Noah – What Does It Mean To Walk With God?

Noah Bible Study Video

Noah Bible Study Podcast

How much walking do people from your country do? What country do you think is the “steps leader” of the world? If you guessed HK or China, you are right. 

But are you walking with Jesus? In fact, Christians often talk about walking with the Lord. We ask each other:

“Are you walking with the Lord?”
“How is your walk with the Lord lately?”

What do those statements mean?

Today we are beginning a short series from Hebrews 11 on people who walked with God. And we learn from them what it means to walk with the Lord so that our own walks with Him can be improved.

Hebrews 11:7 – 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.

Genesis 6:10-14 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.

I. Walking with God means receiving grace from God

A. Noah lived in an evil time.

Genesis 6:5 – The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The earth was exceedingly evil and corrupt. “Every intent of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was evil continually. There was a heavy demonic influence that tainted and twisted God’s natural order. There was very little human government to act as restraint towards sin. Scripture was not yet written and there was no church. The result was people acted according to what was right in their own eyes.

Matthew 24:38 – For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.

People did what they wanted to do, pursuing self. Pleasure was king. No thought was given to spiritual things. It was so evil God grieved at what man had become.

B. Noah was not a perfect man.

In this climate, Noah found favor with God. But this doesn’t mean he was a perfect man. When the text says that Noah was “righteous” and “blameless,” it does not mean that his salvation was earned. Hebrews 11:7 says that he “became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Noah was a sinner like you and me. When Noah came out of the ark after the flood, he got drunk (Genesis 9). Likely, he was depressed as the weight of the catastrophe came over him. He and his family were the only people left on earth.

So why were Noah and his family saved? Scripture is clear that we are not saved by works (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Walking with God does not mean perfection.

C. Noah was a recipient of grace.

Sometimes we put people on a pedestal. We read Scripture and think about how righteous Daniel, Noah, and Joseph were. They must have been super-believers, right? We might do the same thing toward modern or historical men and women of the faith.

When we do that, the focus is taken off of God and put on man. And all men disappoint. Abraham, David, Peter, and Noah (all heroes of the faith) sinned.

Also, when we raise people up on a pedestal, we are putting them in a different category than we are. We start to think “Daniel could be bold enough to give his life for the Lord, but I am not Daniel” or “Noah could build an ark for the Lord, but I am not Noah.” Then we actually give excuses for ourself to not faithfully serve the Lord as we should. Daniel and Noah were recipients of grace. Hudson Taylor and Charles Spurgeon were recipients of grace. Amy Carmichael was a recipient of grace. Yes, we learn important lessons from all of them about Christian character, diligence, and faithfulness. But let us not forget the biggest lesson. They could only do any of these things because God first poured out His amazing grace upon them.

Of all of the people in the world, Noah and his family were the only ones saved from the flood. They were sinners. But unlike the others, they did not receive the punishment they deserved.

Like all believers throughout history, they were “saved by grace through faith.” I believe if Noah were here today, he would be the first to minimize his own deeds and tell us of God’s graciousness to him.

Noah was a man who walked with God. Our theme this year is walking with Jesus. Jesus did not look at me and say, “there is a person who is worthy to walk with me.” No one is worthy. It is all His grace.

Application No One Can Walk With God Based On Their Own Merits – Think about your own life. What are some of the worst sins you have done? Did you sin yesterday? Today? We are not worthy. And yet, like Noah, we can have a relationship with God. All of those sins which came to your mind are wiped out when you accept Christ’s death on the cross on your behalf. You are a recipient of grace. Let us ever be mindful of that fact, and never forget to thank Him for it.

Walking with God is possible only because of His grace.

II. Walking with God means faith in God

A. One cannot walk with God without faith (Hebrews 11:6)

Hebrews 11:6 – And 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.

