The Bible contains many stories of strong fathers who lead a godly example for their children and family. God himself provides us with an example of a perfect love that all fathers should have for their children. One story in particular gives us an image of unconditional love, obedience, and faith. This is the story of Noah. Faced with judgment and adversity from all angles, Noah raised his family with unshakable faith and trust in the Lord. Despite criticism, Noah obeyed God’s commands, received his favour, and survived the flood that erased the rest of humanity.
For those who don’t know, this is the story of Noah.
The story of Noah can be found in Genesis.
9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.Genesis 6:9-10 (NIV)
Noah lived his life for God and led his family to do the same.
God saw that the world was filled with “wickedness,” and decided to erase humanity, except for Noah and his family (Genesis 6:1-8). God decided to destroy all of the humans on earth with a flood. He instructed Noah to build an ark so that his wife, sons, and their wives could survive the flood. He also instructed Noah to bring two kinds of every bird, animal, and creature on the earth, so that once the flood ended, the life could repopulate.
13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out… 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”Genesis 6:13-14, 17-21 (NIV)
The Bible tells us that Noah obeyed God’s commands without question.
Although the Bible does not say it, we can only assume that Noah and his family faced ridicule as they prepared themselves for the flood. The Bible says that all who follow God will face worldly adversaries, and we as believers know that this is true. People want to question and sometimes mock our devotion to Jesus because they do not understand Him or our relationship with Him.
Noah’s devotion to Christ was strong. Can you imagine the physical and emotional challenges that Noah and his family faced while building the ark? They had to do absolutely everything by hand for years on end; yet, their faith never quivered nor did they challenged God’s request. Noah and his family obeyed every one of God’s commands.
Once the flood arrived, Noah and his family boarded the ark with two kinds of every creature, just as God commanded.
It rained for forty days and forty nights. The massive flood destroyed all life, from people to plants to animals. Everything was gone. After the rain flooded the earth and the waters began to recede, God guided the Ark to the mountains of Ararat. Soon, Noah sent a dove to see if the water receded enough for it to land on a piece of earth. In the evening, the dove came back with an olive branch in its mouth. A few more months passed before God said that Noah, his family, and the animals could leave the ark. As Noah and his family worked to rebuild the earth, God promised that he would never curse or destroy the earth again by water. To signify this promise, God cast a rainbow in the sky.
Noah’s story teaches us 3 important lessons about the roles of fathers.
1: God looks to fathers to lead their families in His way.
God came to Noah directly about the coming flood. He instructed and trusted Noah to fulfill the very important role of preserving humanity and the remaining wildlife. I am sure that Noah’s wife, sons, and daughters-in-law lived righteous lives, but God came to Noah, the patriarch, directly. The Bible has many stories of God communicating with the men of the family. We trace this special relationship between God and men back to the beginning of Genesis. While God loves all of his children equally, He created a distinct responsibility for men.
This responsibility is leadership. God wants men to lead their families with righteousness, purpose, and zeal for God. Ephesians 5:22-23 says that women are to submit to men as they do the church; however, this does not mean that women are to blindly follow men without intention. God has placed strong women in positions of authority all over the world, including the church. He does not view women to be weak-minded or submissive. What this means is that God wants women to listen to their husbands when their husbands are conducting God’s will or obeying their commands. This verse insinuates that God views husbands as spiritual leaders of the family and that they have an important role in shaping the future of their family, church, and community.
2. Faith comes first.
As previously mentioned, we can only imagine that Noah and his family faced an insurmountable amount of ridicule from their communities to cease building the ark. Despite these pressures, Noah pursued God’s commands, led his family down a path of righteousness, and survived the flood. God wants fathers to follow in Noah’s footsteps and have a sincere level of blind faith and unconditional trust in Him. “Blind faith and unconditional trust?” That sounds scary, but it is what God expects from all of us, especially fathers.
God is our Saviour, Deliverer, and Redeemer. Look at where He took Noah and his family because of the faith that Noah had in Him. Because of this faith, God allowed Noah to be the surveyor of the earth’s restoration. So much of our culture depends on seeing. We need to be able to see things, study them, and establish theories for things to make sense; but, God does not work that way. Our relationships with God are dependent on faith for survival, and faith thrives on not seeing or knowing what is about to happen.
God wants His chosen father’s of the earth to have this unshakable faith. When we keep our eyes on God and believe in His power and love for us, we can do tremendous things. Fathers are responsible for shaping a new generation of warriors in Christ’s army. God needs fathers to have a strong faith so that they can help develop strong faith within the next generation. With this faith, God’s work will be fulfilled, which will fulfill our purpose on earth.
3. Fathers must be willing obey God’s will.
In everything that fathers lead their family in, the repercussions fall back on the entire family. If father’s instruct their children to be obedient to God, then God will favour that family. If father teach their children to read the Bible, pray to God, and live righteous lives, then God will favour them and their father. On the other hand, if the father does not instruct his children in the way of the Lord, then God will not favour him nor his children.
Noah’s story shows us what happens when you obey God, as well as when you disobey God. Those who disobeyed God died in the flood; in contrast, Noah and his family, who all obeyed God, survived and inherited the earth. Could you imagine how different life would be today if Noah disobeyed God? If he said “thanks, but no thanks?” We probably would not even be here right now because there would be no one left to repopulate the earth once the flood happened.
As fathers, the actions and decisions you make not only affect yourself. They also affect generations that follow you once you leave the earth. God’s way is the most perfect. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He will never give us more than we can handle. Again, we must trust in Him. As we trust and obey, we are helping to build and establish a world that favours His will. This world is safest for your children and their children and so on.
Fathers, never allow pride to confuse you about what God expects of you.
Remember, your children are a gift from Him. He saw power, strength, courage and so many other wonderful qualities in you, so much so that he entrusted you to create and raise a human life. Even if you are a fatherly figure and don’t have children of your own, God saw leadership qualities in you, so much so that he led a child or children to you, for you to help raise. Fatherhood is a huge responsibility and God is counting on you to help build generations of God-fearing children. Know that God is also proud of you for making it this far and that He will be with you every step of the way. Happy fathers day.
How are you celebrating this fathers day?
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