A father has a tremendous responsibility when it comes to the life of his family. A father’s responsibility is more than to provide food and pay bills. The true responsibility of a father is to provide a place – a home – that will protect and preserve his family. The home is a refuge not only to the man, but for all in the family. It’s a sanctuary. The father becomes a provider of salvation for the family and a preserver of the continuation of the family.
By Delbert Young
Faith, Fear, and Family
Faith, Fear, and Family
Scriptures: Hebrews 11:6-7, Hebrews 11:1, Genesis 31:11-12
TODAY IS FATHERS’ DAY. We want to honor all our Fathers. We dads have this one day a year when we get to talk about how wonderful we fathers are. So let’s ham it up and make the most of it we can. I hope you get lots of gifts. Eat your favorite meals. Watch what you want on television. Do what you want to do all day long. It’s your day.
To begin today, let’s get our dads to stand and be recognized. If you’re a dad, a step dad, whatever, would you please stand. I want to tell you how much I personally appreciate the fathers in our church family. You are the greatest. We have strong men and I don’t only mean physically. I mean strong in that you lead your families into the kingdom of God. I want to pray for you and bless you. I bless you with health. I bless you with abundance. I bless you with love. I bless you with peace. I pray that your life is good. I appreciate you. Thank you!
LET ME TELL YOU THIS JOKE. Adam said he was feeling lonely and asked God for some company.
“I was thinking of making you a woman, but it will cost you,” said God.
“What is a woman?” asked Adam.
“She is a man’s dream, she is pretty and soft,” said God, “and also sweet, caring and loving and at your beck and call. She will cook for you and clean for you. She will give you children. She will be an inspiration to you. She will help you in every way.”
“That sounds like exactly what I want,” said Adam, “how much will that cost?”
“An arm and a leg,” said God.
Adam thought a moment and then asked, “What could I get for a rib?”
FATHERS HAVE A TREMENDOUS RESPONSIBILITY when it comes to the life of their families. A father’s responsibility is more than to provide food and pay bills. The true responsibility of a father is to provide a place – a home – that will protect and preserve his family. The home is a refuge not only to the man, but for all in the family. It’s a sanctuary. The father becomes a provider of salvation for the family and a preserver of the continuation of the family.
Even in situations where divorce has taken place, the father still must provide and preserve the best he can. Often in divorce situations, the father gets to help another father provide and preserve for his children. That in itself is a great calling.
No matter which situation you are in, we dads are created and wired to provide, protect, and preserve those in our family. We find a father who in the Bible who did this in a very special way. He actually provided a place for salvation so his family could be saved. His name is Noah. The Bible says,
Hebrews 11:7 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.
We are all familiar with the story about Noah. Noah did more than simply pay the bills and provide food for his family. Noah provided a place of salvation for his family. Noah literally preserved his family.
The verse from Hebrews 11:7 shows us that Noah was a man who lived by Faith. Noah was a man who moved in holy Fear. And Noah was a man who built something that saved his Family. So, today I want to talk to you about Noah’s Faith, Noah’s Fear, and Noah’s Family.
Hebrews 11:7 By FAITH Noah, when warned about things not yet seen . . .
Noah was a man of faith. It was interesting to me that Noah is mentioned immediately after the writer of Hebrews gives us a powerful statement about faith. Let’s look at the verse just prior to the verse about Noah.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (v7) By FAITH Noah . . .
We see that faith will please God and that God will reward people that seek God through faith. But what is faith? We see from that verse that it includes believing that God exists. But it’s more than that. The demons believe and tremble. We also see that it is seeking God. Hebrews 11:1 attempts to give us a definition of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.
Faith includes the ability to see beyond the natural and into the spiritual. Faith is a confident assurance that there is more than what I am capable of seeing with my natural eyes. I think we are all aware that there is a spiritual dimension all around. In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus said the kingdom of God is in your midst (NASV). John the Baptist saw the Spirit descending upon Jesus as a dove. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Peter, James, John saw Moses and Elijah on the mount of Transfiguration. Mary Magdeline saw angels in the tomb of Jesus. The shepherds saw a multitude of angels at the birth of Christ. Jesus saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. There is a supernatural dimension. We just don’t know how to see into it. We do it by faith. Faith looks beyond what we see up ahead and into the spiritual dimension.
Noah had phenomenal faith. Noah saw what others could not see. He saw a flood coming. Noah’s faith drove him to spend a lifetime building one boat. Noah spent a lifetime building a place of salvation for his family.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE STORY ABOUT JACOB in Genesis chapter thirty where he had this idea to put sticks in the water where his flocks watered? Jacob worked for his father-in-law named Laban who was a con man. Laban had promised Jacob that he would give him all the sheep and goats that were speckled and spotted. The problem was there just were not that many speckled and spotted adult sheep and goats to produce speckled and spotted offspring. So Jacob put tree limbs at the watering areas from which he had peeled the bark. Amazingly, the animals would mate and the offspring were speckled and spotted. Jacob became wealthy. Do you know how Jacob got that weird idea? God opened his eyes so he could see it.
