Noah Built a Lifeboat

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Hebrews 11:7

I remember at the turn of the century there were many who prophesied that catastrophe was coming and that we should prepare for the worst. I told everybody that I did not believe the prophecy was true–but just in case I started to stock my trailer. I remember I put up extra water in gallon milk jugs. I also placed cans of stew and a dozen cans of ‘Spam’—I love spam. Of course, nothing did happen except the climate got warmer and the storms seem to increase, but I was prepared.

When warned are we moved? Do we really believe that we are living in the ‘end times ‘–that our children must be in the ark of safety when Jesus returns or they will perish. Many of the sign are with us: “Men’s hearts failing them with fear”. The push for world government, one world economy and for a cashless society. Earthquakes and pestilence. Violence is now in the schools—all point to Jesus’ soon return.

Noah lived in a very wicked time [Genesis 6:11,12] – just like today.  God warned Noah of impending judgement. Noah believed God and obeyed God by building a lifeboat that saved his entire family. Matthew 24:37-39 tells us: “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

We need to pray for our family—but we must also pass on this urgency. We must be moved by fear.

The story is told that when John Wesley was a young child, the house caught fire and John was trapped in his upstairs bedroom. His parents escaped and were standing on the outside when they realized that their son was still up in his room. The story goes on to say that John’s father stood and prayed – but his mother ran to the neighbors for a ladder. We must pray for the salvation of our children, but we must also act. The salvation of our children must become a priority.

I remember seeing a billboard with a small child standing on the front seat with his father driving. The caption said, “Don’t call this love…love puts seatbelts on kids.”

Are we preparing a lifeboat – or a love boat? A love boat hovers around the harbor, but that is not what ships are all about. Ships are made for the storms of life and to transport us to the other side.

“Eli’s sons made themselves vile and he restrained them not.” [Samuel 3:13]. He and his sons were judged. God expects us to train our children and to restrain them. It is called tough love.

What are you placing in your lifeboat? Are you in the boat?  Is your wife and your children in your lifeboat? Is Jesus in the boat with you? If Jesus is in the ship, you can be reassured that you and your family will pass over safely to the other side.

Things are not important in your lifeboat, but experiences are. It is so important that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is so important that you take time to seek God with them. They are watching you and know whether or not you have an intimate relationship with your God. They know if you really believe Jesus is coming again and you are preparing to spend eternity with him.

The Bible tells us that Noah was the eighth person to get on the lifeboat. This means that Noah would not get on until all of his family was safe. It is the custom of the sea that the captain is the last person to get on the lifeboat. Is the salvation of your family your top priority?

The story is told about a group of men who lived on a very dangerous coastline were many ships wrecked on the rocks. This group of men banded together and bought a lifeboat to be launched whenever a ship was in distress. They also built a little shack on the shore to store the boat and to prepare hot drinks.

They saved a number of lives and became famous in the community. Their wives also came to help with the survivors. The community banded together and built them a better building. Soon it was a gathering place even when there was no storm. The place became a formal clubhouse—with very little concern for the shipwrecked.

This is what has happened to many church groups today. Could it be that our churches and families are becoming clubhouses and have left our original reason for being?

How important is the church and God’s people to you? Are you in the house of God every time the doors are open? If you are, very likely God’s house and God’s people will be important to your children.

I pray that your children will be able to say with Ruth, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” [Ruth 1:16-17]

Are you moved by Godly fear which drives you to actively build a home and an atmosphere to save your household – even if it takes you a hundred years?


  1. Steve Willeford on September 22, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Thank you for addressing some key elements of parenting, and for emphasizing the importance of spirituality in both our personal lives and in the home and family relationships. Excellent article! We will use this as a reference in our upcoming “Family” Bible Study series.

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