My Bible study time last week challenged me with the question above. So I pose it to you. Let’s say that out of all humanity, currently over 7 Billion, would you stand for Jesus if no one else would? Let me caution you from responding too quickly. Think about this for a moment. If all the people in the world rejected Jesus would you stand for Him? The Bible reminds us of one man (in addition to Jesus) who did. His choice has impacted every human being that has lived since. He chose to stand alone.
Our congregation is in the midst of a special sermon series “Step in Faith.” It is part of our stewardship emphasis to cover the last development costs so that we can occupy the church site. The whole process has been an incredible working of the Lord when you consider that all that has been done. We are now on the verge of reaching the summit of, what I believe is, probably the hardest phase in our site development. This is due to all the costs related to the site work itself. Please pray for us as we receive a special offering on October 27.
This past week in our step in series I chose to focus on a Biblical example of a man that “Step[ped] in Faith” to accomplish an ambitious building project. I am speaking of a well-known but often overlooked man of God, who we know by the name of Noah. Noah is famous for the ship that he built to serve as a floating zoo to save 8 humans and pairs of land animals from the flood of God’s judgement. This Biblical account deserves our attention for a number of reasons, but let me focus on one. Noah was a godly man that stood alone for God against the tsunami of culture.
My responsibility in developing our church site has given me a new appreciation of Noah’s accomplishment in building the Ark. The logistics had to be incredible when you understand that God instructed him to build himself a boat. Now this was not any boat, it was a massive three story barge! The Bible reveals that it was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. This vessel was to have three floors. I calculated that the square footage would be the equivalent of 50 – 2000 sq. ft. homes. This of course does not do the project justice because it would be a magnitude of difficulty greater than just building homes. It was a project that was estimated to take between 45-75 years. This is incredible. But I wonder if we miss the real significance of Noah’s accomplishment by focusing on the boat?
It was Noah’s moral stand against culture that we should focus on. We read, “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) Just ponder for a moment what it would be like to live in a culture where this is no good. There are not even any flashes of good. We are reminded that “every intention” of men’s hearts were “evil continually.” There is no way to know how many people existed at this time. I have come across numbers from 777 million into the billions. Yet, God says every one was focused on evil all the time, except for one man.
Knowing that God is a God of grace it is not hard to imagine that if there were any other Godly people alive they would have been on the boat. Yet, the only ones to survive were Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. Yes, that is it out of all the population. What a sad state of affairs.
But notice what God says about Noah, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9) I think this says it all. He was a man that stood alone for God. The result, humanly speaking, was the reason that you and I can have a relationship with Jesus today. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7) God’s plan carried on because of a follower who chose to stand for Him against all odds.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson