TRANSCRIPTIONS


HEROES OF FAITHING


DAVID-DANIEL-GIDEON-NOAH







Here's a new look at some familiar Bible stories. We've all heard about Daniel in the lion's den, David and Goliath, Noah and the Ark. Yes, and we've been told repeatedly that these heroes trusted God. But we've very seldom come across the actual breakdown, in terms of the Biblical definition of faith, of how these folks acted out their trust. That's what "Heroes" does. It approaches these stories of faithful people from the angle of that faith; not that David was very accurate with a sling or that Daniel had an angel to keep him company. These stories try to show the practical, human side of faith working in everyday circumstances. By seeing that the basic process of faithing is the same in All situations, we can know that every situation in our lives is also open to acts of trust in God's word.

Heroes was written to younger people, but you could say that they are Bible stories for adults, written so young people can understand.

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We'll be looking at four different heroes this morning. We'll hear about Daniel, Gideon and Noah, but we'll start of with David and Goliath. The story of David is always uplifting.

DAVID-Its not easy to tell a story when you are sure that everyone knows it all ready. In this story we want to look at David and his battle with Goliath the giant. Even though David was a young lad, he did beat the 10 foot giant; actually Goliath was 9 feet 9 inches tall.

It must have taken a lot of courage on David's part to go out against Goliath, but I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to do anything if he didn't have a very strong belief in God. David must have also been very confident that God would keep His word to help the people of Israel in wars for their homeland. Goliath's people, the Philistines, were attacking and trying to conquer the people of Israel.

That's what we want to look at in this story; the way trusting in God's word works in an everyday way. I call it Faithing. That means acting (doing some action), based on God's promise, with the confidence that God will keep His word.

You see, we can all learn from David because, even though he was chosen by God, he, David, didn't have a sense of being anyone special or important. All he knew was that one day a few years ago, that great man, the prophet Samuel had showed up at the house, poured oil on his head and said he was to be king of Israel. Being in his early teens, I suppose David didn't understand all that too well. After Samuel left, David went back to his old job of tending his fathers' sheep.

The Bible says when Samuel anointed David-poured on the oil-that " the Spirit of the Lord came on him from that day forward." This probably explains an exciting fight that David had with a lion and a bear.

One night while David was out sleeping with the flock, a lion attacked. David chased the lion and saved a lamb out of its' mouth. When the lion jumped for David, the lad grabbed its tail and smashed the lion against the ground. He had a similar fight with a bear. The Spirit must have given David a bunch of extra strength. Lions can weigh four hundred pounds, and are very hard to swing by the tail.

So David was very strong and quick, and handsome. But we don't find that people around there were making a big fuss over him, or that he acted as though he was due for some very great feats of skill and courage. If anyone could say anything about David, it was that he believed fiercely in God and His power.

At the time just before the story of Goliath starts, all we have is this healthy God-fearing young shepherd who, it's claimed, killed a lion and a bear. A staff and a sling are his only weapons. And wait 'till you hear how Goliath was decked out.

Remember, Goliath was ten feet tall. His spearhead, by itself, weighed over twenty pounds. It might have looked something like a huge nail that was twelve inches long and three inches thick. His top or breastplate weighed one hundred eighty pounds. That's more than I weigh. His spear was so big he carried it over his shoulder. He needed several men to carry all his armor. He had a big copper helmet and leg protectors. What a sight Goliath was!

Now, David knew there was a war going on because his three oldest brothers were there with army. In fact, if his brothers hadn't been there, maybe David would never have met Goliath. David certainly had no idea of fighting when he arrived at the army camp. He was just bringing his brothers some loaves and wine to give them a little extra to eat. That wasn't even David's idea. His father wanted to hear news of the boys to see if they were all right.

I don't blame David for getting mad at the Israelite soldiers when he got to the army camp and heard Goliath making fun of Israel and God. Every day for forty days, Goliath and paraded up and down the little valley that separated the Philistines and the army of Israel. He'd shout that all Israel were cowards, and couldn't find one person good enough to fight him alone. Goliath tried to fool the Hebrews by saying that if he was beaten the Philistines would surrender.

The Israelite troops were afraid, but that wasn't the problem. They were having trouble because of forgetting and doubt. Most of Israel's army and forgotten or didn't believe God's word. Remember, God had said He would help David's people against their enemies.

David hadn't forgotten and didn't think that God would not come through and help. He said, "Why do you let this heathen make fun of you like this? Go and kill him." The soldiers, and especially David's brothers, told David to quit fooling around and go back home to the sheep where it was safe.

