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Noah's Faith and Ours

Noah's Faith and Ours

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Published by glennpease
BY ALEXANDER MACLAREN



• By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his liouse.' — Heb. xi. 7.
BY ALEXANDER MACLAREN



• By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his liouse.' — Heb. xi. 7.

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Published by: glennpease on May 14, 2014
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OAH'S FAITH AD OURS BY ALEXADER MACLARE• By faith oah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his liouse.' — Heb. xi. 7. The creed of these Old Testament saints was a very short one, and very different from ours. Their faith was the very same. It is the great object of the writer of this Epistle, in this magnificent catalogue of the heroes of the faith, the muster roll of God's great army, V.7] OAH'S FAITH AD OURS 113 to establish the principle that from the beginning there has only been one kind of religion, only one way to God ; and that, however rudimentary and brief the articles of belief in those early days, the faculty by which these far-away believers lay hold on them, and its practical issues, were identical in them and in us, And that is a principle well worth getting into our minds, that the scope of the creed has nothing to do with the essence of the faith. So we may look at this instance and discern in it. beneath all superficial differences, the underlying identities, and take this dim, half-intelligible figure of oah, as he stands almost on the horizon of histor}'-, as being an example for us, in verj^ vivid fashion, of the true object of faith, its operation in a two-fold fashion, and its vindication. I. Look first at oah's faith in regard to its object. If we think of the incident brought before us in
 
these words, we shall see how the confidence with which oah laid hold of a dim future, about which he knew nothing, except because God had spoken to him, was, at bottom, identical with that great attitude of the soul which we call faith, as it is exercised towards Jesus Christ. o doubt in this Epistle to the Hebrews, the aspect of faith by which it lays hold of the future and the unseen, is the one on which the writer's mind is mainly fixed. But notice, that whilst the near object, so to speak, to which oah stretched out his hands, and of which he laid hold, was that coming catastrophe, with its certainties of destruction and of deliverance ; there was only one reason why he knew anything about that, and there was only one reason why he knew or believed anything about it, and that was H 114 HEBREWS [ch.xi, because he believed Him who had told him. So, at bottom, God who had revealed the unseen future to him was the object of his faith. He trusted the Person, therefore he believed in that Person's word, and therefore he had the assured realisation of things not seen as yet; and the future, so dim and uncertain to unaided eyes, became to him as certain as the past, and expectation as reliable as memory. His faith grasped the invisible things to come, only because it grasped the Invisible Person, who was, is, and is to come, and who lifted for him the curtain and showed him the things that should be. So is it with our faith ; whether it lays hold upon a past sacrifice on Calvary, or upon a present Christ dwelling in our hearts, or whether it becomes telescopic, and stretches forward into the future, and brings the distant near, all its
 
various aspects are but aspects of one thing, and that is personal trust in the personal Christ who speaks to us. What he says is a matter of secondary importance in this respect. The contents of God's revelation vary; the act by which man accepts them is always the same. So the great question for us all is— do we trust God? Do we believe Him, and therefore accept His words, not only with the assent of the understanding, w^hich of all idle things is the idlest, but do we believe Him, revealing, commanding, promising, threatening, with the trust and affiance of our whole hearts ? Then, and then only, can we look with quiet certainty into the dim future, which else is all full of rolling clouds, that sometimes shape themselves to our imaginations into the likeness of stable things, but alas ! change and melt while we gaze. Only then can we front the solemn future, and say : ' I do not expect only, I know ?.7] OAH'S FAITH AD OURS 115 what is tliero.' My brother, if our faith is worth call- ing faith at all, it rests so absolutely and confidingly upon God, that Ills bare word becomes to us the infallible source of certitude with regard to all the shifting hours of time, and to the steadfast day of an eternity, whose change is blessed growth to an un- reached and undeclining noon. And what was the future that loomed before this man? The coming of a destruction as certain as God, and the coming of a deliverance as complete as His love could make it. ever mind although oah's out- look related but to a temporary catastrophe, and ours has reference to an eternal condition of things. That is a difference of no real moment. We have what oah had, a definite, divine utterance, as the source of

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