Focal Passage: Genesis 6:13-22; 7:20-24
While working in my office one morning, the FBI came to my door. That got my heart racing. He told me the FBI had received a “credible threat” made by the KKK against an event that I and others were planning at our courthouse for MLK Day. He came to warn us. We made plans because of that warning. The result was lots of police, media and little action. I learned a valuable lesson through that experience. When warnings come, respond to them.
Noah received a credible warning from God. “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.”
Did Noah know that “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5)? Did Noah believe God could, or even would, bring judgment upon the sins of the human heart?
Credible warnings come to us daily. Labels on packages or products that we purchased. Weather alerts. Parents warn a child, “The stove is hot.” Addictions are destructive. Infidelity breaks hearts. Sin separates us from God.
When confronted with a credible warning, Noah was given a choice — to act or to ignore. And so are we.
Do we act, or do we ignore a credible warning? Our response usually is based on our experience. If our hand is burned on the stove, we will respond appropriately. But what if we had not experienced the results? Do we still heed the warning? Noah had not experienced a flood nor built a boat. Was this a warning needing a reaction? Could such a flood really come?
Noah responded to a credible warning from God by following God’s plan. Noah did not have the experience of a previous flood to fall back on. He could not imagine water “covering the face of the deep.” Could judgment upon the world really happen?
By a simple, courageous faith in God, Noah responded. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Noah put his faith and trust in his God and the things “not seen” rather than his experience of not witnessing a flood, nor his belief that judgment would not come.
The results are clear regarding God’s warning.
First, when God announced a warning of a coming judgment to Noah, it was not idle chatter. He followed through. God’s words of judgment have never been idle words.
When my children were young, I was often frustrated with some of their actions, and I started warning that this was what I would do. My wife would remind me not to say it unless I would do it. God was willing to announce judgment and do it!
Second, God’s warning does not come without a plan. God would provide a boat that would save His people. When God warned of an eternal hell because of His people and their sinfulness separated them from Him, God sent His own Son to be a Savior.
Third, when credible threats come, they reveal a faith that will inspire generations to follow. Noah, by faith, responded to God’s credible warnings and delivered His plan. B&R