Belief, Behavior, and Barricades

“Walked with God.” The phrase is found only three times in the Old Testament. This morning, I encountered all three occurrences.

Twice in Genesis 5 it’s recorded that “Enoch walked with God” and it worked out pretty well for him. He evaded death because “God took him” (Gen. 5:24). He “was taken away so that he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away” (Heb. 11:5a).

So, when I read in Genesis 6 that “Noah walked with God” (v.9), I’m guessing that the foreshadowing of Enoch’s experience bodes well for Noah in a time when God had “decided to put an end to every creature” because all the earth was “corrupt” and “filled with wickedness” (vv. 11-13). Guessing that Noah too is going to evade death.

But unlike Enoch who was removed from the earth, Noah will remain. While Enoch’s witness of God’s power would be through his sudden absence from earth, Noah’s testimony to God’s promises would be through remaining. And as I chew on that I take note of three things — belief, behavior, and barricades.

That God would reveal to Noah what He was intent on doing is one thing, but only a helpful thing if Noah believed it. And he did. We know he believed in the need for an ark because repeatedly we’re told “he entered the ark.” Six times in Genesis 7 we’re told Noah got in the boat. He fully committed to God’s rescue plan. Belief was essential for evading death.

But faith without works is useless (James 2:20). Believing in the need for an ark wouldn’t be helpful if there was no building of an ark. Twice it’s recorded that “Noah did everything that the LORD commanded him” (Gen. 6:22, 7:5). Right behavior was the result of right belief. A way of escape was possible because a way of escape was pursued. Noah couldn’t save himself from death on his own, but God had determined that Noah wouldn’t be saved apart from his participation. He believed and he behaved in a manner consistent with one who “walked with God” and he was delivered from destruction.

But while Noah could believe what God had said, and while he could behave in a manner consistent with his belief, apart from being barricaded we would have gone the way of all those who perished in the flood.

On that same day Noah along with his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah’s wife, and his three sons’ wives entered the ark with him. They entered it with all the wildlife according to their kinds, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that crawls on the earth according to its kind, all birds, every fowl, and everything with wings according to their kinds. Two of all flesh that has the breath of life in it entered the ark with Noah. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered just as God had commanded him. Then the LORD shut him in.

(Genesis 7:13-16 CSB)

They believed and they behaved according to their belief, so they entered just as God had commanded. But then the LORD shut him in. God sealed the deal, literally. He closed the door. He barricaded these believers. And Noah & Co. evaded death and would live to testify of God’s power to rescue and redeem.

Me too. Death, where is your sting? It has been numbed, if not erased, as God gives us the victory through our ark, the Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor. 15:56-57). We have believed, we have behaved in accordance with that belief, and now we are barricaded in Him. Shut in with Christ. Sealed by His Spirit as a “the down payment” guaranteeing our redemption (Eph. 1:13-14). We’re ready for the storm. Prepared for the flood. Confident of our deliverance. Because He has shut us in.

We believe, we behave, He barricades. Amen?

By His grace. For His glory.

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1 Response to Belief, Behavior, and Barricades

  1. Audrey Lavigne says:

    AMEN!!!! All glory be to God!

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