To have a relationship with God you must believe two things. Firstly, you must believe that He exists. Secondly, you must believe that He is good (that he rewards those who seek Him). Or put another way, you must believe that He is worthy of following. Satan believes the first, but denies the second.

We know that faith is absolutely essential. The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 shows how important faith is. The word occurs in the Bible 475 times.

But was is faith?

Faith is not irrational. Neither is it a blind faith. Some people have the idea that God wants them to close their eyes and suspend their reason and take a wild leap of faith. Some think that this is very spiritual. No. God gave us our minds for a reason.

I am sure your mother probably said something like this, “God gave you a mind, now use it!” God gives us evidence of His existence in many forms including creation (Psalm 19).

Our faith is reasonable and logical. It makes sense.

Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. – C.S. Lewis

There are many reasons to believe in God’s existence. It cannot, however, be 100% proven. That is where faith comes in.

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is being convinced of something that is not seen. While there are many reasons to believe, faith is still necessary.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. – C.S. Lewis

When we take the step of faith to believe in God as the Creator and the Savior, everything else makes sense.

Application – Have you ever taken that step of faith? Have you ever said, “Lord, I believe you exist. And I want to follow you.” You cannot walk with Jesus unless you have faith. You must believe that He is who He said He was. Having that faith, will give you the conviction and assurance that He is walking beside you every step you take.

B. Noah had faith in what he could not yet see (11:7).

Hebrews 11:7 – 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.

Noah’s faith in God included faith in what God said about the future. God said that He was going to send a catastrophic flood upon the earth. Nothing like that had ever happened before. The entire weather system was likely different than what we have today. Many also think there was no rain before the flood.

During the 120 years Noah built the ark, he couldn’t see the flood happening. Walking with God also meant going according to God’s speed. The Lord was the one who set the time schedule. Noah couldn’t speed it up or slow it down.

The days seemed similar to the ones before. I think the more years that went by, the harder it was to maintain faith and the more doubts or questions might start to creep in:

• Where is all the water going to come from anyway?
• How can we keep so many animals alive?
• How do we support ourselves and this project at the same time?
• What will our friends say when they see us building this big boat out here in the middle of nowhere?

There was no visible evidence at all that a flood was coming. But God’s Word was enough. Noah was still faithful. He was faithful at the ten-year mark. And he was faithful at the one-hundred-twenty-year mark. On this side of heaven, we will never know the struggles that Noah and his family faced. But thank God for their faith.

Many, like Thomas, say, “I will believe if I can see Him.”

John 20:29 – Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Noah and his family’s lives were saved because he believed what he didn’t see. If he waited until the rain started to fall, it would have been too late.

Augustine – Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

Do not wait until it is too late. Believe now.

Walking with God means having faith in God.

III. Walking with God means working for God.

A. Noah’s faith led to works

What was the result of Noah’s faith? The result was obedience.

James 2:17 – So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Noah put faith into action.

Though Noah walked with God, we never see Him talking to God like Abraham or Moses did. Always he is listening to what God is telling him to do. But Noah didn’t just listen, he obeyed. He obeyed whatever God told him to do, no matter how difficult it was. The things God told him to do weren’t of the “clean your room”, “do your homework”, or “go to church” variety.

• God told Noah to build an ark so big that it could contain two of every kind of animal in the world.
• Genesis 6:22 – Noah did this; he did ALL that God commanded him.
• God commanded Noah to go into the ark with his family and to take two of each kind of animal (keep in mind it hadn’t started flooding yet.)
• Genesis 7:5 – And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
• Genesis 8:15-16 -Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark.”
• Genesis 8:18 – So Noah went out.

Again and again, God gave commands to Noah and he was obedient to do what God said. He didn’t complain. He didn’t question God. He did what God said fully and completely.

Except for the task Jesus was given, I can’t think of any bigger tasks given to any human than what God gave to Noah. What would the results be if Noah disobeyed God? Disobedience would have been catastrophic. Hypothetically speaking, there would be no more humans or land animals alive in this world. I would say it was a pretty important task!

