Today is Father's Day, a day when we traditionally honor our fathers. There are several opinions on what a father is; some would say fathers are loving, kind, generous, people who growl when they feel good and laugh when they are scared to death. Fathers are never quite the heroes their children think they are.
It is difficult this day and age to be a good father, but as we look at our text from Genesis chapter 6, we discover that it was difficult to be a father in the days of Noah, but he made some tremendous accomplishments. Noah's greatest accomplishment was his family's faith.
Noah raised his family during difficult times, an age of evil thinking, (v5); and an age of corruption and violence, (v11). How did Noah succeed as a father in such a time? Noah walked with God, (vv8-9). Noah had several characteristics that contributed to his success. He experienced the work of the Holy Spirit is his life, (v3). He found favor with God, (v8). He responded to God's grace and came to Him in faith. The writer of Hebrews states, "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Heb 11:7, NIV)
Noah was a just man, declared righteous by faith. His relationship to God was wholehearted, (v9). He was consistent in his devotional life and daily living, thus the term, "walked with God."
He lived by the words written in Psalm 1: (NIV)
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord ,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Compare God's descriptions of Noah and his neighbors; Noah was just, perfect, complete, walked with God; his neighbors were corrupt, violent, wicked, and evil. How discouraged Noah must have felt at times, but never the less, he continued to walk with God.
Noah shared his faith, Peter says he was a preacher of righteousness. 2 Peter 2:5, " if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others" (NIV)
Because of his faith, Noah won his family and they were saved. The most important thing a father can do is protect his family. They may have been his only converts, but they were still saved! He was a great father, he saved his family from destruction, and lived an example for them to follow.
For us today, it is not easy to be a father, but God's grace is sufficient for fathers now as much as it was then. How about our fathers today? Are you walking with God and practicing obedience to Him? Are you keeping your witness for Christ consistent? Do you want your family to follow your lead? We need to save this generation, and it begins with Godly fathers, fathers like Noah. You can start being this kind of father today, by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from your sins, and that God the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day. Then you become a new creation in Christ. You can make sure you and your family will have a Happy Father's Day!
("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)