One of the many mistakes we make as Christians today is to read the Bible with the intention of replicating the many miracles and instances that happened to many of the people God used as a vehicle to project and propagate His Will and purpose for mankind. We tend to look beyond what God is trying to project by looking at the wrong side of the coin – that is to say, instead of looking at the story behind the scene, we become lost in the people and what they did in the display of the things they got delivered from. For example, we look at the story of the WOMAN WITH THE ISSUE OF BLOOD and try to make out that she must have done something or acknowledged a principle, which she applied with the resultant deliverance she got from the blood flow she had for twelve years.
Many apply the same principle coined out by some of our Pastors, only to find out that, waiting at the end of the tunnel only leads to more frustration and we come up with things like, “maybe God does not like me”, “maybe I didn’t apply the principle to the letter” or “maybe God has decided to leave me in my troubles”. We end up giving God so many names in accordance with our plethora of experiences only to find out that they do not depict His character or essence. We see God as one we can use to get or achieve our selfish aim and ends. That’s not the God of the Bible!
Another of such stories in the Bible is the very popular story of Noah and the Ark God asked him to build. The writer of Hebrews in his commitment to see his fellow Jews saved, continued in the many examples from our ancestors, just so that he could drive home his point and maybe they would then respond positively to the message of the Gospel. He had spoken about Cain and Abel and how Abel responded in worship towards God as compared to Cain who wanted access to God, but he wanted to do it his own way. He went on to discuss another ancestor, well respected by these Jews in the person of Enoch and made them aware of the fact that Enoch walked with God so that his audience could follow his example if ever they want any sort of access to God.
This is where we would like to pitch our tent today – the story of Noah as a template for Salvation or having Faith in God. Noah’s life was a vivid example of FAITH. The idea of the ARK was not his, it was God’s idea and what God wanted to achieve with the human race here on Earth. God was about to destroy the Earth because there was multiplication of Evil on Earth; and God was about destroying the Earth unknown to anyone. He was going to use rain as an instrument to destroy planet Earth. It had never rained on the face of the Earth, so when God told Noah about the rain, one would have expected Noah to argue considering the fact that RAIN was a strange thing to him. But Noah never argued with God rather he believed Him and abandoned all he was doing to construct the ARK.
The story of Noah is not a story we want to take literally; it’s not a story we want to emulate so as to pick up principles that we can apply in order to get the things that we have desired or are praying to God for. It is a story about how God will save the coming world even in the face of the pending perdition. The ARK is a symbol or an instrument that will save Noah and his family as the rain came down heavily upon the face of the Earth. The rain represents the means at which God will destroy the World. The ARK spoke about God’s coming judgment. It’s a picture of the coming back of Jesus.
Noah will invite people to come with him into the ARK, which is more like preaching the message of the Gospel and the people who would believe and respond positively will enter the ARK (will be in Christ) while the people who do not believe will suffer the consequences of the RAIN or perdition as the writer described in Hebrews 10:39. Many of the people in Noah’s time did not believe his story and ended up being destroyed by the flood because it was almost incomprehensible; they had never seen rain and someone (Noah) is talking about it raining.
The writer, in his presentation of what FAITH is said that the message must come from God for starters and as hearers, all we need to do is to accept and respond positively to the message because FAITH is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of the unseen. Noah had not seen RAIN but all he rested on was the Word from God about the flood and the destruction of the whole Earth. Without proof or evidence he believed God and his belief was reflected in the choice he made to construct the ARK. He trusted God and his Word.
The intention of the writer was not to scare his listeners but to convince them that the same God who judged the Earth at that time is the same God who will bring His judgment upon the face of the Earth as He returns (Hebrews 10:37).
The general idea is that if his audience believed and knew about Cain and Abel, Enoch and even Noah, then they must believe in the message of the Gospel. The other side of the coin is that if they don’t respond positively to the message of the Gospel, it meant that, maybe they never believed in the story of their much respected and valued Ancestors.
The way of salvation by works, if it were possible, would be a very wearisome way. How many good works would carry a man to heaven would be a question which as it were, very hard to answer – C.H Spurgeon.
Keep it right here!