Hebrew 11:7 (AV)
By faith Noah,
being warned of God
of things not seen as yet,
moved with fear,
prepared an ark
to the saving of his house;
by the which he condemned the world,
and became heir of the righteousness
which is by faith.
From other translations:
[Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world 's unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness (that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith). [AMP] 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. [ESV] By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn't see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God. [MSB] By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. [KJV] 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 comes by faith. [NIV] It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about something that had never happened before. By his faith he condemned the rest of the world and was made right in God's sight. [NLT] By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. [NKJV]
Now let us see what this verse is telling us.
The ground of Noah’s faith
Noah had received a warning from God of
▪︎ Things to come.
▪︎ Things that were not yet seen.
▪︎ Things that seemed to be impossible for the people in those days (It probably had never rained before).
But Noah believed, and acted on his belief
By faith Noah.
See Gen. 6:13-22 . When he was divinely warned of a coming deluge he believed it, simply upon the word of God.
Now observe how his faith acted.
(1) He was moved by fear;
(2) he prepared the ark as God had directed.
His faith moved him to obedience.
Warned of God
The same Greek, Hebrews 8:5 , “admonished of God.”
He had a divine revelation, whether it was by voice or vision, the Bible does not tell us; but it was clear to Noah that God was going to react on the sins on the world, and that God would send a flood.
Of things not seen as yet,
He was forewarned of things not seen as yet, that is, of a great and severe judgment, such as the world had never seen before, and of which there was not yet the least sign it was coming.
This secret warning he was to communicate to the world, who would be sure to despise both him and his message. Just like today the message to repent, because God’s Kingdom is at hand, is despised and ridiculed.
God usually warns sinners before he strikes; and, where His warnings are ignored, the blow will fall the heavier. The people in Noah’s days had only Noah’s words, but the people of today have the word of God coming to them by many preachers, and the signs which are here for everyone to see, also warn us that the time is near.
Moved with fear
Not mere slavish fear, but as in Hebrews 5:7 ; world’s sneering disbelief of the revelation, and self-deceiving security. Join “by faith” with “prepared an ark” ( 1 Peter 3:20 ).
The warning of God was believed by Noah, and this had a great influence on both his mind, and his practice.
It impressed his soul with a fear of God’s judgment: he was moved with fear.
Faith first influences our affections, then our actions; and faith works upon those affections that are suitable to the matter revealed.
▪︎ If it be some good thing, faith stirs up love and desire;
▪︎ If it be some evil thing, faith stirs up fear.
Prepared an ark
His faith influenced his practice. His fear, thus excited by believing God’s threatening, moved him to prepare an ark, in which, no doubt, he met with the scorns and reproaches of a wicked generation.
He did not dispute with God
▪︎ why he should make an ark,
▪︎ nor how it could be capable of containing what was to be lodged in it,
▪︎ nor how such a vessel could possibly weather out so great a storm.
His faith silenced all objections, and set him to work.
To the saving of his house
His faith, and the acting on his faith resulted in blessed fruits and rewards
He himself and his house were saved, when a whole world of sinners were perishing.
God saved his family for his sake;
▪︎ it was well for them that they were Noah’s sons and daughters;
▪︎ it was well for those women that they married into Noah’s family; perhaps they might have married to great estates in other families, but then they would have been drowned.
We often say, “It is good to be akin to an estate;’’
but surely it is good to be akin to the covenant.
By the which
By his faith, and his actions
Condemned the world
For since he believed and was saved, so might they have believed and been saved, so that their condemnation by God is by his case shown to be just.
He judged and condemned the world;
▪︎ his holy fear condemned their security and vain confidence;
▪︎ his faith condemned their unbelief;
▪︎ his obedience condemned their contempt and rebellion.
Good examples will either convert sinners or condemn them.
There is something very convincing in a life of strict holiness and regard to God; it commends itself to every man’s conscience in the sight of God, and they are judged by it.
This is the best way the people of God can take to condemn the wicked; not by harsh and censorious language, but by a holy exemplary conversation.
The example of his faith was a rebuke to all who were not moved by it.
The man who gives heed to God by his conduct condemns those who refuse to heed him.
It was by the obedience of faith ( Rom. 1:5 ) that he became an heir of the blessings promised to those who are counted righteous through faith. See Rom. 1:17 .
He became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
▪︎ He was possessed of a true justifying righteousness; he was heir to it:
▪︎ And this, his right of the inheritance, was through faith in God, as a child of God, and, if a child, then an heir.
the consequence of sonship which flows from faith.
righteousness which is by faith
Noah’s righteousness was a result of his faith in God, and in the promised seed (Jesus).
Greek, “according to faith.” A Pauline thought.
Noah is first called “righteous” in Genesis 6:9 .
Christ calls Abel so, Matthew 23:35 .
Compare as to Noah’s righteousness, Ezekiel 14:14,20 , 2 Peter 2:5 , “a preacher of righteousness.”
Paul here makes faith the principle and ground of his righteousness.
If you expect to be justified and saved in the great and terrible day of the Lord, then you need to take action now. Prepare for Jesus’s return, repent and follow Him, and do it speedily.
Surrender your life to Jesus, for there is no salvation in any other!
Do it right now, before the door be shut, for there is no entry to His Kingdom after that, and you will begin to stand outside.
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