David was causing such a stir in camp that word got to king Saul and he sent for David. David was so strong-minded about the matter that he talked Saul into letting him go out to Goliath. David argued that Goliath couldn't possibly the more dangerous than a lion or bear, and that God would also protect him now against this giant.

That was an act of trust in God, telling the king that. It's a little like telling the future. David was saying that with God's help, Goliath was going to the dead. David didn't have any special plan of battle or anything. He just believed God, and God's promise enough to act like it was the truth. He faithed.

Another way David faithed was to refuse the kings' armor and sword. Goliath was big and well armed, but David didn't feel right about using things he wasn't sure of. He knew that in trying to protect himself with the armor, he'd be slow and easier to kill. When we faithe in our regular lives we have to remember, like David, to use only what God has given us. David let God do the protecting, while he did what he could do best: move quickly and sling a stone with strength and good aim.

And of course the biggest and final way that David acted in trust was to make his way out to meet a warrior that was almost five feet taller than him. That's like a two foot baby going to fight a professional basketball player. But, courage his ninety percent of faithing. Trusting God is simple, but it's also very hard. Most of the time we can only see things that look impossible to overcome, like ten foot giants. And we can't see God. It would have been nice for David if he could have looked back at the Israelite army and seen God standing on the hill with them smiling and waving him to go on.

From then on, David did the next thing he could see to do. That's the how faithing works. We're not to try and see how our whole problem will be solved. We must do the next thing we can, trusting that God, at each new step, will help us get closer to our goal.

David stopped a little way from Goliath because the giant was laughing and jeering at David for being a boy. The next thing that David saw to do was to inform Goliath at the didn't need a spear, sword or armor to fight when God was calling the shots. David said he'd cut off Goliath's head and feed his body to the beasts. Then David waited for the next thing he could do.

He didn't have long to wait, 'cuz Goliath had had enough of that kind of talk. Angrily he lumbered forward to get David. He was still too far from David for a staff to be of use, so the next thing David could do was use his sling.

He fitted a stone in the sling and quick as a cat whipped the stone at Goliath's head. Of course with God helping David, his shot missed all the giant's fancy armor and struck Goliath's forehead. The stone actually went a little way into Goliath's skull. The giant fell right on his face.

There weren't too many steps left for David to take, but clearly his next one had to be to kill Goliath while he was out. Maybe the giant wouldn't have gotten up anyway, but David wasn't going to chance it.

In those days it was common to cut off the head of your enemy. I guess as proof that he was dead. David couldn't do that with his own weapons, so he used the giant's own sword to take off his head.

The story of the battle with Goliath ends there. Although the Philistine army ran away in fear, they were caught by the Israelites and were almost completely killed off. David was a great hero. In fact, King Saul was somewhat suspicious of David because the people liked him so much.

I hope that next time you get into a sticky spot you will remember how David faithed on God's promise. God will help you to if you ask, and act.

David went on to the greatest king Israel ever had. In fact, David it so much to please God that his kingdom never lost a war and became very rich and prosperous. God did an interesting thing. He made David a special promise that is good for all time; even today.

God told David, you can find this promise in Psalm 89:5, 6, 7, that as long as the sun was shining or the moon, that a descendant of his, a grandson or granddaughter, would be king over Israel. That means, somewhere in the world today there is a king or queen out of David's family ruling over the descendants of David's nation Israel.

That means more than just the Jews. There are eleven other tribes beside the Jews. Between 700 BC and 1O66 AD these other tribes migrated mostly to northwest Europe and the British Isles. The kingly line of David was already there to rule starting in 1103 BC with the British king Brutus who came from Troy. Again, in 583 BC, Jeremiah brought the Jewish king's daughter, Tea Tephi, to Ireland where she married the high king. His name was Eochaide, and he was a distant relation to Brutus. They were both of the family of Judah on the Zarah side. King David was from the family of Judah on the Pharez side.

Out of the marriage of Tea Tephi and Eochaide, came all the kings and queens of northwest Europe and the British Isles. This includes Queen Elizabeth II of England!

I have fun telling you about the Heroes of Faithing in the Bible. I hope you like them, too.

DANIEL-Daniel. He wrote a whole book in the Bible and did many interesting things. There are some things about Daniel that we should know so we can understand him better. Then we'll see how he Faithed on God's word.

Daniel was born of the nobility of the people of the kingdom of Judah. When King Nebuchadnezzor conquered Jerusalem, 650,000 of Daniel's people were taken into bondage back to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzor was a smart king, and ordered that the young, handsome princes of Judah be trained for work in the king's court. Daniel was one of those chosen.

Daniel had always respected and honored God, and tried to please Him by keeping to the Israelite religious laws. God had told Daniel's people that they should live a certain way in order to serve Him better. One of the ways was to eat only certain kinds of food.