Genesis 31:11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’
Genesis 31:12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.
Jacob looked beyond the natural and into the spiritual dimension. He saw something that did not yet exist. Jacob looked beyond his present situation and saw what God had for him up ahead. God rewarded him.
Dads, we are to lift up our eyes and look beyond the natural and allow our faith to show us something up ahead. We must see ourselves successful. We must see ourselves advancing. God wants to show us things. God showed Noah a flood coming. He showed Abraham a land of milk and honey. He showed Jacob wealth. He showed David a kingdom. If we will but diligently seek God, he will allow us to see things and hear things that will bring salvation to us and to our households.
I WAS THINKING ABOUT THE TIME SPAN between the time that God spoke to Noah concerning the coming flood and when the flood actually came. We know it was a long period of time. It took Noah a long time to build the ark (1Pe 3:20). My point is that Noah would have then been considered a young man when God spoke to him. Noah’s children would have been but babies, yet the Lord God spoke something into Noah’s heart that would affect his children’s future and their eternity.
Fathers, I want you to know that God wants to speak to you today about things years down the road that will affect you and your children. He will have you build something that will provide salvation and preservation from coming floods. He desires to speak to you early on.
I look back today to when I was seventeen. I know now that it was God speaking to me as a very young man. I had experienced a move of God in my life. I was seeking God the best I knew how at that time. I believe that God spoke to me saying that one day I would be a preacher and that my entire family would serve God. Well, today, I am a preacher. My entire family does serve God and before my mother and dad passed on, I was able to minister the gospel to both of them and bring them into the ark that God told me to build. See, God will speak to you NOW about THEN. Faith is believing NOW for THEN. Don’t miss it. If you are walking and diligently seeking God, he will open your eyes of faith.
THERE IS A LOT SAID ABOUT A MOMMA PRAYING, but what about a father praying? See, God did not speak to Mrs. Noah about the coming dangers to that family. I’m not saying that God wouldn’t, but he didn’t. God spoke to Noah. There are floods coming upon our lives and upon our children. Floods are always coming. God wants to warn us fathers and tell us what we should build to survive the floods. Fathers are to be men of faith who seek God and walk with God.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark . . .
(KJV) Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with FEAR . . .
I don’t think I had ever noticed before that Noah by fear built an ark to save his family. I know that fear is supposed to be the opposite of faith. I know that God did not give us a spirit of fear (2Ti 1:7), but Noah moved in faith and fear. Fear is a good thing if that fear moves us to do something by faith.
This isn’t a gripping type fear as in a phobia. The Greek word is eulabeomai [yoo-lab-eh’-om-ahee] (Strong’s #2125) and means: (1) to act cautiously, circumspectly; (2) to beware, fear; (3) to reverence, stand in awe of.
There is a holy fear that fathers need to possess. It’s not a fear that God will kill us. It’s a fear that we could miss something extremely important. It’s a fear that if I don’t do what God has asked me to do that it will affect my entire household. I must build my ark. I am afraid not to build my ark. My building my ark means that God will save me and my family. I will make it through the coming floods.
I believe that God will tell fathers what it is they are to build. What they are to build will affect their families for generations. In Noah’s case, had Noah not done what God told him to do, you and I would not be here today. People that we can’t see are always affected by our doing what we are asked by God to do. That fear is a holy fear and it moves us. It causes us to move. It caused Abraham to move. It caused Moses to move. It caused the nation of Israel to move out from Egypt. It will cause you to move into your promise and destiny.
Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, MOVED WITH FEAR!
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his FAMILY.
Noah’s family consisted of his wife, three sons, and three daughters-in-law. Noah’s faith and fear caused him to build something to save his immediate family. A father’s faith will provide salvation and preservation for those close to him. How grateful was Mrs. Noah for Noah? How grateful were his daughters-in-law? They were saved because of their father-in-law’s faith. Their father’s faith did not save them. The faith of their father-in-law saved them. What am I trying to say? Hookup with people that see beyond what you see. Hookup with people of faith. It will save you.
EVERYTHING THAT NOAH HAD ACQUIRED DURING HIS ENTIRE LIFETIME – a very long lifetime – was lost in one day except for one thing. That one thing was Noah’s family. When it comes right down to the nuts and bolts of life, things are gone in one day. That which is truly left when we are gone is our family and children and what we have accomplished by faith.
NOAH STOOD BETWEEN THE FLOOD AND HIS FAMILY. Noah protected his family by his faith and by his fear. Fathers protect their families in many ways. We protect them financially. We protect them morally. We do all we can to protect them from the plans of the devil. However, the greatest way we can protect our families is by our faith.
Noah spent his entire life developing and building his faith. He walked with God. He spent time with God. He could hear God. One day Noah was able to lead his entire family into what his faith had built – the ark. In came Noah’s wife. In came Noah’s children. In came the spouses of Noah’s children. In their loins and wombs came Noah’s grandchildren and great grandchildren. And within them, into that ark came you and I. We never know what our faith will accomplish and whom our faith will protect. That which we fathers build today will save our children. Let’s build it well.
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