After looking at Jesus’ parables during Passion Week, it may seem difficult to go back to Genesis and look at the Great Flood. But God’s Word is living and active, and every part of it is useful for us. So I encourage you to keep an open mind as you read Genesis 6:14-22, and then continue with the rest of this devotional.
God has already declared to Noah He would wipe out humanity because of their utter sinfulness, but in this passage, He instructs Noah on how to be saved from that judgment. Remember that back in verse 8, the Scripture says that Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. He is described in verse 9 as righteous, blameless in his generation, and one who walks with God. Clearly Noah is a good man who has faith in God, and that is why God saves Him.
We also are not called to work for our salvation, but to have faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again. It is our faith that saves us—not any works on our behalf.
BUT! After Noah has faith in God, He is here called to demonstrate that faith by building an ark. Hebrews 11:7 says “by faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” Noah had faith in God before he was warned of the flood, but he exercised that faith when he built the ark.
In Genesis 6, God describes in great detail the dimensions of the ark (v.14-16), and the purpose for the ark (v.17-21). But the key to this passage comes in its final verse: “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (v. 22). Noah didn’t just listen to all of God’s commands and think, “wow, God is really great! He’s going to do a great thing on the earth!” and then go back to tending his farm. No! Noah actually obeyed the commands of God. James later urges us to follow Noah’s example and “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). By being doers of the word, we are demonstrating our faith.
Building the ark did not save Noah. Noah was already righteous—he already had favor with God. But building the ark demonstrated his righteousness. As James again says, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). True saving faith will produce good works.
So what about you? Noah heard the Word of God, and he obeyed. You have heard the Word of God. Will you obey? Was there a personal application that you took from yesterday’s sermon? Something that you can actually put into practice today? If not, go back and re-listen to it. Or open up your Bible, read it intently, and then do what it says. This will not save you—only Jesus can do that—but it will demonstrate that you truly do have saving faith in Him.
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