Now when King Nebuchadnezzor picked the young men to be his servants, he told his head servant to train the men for three years and be sure to keep them healthy. They were to eat the same food as the king. The only problem was that God had said that Daniel shouldn't eat that kind of food. So Daniel asked the king's captain if he could just eat the vegetables and drink water instead of the king's wine. The captain liked Daniel, but was afraid the king would cut off his head if he saw that Daniel was looking skinny.

Daniel knew that God had said He'd take care of him, so he acted in faith, I like to say he Faithed, on God's promise and made a deal with the captain. If the captain would do as Daniel had asked for ten days, he would see that Daniel was still very healthy or Daniel would eat the king's meat and wine. I just put in the second part so that we could understand the deal better, but even if it doesn't say those exact words, that was the other choice.

Well, I know you can guess what happened. At the end of only ten days Daniel looked healthier than all the other young men who were in training for the king.

I suppose it doesn't look like a very important thing for Daniel to refuse to eat the king's food, but that's the lesson. Most of our chances to trust God's word look small and unimportant. But we don't normally have real big things happen to us, and it might be years between times when we asked God for His help if we waited for only the extra big things that happen to us.

Now we come to the best part of the story. The part that most people have heard about. Daniel in the lion's den. To be sure, Daniel was in possible danger of losing his life for not eating the king's food because he was, after all, a captive of the war. Back then, even as now, prisoners of war are killed sometimes for the smallest things. Well, this time Daniel's courage was to be tested much, much more.

When King Darius, the Mede, took over the Babylonian kingdom in 522 BC, he wanted the government to run very smoothly and not make a lot of extra work for himself. Daniel had held a high government position for a long time and really knew how to run the kingdom. So Darius set up 120 governors for the kingdom and they were to report to three presidents. Daniel was the main president. The other two presidents and some of the governors didn't like Daniel because he was not one of their countrymen and they were jealous when he was made head president.

They searched and tried to find some way to get rid of Daniel by watching how he did his job. Well, Daniel was so trustworthy, because that's one thing that God wants us to be, that the men could find nothing wrong with Daniel's work. Then they had the idea that they could get Daniel only through his religion. So they went to King Darius and, with flattery, told him that all the governors and presidents had decided that for thirty days everyone in the kingdom would honor King Darius by praying to him only. They knew that Daniel would not give up praying to God and they could accuse him of breaking the law. And the law said that once the king said something he couldn't take it back.

They were right about Daniel. He still prayed to God three times a day. I guess I should remind you at this point that the penalty for breaking this law was that the person be thrown to the lions.

King Darius was very upset when the men came and told him about Daniel, but even though he argued with them for a long time, they wouldn't budge an inch, and in the end the king had to order that Daniel be thrown to the lions.

Darius still sat up all night worrying and hoping that God would help Daniel. In fact, when Daniel was about to go down into the den, the king had said, "Your God will protect you." Even the king had enough faith in God to be able to say that to Daniel. It looks to me like anyone, anytime can do something that shows that God's promises can be trusted.

When the morning came, the king rushed to the lion's den to see about Daniel. He broke the seals that he and the governors had put on the big stone over the entrance, and out came Daniel without a scratch. The king was very happy to find Daniel unhurt and so angry at the other men for pulling that trick on him that he had them all killed. Then he sent a proclamation throughout the whole kingdom, which was as big as Europe, for everyone to show respect, and honor the God of Daniel because His power and kingdom was greater than any on earth.

That's where this story of Daniel ends, but we didn't see it from Daniel's side. We'll have to try and imagine most of it because all it says in the Bible is that Daniel knew the laws had been signed and went, as always, and prayed out his window toward Jerusalem three times a day.

Even if Daniel didn't know that the men were plotting against him, he worked right there for the king and knew that anyone breaking that law had to go to the lions. And we all know the people that are thrown into a pit with a bunch of lions don't have much chance of coming out alive. So if you put yourself in Daniel's place, you can see that the very first time you got down to say your prayers you would be risking your life. I think I would have played it safe and gone into my closet to say my prayers. But Daniel said his in front of the open window where everyone could see him. That took a lot of courage. That's what Faithing, or trusting in God's word takes; courage.

Now let's try to picture Daniel on his way to the lion's den. You might want to see him being taken roughly by the guards, held tightly so he couldn't cause any trouble, and struggling as they started to throw him in the pit. I know that's what comes to my mind. But don't forget that Daniel was very close to God and had seen how God had taken care of him before, so he knew that God would always help him if he would be true to God's word.

That changes the picture. Maybe now we can imagine Daniel overcoming his fear of the lions and going willingly down into the den. Who knows, he might have even been able to sing a little song of praise for God.

