…without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
I have seen a lot of things in my life thus far. (Most of them on television, but that still counts, right?)
I watched as man first walked on the moon. (OK, I was two years old at the time, but my mom propped me up on the couch and had me watch as Neil Armstrong descended the ladder and step onto the powder of the lunar surface. Or the surface of the Nevada desert, as some believe.)
I saw the Soviet Union fall, and the Berlin Wall pulled down.
I saw Friends get renewed on prime time TV not once, not twice, but for ten seasons. An entire decade!
One thing I have never seen: a man constructing a huge wooden ship in his landlocked front yard.
Noah’s ark was massive: 450 feet long (that’s one-and-a-half football fields, folks), 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. My yard is about 10 foot square, with an anemic little tree plopped in the center.
Noah built this huge gopher wood vessel by hand. Astounding, right? Not as amazing as the fact that Noah built the ark not only because God told him to, but with plans God Himself revealed.
So, who was Noah? What made him so great? All we know is that Noah was a man who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8, KJV), a man of righteous integrity. A rare find to be sure in a day so populated by such great evil that it made God sorry He had ever created man.
And Noah did what God said. Despite how crazy it seemed. No matter what the neighbors thought. (I cannot imagine how freaked out my neighborhood association would get. Or the city. I wonder if Noah pulled a permit…)
All joking aside, I think about Noah’s great faith and then I compare it with my own. Noah built a huge ship, by hand, following God’s instructions. No engineers. No power tools. No factory or rigging or power tools. No dock. Then he filled the thing with two of every animal (which begs the question: did Noah have a problem with unicorns and jackalopes?). He did all this, facing what had to be the biggest case of peer pressure ever… (Of course, Noah – being the righteous man he was in such a profane and sinful time – was already the odd man out.)
Then I think about my faith. I think of the much smaller things God asks of me that I do not do. I wonder how many opportunities to be Noah pass me by – pass us by – because I am too uncomfortable, or too preoccupied, or too busy, or too lazy. Could anything be more blessed than seeking the LORD, hearing His voice and heeding His instruction? What if God said to me, “Build an ark.” Would I say, “I think you have the wrong guy. Bob Vila doesn’t live here.” Or would I say, “Yes LORD.”
With faith, nothing God asks of us is impossible. Our abilities pale in comparison to might of God working through His people. Without faith…