Matters of Faith: Is Anybody Listening?

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

Genesis 6:9 NKJV‬‬‬‬
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.“

While contemplating what I would write this week and how to encourage readers to believe and to stay the course, I reached out to a local pastor, a friend whom I had not spoken to in a few months. By sheer coincidence he mentioned to me that he had been thinking about Noah and the 120 years he spent building an ark and ministering to the people, trying to warn them of impending doom and get them to repent of their wicked ways. This preacher asked the question, Was anybody listening to Noah?

Noah! A righteous and pious man; a man who found grace in the sight of the Lord and obeyed His command; a man who built an ark in preparation for a flood that would kill all land-dwelling life on the planet. This was Noah, the one who the Lord spoke with and told him, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13). Try as he might, Noah was unable to persuade a single person to change their ways. Was anybody listening to Noah?

There are three things about Noah that we need to know that can both encourage and inspire us today;

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah hadn’t done anything significant that we know of, yet he found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Psalm 145:8 says that “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.” He is always looking for opportunities to be gracious to us. Isaiah 55:6 tells us to “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Noah obeyed the word of the Lord. He didn’t question what had to be a strange directive, i.e., to build an ark with exact specifications; 450 feet long, 45 feet high and 75 feet wide. That is 1 ½ times the length of a football field. Not just that, but it was to be crafted as a floating zoo. The Lord knew that the only humans who would occupy the ark would be Noah, his wife, their three sons and their son’s wives.

Noah was obedient.

Noah did not reach one person for the Lord in the entire one hundred and twenty years it took him to build the ark. The building of the ark was a warning to the people that judgement day was coming, and all life would be wiped out if they didn’t come to know the Lord for themselves. Noah was ineffective.

What do we learn from Noah? We learn that grace is neither earned nor merited. It is benevolently given to us by a loving God. Jesus said it best, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). If we answer the door when the Lord knocks, we, too, can be found with grace in the eyes of the Lord.

We learn that obedience is better than sacrifice. We need to do what the Lord instructs us to do. He will be gracious to us. If you don’t know or can figure out what He wants you to do, follow this guideline, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another“ (John 13:34). From Noah, we learn obedience.

We learn that God is not concerned about your success rate, but He is concerned with your effort. If we seek to do His will and follow His direction, we will find grace in His eyes;“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) From Noah, we learn perseverance.

Is anybody listening?

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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