Noah was a rebel. He went against the grain. And he is also misunderstood. Movies have been made about him, including “Evan Almighty,” in which Steve Carell played Noah for laughs. Then there was the film “Noah” starring Russell Crowe. There were moments in the film that I thought were pretty good. But there were other scenes that were nothing close to the biblical account, like the one in which rock monsters helped Noah build the ark or when Noah wanted to close the ark and was killing people who tried to board it. That isn’t in the Bible. What a misunderstanding of who Noah really was.
Hebrews 11:7 says of him, “It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith” (NLT).
Noah was a world changer. World changers are people who don’t accept the status quo. World changers don’t march in lockstep with current culture. In fact, they change the culture. World changers think for themselves. They do what is right. They affect their surroundings more than their surroundings affect them.
The secret to being a world changer is being a man or woman of faith. God spoke to Noah, and Noah listened. God revealed secrets to Noah. How does God speak? He speaks primarily through his Word, the Bible. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). Sometimes God will speak through a preacher. Sometimes he will speak through a friend or through your spouse. Sometimes he will speak through circumstances. And sometimes he will speak in the stillness of your heart.
God revealed his secrets to Noah, and Noah listened to God. And he also had great reverence for God. The Bible says that “he moved with godly fear” (Hebrews 11:7 NKJV). The Bible also says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10 NKJV). I think people are way too casual with God sometimes. This is almighty God we’re talking about. Fearing God means that we have reverence for him. It is not so much a fear of retribution; it is a dread of displeasing him or dishonoring him. Noah moved with this reverence and fear. He lived a godly life in an ungodly place, shining as a bright light in the darkest circumstances imaginable.
We’re told in Genesis 6:8 that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (NKJV). Does this mean God had grace on Noah because he lived a righteous life? No. It was the very opposite. Noah lived a righteous life because God had grace on him. Grace has been defined as God’s unmerited favor. Because he found grace – or grace found him – Noah lived a righteous life.
God does not love us for what we have done or haven’t done. Nor does God love us for what we are or are not. God loves us and extends his grace to us because he chooses to – just because he loves us. He extended his grace to Noah, and Noah responded appropriately to that grace by obeying God and honoring him.
Noah walked with God when no one else did. Like his great-grandfather, Enoch, Noah responded to God’s grace and walked with him. By the way, it is said of only two people in the Bible that they walked with God. It is not that others didn’t, but it is specifically said of only two people in the Bible: one is Noah, and the other Enoch. (And he, too, was a world changer.)
What does it mean to walk with God? Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (NKJV). The idea being conveyed is they are in harmony. It means getting in step with God. It means conforming your will toward God’s will. It means honoring him. Noah walked with God when no one else did.
He also was a witness for God. In 2 Peter 2 we read that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (verse 5 NKJV). Yet in 120 years, Noah didn’t have a single convert. As believers, our job is to preach the gospel; it is not to convert people. I have never converted anyone. Nor can you. That is the work of God. We are called to be faithful. So be faithful with what God has called you to do. Do what you can while you can.
Though Noah never really reached anyone, he did reach his own family. Again, Hebrews 11:7 tells us that by faith Noah “prepared an ark for the saving of his household” (NKJV). Maybe he didn’t reach thousands. He didn’t reach hundreds. He didn’t reach tens. But Noah reached his family. They believed and helped him build that ark. They knew he loved God. They knew he was a man of integrity.
God has given Christian parents the responsibility of raising their children in the way of the Lord. Parents, do not fail in this mission. Don’t tell me you are so busy that you don’t have time to read the Bible to your kids. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to take your children to church. You make time for what matters. Time passes quickly. Soon your children will be older.
It is not the job of the church to raise your children in the way of the Lord. The church does not want to do it instead of you but along with you. The church is just reinforcing, hopefully, what you are already doing by first modeling it in your home and then teaching it in your home.
Maybe something has happened recently that has caused you to think about the brevity of life. It has caused you to think about the afterlife. It has caused you to think about the meaning of your life.
Are you being influenced? Or, like Noah, are you doing the influencing? Are you changing the world, or is the world changing you? Noah was a light in a dark place. And a little light can go a long way.