Why Fit In When You Can Stand Out?
Pastor Adam Mallett, Jr.
Adapted from sermon by
Pastor Gary DarDar, Jr.
In reading about the story of Noah, we find a phrase that is not found often in the Bible. There are very few people about which the Word speaks as being blameless, perfect, etc. Job was blameless before God! Enoch was apparently blameless, having been caught up to Heaven. In the same way, we read that Noah was righteous, blameless in his generation. Every time I read the story of Noah, I am challenged by a few questions. As we study today, I’d like to pose those questions to you, and hope that you find it as thought provoking as I do.
Noah is the only person recorded as being righteous and blameless. He is the only person who is recorded as finding favor with God. I always wonder, was his family blameless as well? It is not mentioned that they are blameless! Was his family wicked, despite his example? Was his family saved simply because of Noah’s merit? These questions can give us an understanding about the potential effects of our righteousness before God and man! I think that Noah’s family was probably blameless, as he was. Noah, as the head of the family, was righteous, and we can infer that his family was, as well. If the man is the head of the family, then presumably the body followed the head. However, I think we can benefit from exploring the possible answers to the questions posed above.
There are Christians around us who are living for God, striving to find favor with God and be righteous, yet have no support from their family. If you pay attention to church, you will see many examples of this every single Sunday! The faithful mother who brings her children despite the negligent or apathetic father. The earnest children who convince their parents to bring them to church. The stoic father who stands alone in church while his wife and kids stay sleeping or relaxing at home. Unfortunately, things do not always work the way they should. One family member living for God does not guarantee that the rest of the family will! But if we look to Noah for an example, we can see a picture of how one person’s faith can influence the lives of those around them! Keep in mind that your faith cannot provide your spouse, your children, or anyone else with salvation! But your faith can provide them with encouragement, comfort, peace, direction, etc. We are all stuck in a boat with people that don’t share our belief system, and it falls to us to live in a way that declares the One in whom we have faith! Noah, despite being the only person mentioned as blameless, declared God’s Word for longer than any of us will live! And now, thousands of years later, here we are. Humans, alive on earth, descendants of Noah. Noah’s faith even reaches to our generation! Imagine what yours can do, with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you!
Noah was not only mentioned as being blameless, but as having found favor with God. I have never found something worth finding without looking for it! I find guitar picks in my pocket all the time, but that’s not all that exciting anymore. Favor with God is about the most valuable thing a person could ever find! What else would we desire other than to be looked on by the Sovereign God and bring a smile to His face and a warmth to His heart? Noah had that! And we can, too! But we must go looking. We must search after that favor, pursuing the heart of God! Our faith will never be an influence on those around us if we are not living in pursuit of God. If our lives are not defined by a heavenward direction, we will never be able to point people heavenward. The truth of the matter is that every single person alive during Noah’s time had equal power and opportunity to influence the fate of the world. That’s how it got so bad in the first place! From Cain to Lamech (the bad one) all the way to Saul, people influence people, and the world is filled with greater wickedness. Yet, our God is ever vigilant, watching for those who are pursuing Him. Noah pursued, and he found favor. As a result, we have the history that we have. As a result, my story now exists. Your story now exists! If we will pursue God, we are guaranteed to find Him! But only because He is already looking for the opportunity to be found by us!
Noah lived in a way that was opposite from everyone else. He stood out, and was used greatly by God. Noah must have felt alone, abandoned, and hopeless all those years that he lived right, despite being the only godly one. It must have seemed like God was silent, distant, without response to the faith of His one good child. Yet, we see that God always responds to us! Regardless of our prayer or cry or call, God responds with exactly what we need. Some of us might need one of the things that Noah got: a job, a long time to wait, a drastic life change. Even when God is silent for a time, He is not ignoring us or rejecting us. His response to us is always perfect, always timely, and always beneficial. Our perspective from down here may lead us to think otherwise, but we can read the story of Noah and rest assured that He is up to something good!
There is a lot to learn from Noah, and I am looking forward to continue to learn and write about Noah. But I hope that these questions stirred up more questions in your heart and mind. I pray that God would give you a greater perspective of yourself in light of Him, and I pray that you will allow God to use you to be an influence in the lives of those around you! Noah’s life impacted the rest of history! And yours can too!