B. Noah persevered for 120 years.

We do not know the struggles that Noah faced in completing this job. Did he face mocking? Financial hardships? Discouragement? Weariness? Supply chain issues? Setbacks?

While we do not know the exact struggles, he must have faced plenty. We do know he did not quit in the middle. He was a finisher.

What task have you worked longer on than any other? Perhaps it is writing a book. Building something. Parenting must be up there. How long have you worked on that? Not nearly 120 years!

Have you ever been tempted to give up? I know I have.

What was Noah’s secret? He was a recipient of grace. He knew the Lord. The Lord strengthened him.

Daniel 11:32 – But the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.

This beautiful verse is right in the middle of a prophecy spanning hundreds of years of trials and persecution God’s people would face.

Application – There is only one way to persevere in the face of all of the obstacles you face (world, Satan, flesh). You must KNOW your God. Know His promises and His plans. Know His goodness. But not just know about Him, KNOW HIM. That means you must have a relationship with Him. If you do, He will give strength to stand firm and take action.

Noah finished the task God gave to him. Will you?

C. What was the ark like? And what is the scientific evidence for the flood?

For almost 2000 years, the church accepted the Biblical account of the flood. But around 1850, many Christians started rejecting the Biblical account and opting for a secular and anti-Bible worldview.

Examining the scientific evidence for the flood is beyond the scope of what we have time for today.

I will just quickly mention three things.

i. The design you see in children’s books is not accurate.

It actually encourages the “myth” of the flood and discourages people from believing it was real.

Contrast two ark designs.

ii. Shellfish and marine animal fossils are found at high altitudes across the world.

These can be found throughout the rock layers of the Grand Canyon, which are over a mile above sea level. Other marine fossils have been found on the Himalayas and other mountain ranges. This fits with the Biblical account of a global flood that covered the mountains of the earth.

The huge amount of fossils all over the world is also evidence to the flood, because animals generally need to be buried in large amounts of sediment quickly in order to fossilize.

iii. Almost every ancient culture in the world has a flood story.

More than 270 ancient stories describe a flood. Most of these share a common theme and characteristics.

For example Hawaii:

“Hawaiians have a flood story that tells of a time when, long after the death of the first man, the world became a wicked, terrible place. Only one good man was left, and his name was Nu-u. He made a great canoe with a house on it and filled it with animals. In this story, the waters came up over all the earth and killed all the people; only Nu-u and his family were saved.”

China:

“Another flood story is from China. It records that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters escaped a great flood and were the only people alive on earth. After the great flood, they repopulated the world.”

https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/flood-legends/flood-legends/

The site Answers in Genesis has a wealth of information about the flood. It can address all of your questions such as, “was the ark big enough,” “could dinosaurs fit,” and “was the flood global?”

Walking with God means working for God.

IV. Walking with God means telling others about God

A. Noah was a preacher of righteousness

2 Peter 2:5 – If he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.

From this verse we learn that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Building the ark certainly gave Noah many opportunities to tell people why he was doing it and the doom that was coming.

If you will permit me a moment of logical deduction.
It is likely that Noah’s project was famous. Everyone in the area knew about it. There would have been no movie theaters so maybe when people went on a date they would go walk by the ark and have a look. There is little doubt it would have been a major talking point.

As a preacher of righteousness, Noah would have used these opportunities to preach to the people about the need for repentance. We know that God is a patient and loving God. These character qualities don’t change throughout history. Noah would have preached to people and given an invitation to repent.

B. His preaching ministry bore little visible fruit (or did it?)

So how effective was Noah’s preaching? Was there fruit?

At first glance, the answer would seem to be “no.”

Aside from his family, no one had enough faith to step on the ark with him. They all rejected the invitation and refused to repent from their evil thoughts and ways.

