He Never Spoke A Word
“It was by faith that Noah build a large boat to save his family from the flood….by his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world.” – Hebrews 11:7
I’ve been teaching a series on Hebrews 11 in my church, and I’ve been pondering this verse now for a couple of days. It challenges me because Noah built an ark as an expression of his faith in God, and it was Noah’s actions, not his words, that proved the faithfulness and holiness of God.
That concept, that actions speak louder than words, is tough on me, a pastor whose primary gift is teaching the Word. However, I see it as a good lesson for all of us.
I imagine as Noah begins this huge project his neighbors couldn’t help but notice. And like men all over the world, when a building project starts up, they went over to see what was going on. You know how men are. They gather around the bed of a pickup truck, lean on their arms with a cold drink in their hands, ask questions, give advice, and tell about the time they knew someone who was doing something similar and ended up in the hospital or the like. I can imagine a conversation around the sawhorses—the OT version of a pickup truck—that went something like this:
“Whacha doin’, Noah?”
“Building an ark.”
“Wow. That’s great! Hey guys, look! Noah’s building an ark. Wow! Oh, by the way, what’s an ark?”
“Well, it’s a vessel used to keep things secure and deliver people to safety. In this case, the ark is a boat.”
“A boat? I knew a man who tried to build a boat once. Got a splinter in his hand that got infected so he had to saw with his left hand and hold the boards with his elbow. Had a callus big as a grapefruit right here, didn’t he Harvey? Harvey saw it. That boat never did turn out right. Say, why are ya building it so large?”