The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 47 of 144
Index | Zoom
inheritance of the righteousness which is by faith". Though we may have passed these
close parallels lightly by, the originally exercised readers of this epistle would have found
the very pointed.
Both Noah and Abraham received a message from God that put a great test upon faith,
for Noah was warned of things "not seen as yet", and Abraham went out "not knowing"
whither he went. What they did know was the faithfulness of Him who spake. So these
Hebrews, taught from infancy to believe the law of Sinai to be eternal and unalterable, to
believe their ritual to be not only of divine appointing, but to be as lasting as God's
throne, found an almost insuperable difficulty in the teaching of the apostle that such
things were waxing old and vanishing away, that God Himself found fault with the first
covenant and had set it aside for the aionian covenant sealed by the blood of Christ
A pious fear.
The second motive that is revealed is that Noah was "moved with fear". The word
"fear" has to stand for (1) phobos, a "fear that flees", from phebomai = to flee; for
(2) deilos, a "fear that shrinks"; and for (3) eulabes, a "fear that worships". This last
is the word used in connection with Noah in Heb. 11: 7. He certainly did not have the
fear that flees, not the fear that "draws back unto perdition", but the fear that reverently
acquiesces in the will of God. We find the word, or its cognates, translated "devout" in
Luke 2: 25; Acts 2: 5 and 8: 2. The true translation of Heb. 5: 7 is "He was heard
for His piety" (godly fear), and so it is translated in Heb. 12: 28, adding one more link to
the record of Noah that we have already seen exists. Phobos and eulabes are definitely
contrasted in Heb. 11:, so that we need make no mistake. Moses was NOT moved with
phobos (Heb. 11: 23-27); Noah WAS moved with eulabes (Heb. 11: 7), and both acted
"by faith".
Practical piety.
This is once more a needed lesson to the tried, persecuted and wearied saints. This
godly fear, this piety, despised as it is by the so-called practical world, is a great force in
the realm of godliness. "Noah moved by godly fear prepared" (kataskenazo); in other
words, we have an example of the somewhat trite expression, "practical piety".
Kataskenazo, translated "prepared", is used of creation in Heb. 3: 3, 4; of the tabernacle
in 9: 2-6, and of the ark in 11: 7, & I Pet. 3: 20, and is derived from a utilitarian word
skenos = an instrument or vessel; the very human body itself (I Thess. 4: 4). Noah, in
faith, acting upon a divine revelation, and in godly fear, not by sentiment, nor
precipitately, prepared an ark. The border line between faith and its works is too fine to
be of service to us. If we believe God concerning wrath to come, shall we not flee to the
refuge provided. If we say that we believe God, and refuse to act accordingly, do we not
really deny Him? Noah provides an example of the "faith-obedience" that Paul speaks o
in Romans:--
By faith Abel OFFERED
By faith Enoch was TRANSLATED.