Walking with God probably will mean you are unpopular. The crowd is on the broad way walking away from God, not with God. So from one perspective, walking with God can be very lonely. Few people walk that path. It is tough. It is not called the narrow road for nothing.

Was Noah’s preaching fruitless?

God’s Word never returns void. Jeremiah was a faithful prophet and messenger of the Lord, but few people listened to him. God told Isaiah at the beginning of his ministry that people wouldn’t respond to his message, but he was still faithful to deliver it. Noah also preached, presumably for over 100 years. And he saw no fruit from that outside of his own family.

Nonetheless, he was faithful. Through his preaching, all generations can see that God gave the people of the world a chance. Noah’s preaching shows God’s grace and God’s holiness. It also highlights man’s sinfulness. Simply put, it shows that man deserved the judgment from God. And that judgment was only sent in response to rampant and unrepentant sin.

Application – When you share the good news, and don’t see results, don’t be discouraged. God is still doing a work. Maybe He is doing it in you. Maybe He is planting seeds that will grow later. Maybe He is using your sharing to take away ignorance as an excuse for unbelief on the final judgment day.

But was his preaching as fruitless as it appears?

C. His family did believe and were spared

I said that “aside from his family, no one had enough faith to step on the ark with him.” But Noah did have a family. His wife evidently believed and supported him. Three of his sons had faith and came along (they were adults and could have rejected as Lot’s sons-in-law did in Sodom many years later). And his sons’ wives also took that step of faith. His ministry was not fruitless.

The fruit of his ministry was a believing family who supported him and followed his lead. What a comfort it must have been to Noah, to have his family with him safe and sound on the ark! And what misery it would have been, if he alone was on the ark, knowing that his family would bear the wrath of God’s judgment.

Noah’s ministry to his family in the end saved the human race.

You see, ministry is not something we do primarily outside the family. Your most important ministry is to your family. How logical is it to go across the world and share the gospel, if you haven’t shared with your family?

Many a pastor and missionary have made the mistake of spending all of their time outside the home doing ministry, only to see their own children grow up and reject the gospel because their father was always busy helping others and had no time for them.

Many mothers and fathers spend so much time outside making money, making friends, and perhaps doing charitable things, and so little time with their family.

The most important work you ever do will be within the walls of your own home – President Harold Lee.

Application – Your home is your most important mission field. If a disaster came, would your family be safe with you in the ark of salvation? Or would your children or your spouse be outside of Christ in deadly peril? God’s judgment sometimes comes suddenly. Are you confident in your children’s salvation? The most terrifying thought to me as a father is that at the final judgment, my children are condemned to hell.

What career did Shem, Ham, and Japheth have? How big was their house? How successful were their academic achievements? Were they good at sports? When the flood of God’s judgment came, none of those questions mattered. The only thing that mattered was whether they were safe on the ark, having made the choice to believe and obey God.

Your family should be your priority. Focus on the things that count for eternity. On your journey with Jesus, do everything you can to bring your family with you!

Walking with God means telling others about God, starting with your own family.

Conclusion

We have seen that walking with God means receiving grace from God, having faith in God, working for God, and telling others about God.

Noah is one of only a few people in the Bible who are described as walking with God. God gave him a monumental mission and Noah was faithful to fulfill it.

For any of those 120 years, if a person asked Noah what his purpose was, he would probably answer something like, “to obey God by building an ark to save my family [and the human race] from judgment.”

Today I ask you, “what is your mission?” Do you know what is your purpose in life?

A person who is walking with Jesus is not walking aimlessly. He is walking toward something.

Noah’s obedience has impacted us all. What impact will your life make in this world one hundred or one thousand years from now?

Today Jesus is inviting you to follow Him. If you walk with Him, He will give you a job to do. He will give you a mission. And if you don’t know what that is, ask.

In Proverbs it says that, “the beginning of wisdom is, seek wisdom.” If you seek the Lord, He will give you a mission. And by His grace, you will be able to work for God for fruit that will remain.

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