your prayers are not being answered by God or the relief from suffering is not immediately felt, know that His timing is always PERFECT, never early, never late. And you can’t improve something that is already perfect. So have faith in God’s perfect timing and surrender your life to Him.
Noah is a righteous man who walked with God just like His great-grandfather, Enoch. The example of Noah must teach us valuable lessons and guide us on how to live this life. His example of faith, trust and obedience to God must inspire and motivate us.
We live in a world similar to Noah.
Noah did not find grace in the eyes of men but in the eyes of God. Instead of being influenced by the world around Him, he chose to be influenced by the commandments of God. Will you live like Noah? Or will you eventually find yourself outside the ark?