NOAH, THE RIGHTEOUS MAN
By Gene Cloer

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God looked down upon the earth during the days of Noah and saw that the wickedness of man was great. He knew concerning man that "every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5, NIV) And the Bible says "The Lord was grieved that He had made man"(Genesis 6:6, NIV). But among all of the people on the earth at that time one man "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8). His name was Noah.

Now God by His very nature cannot tolerate evil. So He decided to "wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth." (Genesis 6:7, NIV). But since Noah was a righteous man, God spared him. He also gave Noah some commands to obey. He was commanded to build an "ark" that was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. There was to be only one door. We don't know how many windows, perhaps that was left to Noah's discretion. We do know there was a window because Genesis 8:6 tells us that "Noah opened the window he had made in the ark" and it was from that window that the dove was released. God did specify the kind of wood to be used, the number of stories or decks to be built into the ark and how it was to be sealed with pitch.

In writing about this later the Hebrew writer says it was "by faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family." (Heb. 11:7, NIV). Again we must conclude that acting upon the words of God in warning him about the flood and providing him with the plans for the "'ark", Noah in obedience to God's commands did as God had commanded him. Since "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" we know that Noah acted upon the commands God gave him. Noah could not have been described as a righteous man nor could he have been described as a man of faith had he failed in any way to obey the commands of God.

While there may have been some minor elements of the "ark" left to the discretion of Noah, the blueprint was given him by God. You would not contract with a builder that would not follow the blueprints given him. It is true that in some minor ways that builder can make some decisions on his own but the design is provided by the blueprint and he must follow the plans given. Noah was no different. He had to follow the plan God gave in order to be a righteous man and a man of faith.

Questions have been raised such as: What would have happened had Noah used a different kind of wood? Or what would have happened should Noah have decided that the "ark" needed more than one door? Or more than 3 decks? Or that the size needed to be changed?

I do know that Noah could not have acted by faith had he done any of those things. I do know that Noah would not have been a righteous man had he done any of those things. The lesson to be learned is that God expects obedience to His commands. It may seem unnecessary to us but if God commanded it, it must be obeyed. Noah stands forever as an example of that fact.

God gave us a "prescribed way" for the church today. We must follow that pattern or blueprint. God also gave us a "prescribed way" to be saved and that plan of salvation must be followed if we desire salvation. God also gave us a "prescribed way" that He desires to be worshipped. We are not free to organize the church in a way that feel best. We are not free to teach a way of salvation other than that which God has clearly given in His word. We are not free to worship in a way that feels good to us. We must follow that "prescribed way" in all things.

Study the Word of God! Immerse yourself in His Word! Speak and act accordingly.

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