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Why Ancient Noah’s Faith Still Matters

The world’s abuzz about “Noah” opening this Friday, March 28. So, how do we discuss the movie with family and friends? In this guest blog post, my friend David Sanford points the way.

Noah in the ark  noah-poster   Noah

Today, many people live by the polls. The opinions of others guide their beliefs and votes and choices, as if majority rule could possibly set the standards for right and wrong.

If Noah of “Noah and the Ark” fame had been interviewed by Gallup on issues of ethics and morality, he would have found himself completely outnumbered. To his credit, that did not stop Noah from living a blameless life. For the first 500 years of his life, Noah kept on doing right in a world that was going very wrong.

Even after God called him to make a boat that would be his means of rescue from the coming judgment, Noah endured another 100 years of standing against the tide of growing violence and hatred (Hebrews 11:7).

He became a public spectacle, building a ship that no one but his family and the animals would choose to enter, no matter how diligently Noah warned his fellow citizens (2 Peter 2:5).

No one listened, and no one cared, and Noah and his family were the only ones left when the Great Flood swept the inhabited world away (Luke 17:27).

In the end, Noah received the only approval that really mattered: He found favor with God. Because of this, he and his family were spared from otherwise certain destruction.

Like Noah, you and I are never so outnumbered that it is impossible to live by faith, pleasing God.

Tip: You can read the ancient biblical accounts of Noah (Genesis 6:1–9:17) for yourself in about 30 minutes.

Noah’s 17 Faith Affirmations

  • I am heartbroken by the evil of people around me (Genesis 6:6).
  • I seek to find favor with God in the midst of a wicked society (6:8).
  • I live a righteous and godly life, no matter what other people are doing (6:9).
  • I believe God will provide the means to obey His commands (6:20).
  • I use God’s way of escape from judgment (7:7).
  • I believe God never idly threatens to bring judgment (7:11).
  • I seek to bring my family under God’s protective hand (7:13).
  • I believe God judged the wickedness of the ancient world by sending a massive flood, just as He said He would (7:23).
  • I wait for God’s direction before moving forward into a new situation (8:15).
  • I move ahead when God tells me (8:18).
  • I worship God for His rescue, salvation and deliverance (8:20).
  • I thank God for His mercy to humanity, even though we are all sinful from childhood (8:21).
  • I accept God’s gifts of meat, fruit, and vegetables for food (9:3) even if I don’t eat all of them.
  • I thank God for His promise to never flood all the earth again (9:11).
  • I thank God for the rainbow, a sign that He will remember His promise to Noah (9:16).
  • I believe that all people now living are descended from Noah and his family (9:19).

Mosaic of Noah Releasing Dove, Basilica di San Marco, Venice, XII-XIII, Anonymous Master

5 Ancient Heroes of the Faith (Genesis 1-9)

  1. Like Adam, I am created by God and endowed with eternal dignity and value.
  2. Like Eve, I know for certain that God forgives even the worst of sins.
  3. Like Abel, I am righteous in God’s eyes by faith alone.
  4. Like Enoch, I can walk in close fellowship with God my entire life.
  5. Like Noah, I live a blameless life, even if I am the only one who does so.
Questions –
Which “Faith Affirmation” of Noah do you most resonate with and why?
To many, the story of Noah is a kid’s story, yet the story though the eyes of an adult and parent is one of a counter cultural father.  How have you seen this story differently as you’ve grown up?
In what ways would you like your kids to copy Noah?  In what ways is Noah not a model for us and our kids?

David Sanford

David Sanford serves on the leadership team at Corban University in Salem, Oregon. Among his many publishing credits, David is executive editor of Holy Bible: Mosaic, general editor of Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family, managing editor of the IVP Resonate series, co-author of How to Read Your Bible, and author of If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do About Them.