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.
For 120 years, Noah and presumably Noah’s 3 children and their wives, and maybe even some hired hands worked on an ark that would be the size of one and a half football fields in length, 75’ wide, and 45’ high – roughly 4 stories.
He’s building this ark on land and I would be willing to bet that of the 120 years it took Noah to build this ark, for 119 of those years, the people of this world would have been mocking Noah and here’s why: they didn’t care about God or the things of God and so when Noah, this preacher of righteousness was telling them that a great flood was coming upon the earth, you can bet that they paid him no attention and mocked him the entire time.
Now, this is why Noah is commended for his faith. Imagine, 120 years – you are putting your life’s work into building an ark that is supposed to preserve you, your wife, and your 3 children and their wives. With each passing year, Noah, continued to construct, because he didn’t have to see the future to believe the future.
And that’s how faith in our God works. We don’t have to see the end result of things to trust that they will come to pass. If our God makes a promise to us in his Word, it is as good as accomplished. You see, all the ancients were commended for having a faith that looked to a future when God’s Messiah would come to this earth, and deliver them from their sins. And because they looked ahead to the future promise of deliverance it made all the other promises that God made to them, just as easy to put their faith in, like the promise of sending a flood as judgment upon this earth.
You know, Jesus parallels the flood account with Judgment Day when he says, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the on of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27).
There is a time called the end, and even though that end hasn’t come upon us yet, God’s children who live by faith have complete confidence in God’s promise to put an end to this sinful world and restore all his people in heaven. That is, all his people who have put their faith in his work to deliver them from sin.
Just like Noah and his family looked ahead to the coming of Jesus, so it is that we look back upon that deliverance that Jesus brought about, putting full confidence in our salvation through our Lord’s work on the cross. And that faith that saves all God’s children is also a faith that stands in judgment upon the world of unbelievers.
Like our forefather Noah, we stand in judgment against those who malign our God, by doing the things of faith, namely, believing in the one whom God has sent to deliver us from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why Christians gather in our Lord’s house – faith has led us to the light of his Word; that’s why Christians gather around the Lord’s table to receive Holy Communion – faith in the words of Jesus have led us to this celebratory supper. Simply put, like Noah, we don’t have to see what we’ve been promised – by faith we put our trust in what God says will happen.