Events As Yet Unseen

“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” -Hebrews 11:7

One of the striking things about the Word of God is that it was penned by people who are given insight from God of “events as yet unseen”. From the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to the birth of Jesus Christ the fulfillment of biblical prophecy is perfect. That shouldn’t be a surprise as we’re told that all scripture is “God breathed”.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” -2nd Timothy 3:16

God certainly knows what’s He’s talking about. Therefore, commonsense should tell us that if God says something’s going to happen then it will certainly happen. You’ll notice, however, that it’s not commonsense that is pointed to in this scripture concerning Noah and the warning God gave him about a coming worldwide flood. It was not commonsense that caused Noah to actually get up and do something about what God had shown him. Rather, we’re told that it was “by faith” that Noah built the ark.

God had let Noah in on what was about to come upon the earth. It was big! So big, that if true, not only would Noah lose his life, but his family would also perish if he failed to take action.

 

God told Noah something so out of the realm of human possibility and conception that the only way to move ahead would have to be by faith!

 

This “faith” was not placed in the surety of the event actually taking place, but rather, in God Himself. Noah had faith in God. If God had said it, Noah could trust it.

So Noah, acting in faith, began to build.

What kind of faith is it that claims to believe, but fails to act? Noah’s real faith in God compelled him to build a physical ark. Noah’s faith was brought to life by his actions despite the fact that commonsense would suggest the whole thing was ridiculous, eccentric and a big waste of Noah’s time and effort. The onlooking world of Noah’s day, being devoid of Noah’s faith, could only look on and laugh. It didn’t make sense to them. And you know what? It probably didn’t make sense to Noah either, but Noah believed God.

There’s something else though about Noah’s response to God that we need to see…

When Noah put his heart and hand to the task of constructing the ark he did so in “in reverent fear”. This is not the “quaking fear” that one would expect at the thought of the whole world’s death-by-drowning (He and His family included). No, this is called “reverent fear”, and once again, it is placed not in the event coming to pass, but rather, in God Himself.

Noah fears THE LORD.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” -Proverbs 9:10

Noah’s healthy “fear of the LORD” is the foundation for a strong faith. He knows who God is, and that is enough. Noah needs nothing else to take action.

 

A reoccuring theme of Scripture is that God tells us things that our rational minds cannot grasp. We, like Noah, must use faith to move forward.

 

The pages of the bible are filled with variations on this theme. Take, for example, the birth of Jesus.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” -Isaiah 7:14

A virgin? Yes, a virgin. God foretold the virgin birth through the prophet Isaiah.

Crazy stuff!

Too big to take in by commonsense!

Imagine the man who’s with the woman this is going to happen to. That would be Joseph. Joseph is not going to be able to reason his way through this. It will require faith. Consider what happens as this prophectic event event unfolds in the timeline of human history:

  1. Mary is pledged in marriage to Joseph. Before they “come together” she gets pregnant.
  2. Joseph’s not happy about it, but becaue he’s a decent guy he decides to “divorce her quietly” and not make a scene about it.
  3. An angel of the LORD appears to Joseph in a dream telling him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because her baby is “from the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 1:20)

Okay, this is insane! This is WAY beyond reason!

You couldn’t blame Joseph if he woke up the next morning thinking, “I must have had too many Matzah balls for supper! What kind of crazy dream was that???

Joseph, however, defied commonsense and all his natural inclinations to rationalize things away and “did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (Matthew 1:24)

 

The Faith Walk

There’s a remarkable verse in Hebrews that is almost always quoted when talking about faith.

“Faith, therefore, is the substance of things waited for, the evidence of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1

Faith, in this verse, is talked about as having “substance”.

Faith is not just an idea in our head, or a wish, a hope or a dream.

Faith is also not about imagination.

Faith is NOT the ability to imagine something that is “unseen”.

When God calls us to “walk by faith” He is asking us to believe and act on something that is completely and totally real.

The object of faith has its reality because God is the one who says it is so, not because we can see it.