Hebrews 11: 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
The story of the flood is about Noah and his family, how God delivered them from the sinful world in which they lived and saved the seed of the promised Savior. We rarely think about those 120 years before the flood, when Noah and his family were building the ark to get ready. That had to be hard on his family! We struggle to make ends meet and to put food on the table. Imagine taking on this mammoth project, hewing out the lumber and carefully putting it together. How much time did it take each day to build the ark!
Imagine the neighbors coming by and ridiculing Noah for what he was doing while he warned them of the flood that was coming and called them to repentance. They probably thought he was crazy. “By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Every day, this righteous man lived by faith.
And so do we. Because we live by faith, we are different. We stand out in the world as people who are strange. I remember a dear member of my former church, Millie, who worked in a factory in town. Millie was not afraid to speak of her faith. She said to me once, “Pastor, people don’t even like to sit with me in the lunchroom.” She was a stranger in a place where people gossipped and told crude jokes and used vulgar language. She wasn’t obnoxious about her faith, but they just knew that she didn’t approve. The life of a believer will always condemn the world even while we hold out the grace of Jesus to save it. So expect to be different. Expect to be ridiculed or shunned. That’s what happens when the righteous live by faith.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have redeemed us and called us to faith to be different. We don’t belong in this world any longer. Our citizenship is in heaven. But while we remain here, teach us to be bold yet gentle as we hold out the word of truth to our neighbors. And should we be mocked for it, then let us bear that cross gladly for your sake! Amen.