That's what's nice about Faithing, or acting on God's promises. The more we do it in small ways, the stronger we get and the more sure we are that God will help us do the Right thing; even when it looks like it will hurt us.

If we can remember that God is real and we can trust Him, even with our lives, then we can have the courage the Daniel had.

GIDEON-Once there lived a man named Gideon. His story can be found in the Bible in the book of Judges, chapter six. Gideon was a Hero of Faith. He pleased God by acting on God's word; or what some people call Faithing. God sent an angel to talk to Gideon one day while he was separating wheat. Gideon was hiding in a shallow hole in the ground called a winepress. The reason Gideon was hiding was that there were many enemies near his home. They were called the Midianites, the Amalekites and some people called the children of the east. These enemies had been fighting and robbing all of Gideon's people and other tribes of Israel for seven years. That's why Gideon was separating his family's wheat out there in that winepress.

All at once, Gideon saw a man sitting under an oak tree nearby. The man hadn't been there a moment ago. Well, Gideon was startled, but the man said, "God is with thee." Gideon must have thought the man was kidding him because he said, "I don't think so. If the Lord was with us, all these enemies wouldn't be here." "And where are all the miracles of God? He brought us out of Egypt, but now He's let us fall into the hands of the Midianites."

The angel surprised Gideon by telling him that he was to save Israel almost single-handed. Gideon must have thought that was VERY funny. He'd seen the armies of those enemies right down in the valley and there were one hundred and thirty-five thousand soldiers with all their tents and camels and weapons. It was like a giant football field full to overflowing with men of war. And it must have taken up three or four city blocks because they were all spread out in their tents and not packed into a stadium. They took up a lot of space. And the angel told Gideon that he, as though he were one man, would beat this great army. I wouldn't have believed the angel either, would you?

So Gideon figured he'd test the man. He said, "You wait here and I'll go get some flour cakes and meat. When I come back you give me a sign that will show me you're telling the truth." When Gideon got back with the basket of food, he put it on a nearby rock. The angel touched the food with his staff and it was burned up. Then, when the angel vanished, Gideon knew he'd been telling the truth and was afraid; because the angel had told him he would fight the enemies. But Gideon built an altar on that spot anyway to show God that he believed and worshipped Him. Then the Lord said, "Don't be afraid, Gideon, you won't die."

The same night, the Lord told Gideon that he was to go to the altar place of the false god Baal, that the Israelites had been worshipping instead of God; that's why Gideon's people were in trouble now. God gave Gideon a small assignment first to help him get up his courage for the big fight. You see, God never asks us to do more than we're really ready for. When Gideon got to the false god's altar he was to break down the altar and cut down the special trees around it. That doesn't sound too hard, but Gideon was still afraid. He didn't want his neighbors who worshipped that god to catch him and kill him. It was like burning down a church. So he took ten servants from his father's house and went to the altar place at night. In the morning, Gideon's neighbors were mad, but his father said, "If my son has offended Baal, let Baal take care of him." Of course, being a false god Baal didn't do a thing.

God saw that Gideon trusted Him and sent the Holy Spirit to Gideon. Gideon started gathering men to go and fight the Midianites. A lot of Gideon's people of the tribe of Manasseh came to fight. He also called a lot of the men from three other tribes: Asher, Zebulon and Naphtali. In all, there came thirty- two thousand men ready to fight. Remember that there were over four times that many enemy soldiers: 135,000. They must have been very brave to think they could beat the enemy with only 32,000 soldiers. Now God wanted to prove that when you trust Him you don't need to be strong in the regular way. When you act on God's word, He helps you and you are stronger than you look-or even feel.

What happened next is surprising. God told Gideon to ask his soldiers if any of them were afraid. God said, "Anyone who raises his hand can go back home." God is pretty smart. He knew that even though Gideon's army was outnumbered four to one, that they might claim that they beat the Midianites by themselves. Well, when Gideon said that the ones who were afraid could go home, 22,000 men raised their hands. That meant that there were only 10,000 soldiers left in Gideon's army.

Can you imagine? Now Gideon had to fight the enemy with thirteen to one odds. Ten thousand against 135,000!!! I wonder what those 10,000 soldiers thought about that?

I can hardly believe what God did next. Just in case there was the barest chance that Gideon's men could say that the 10,000 had beat the 135,000 without God's help, God told Gideon to take all his troops to a nearby stream and have them all get a drink. Gideon was to watch very carefully. Any of the men that laid down on their stomachs to drink were to be sent home! Poor Gideon. How many men do you think he had left? Well, nine thousand, seven hundred soldiers drank lying down! That meant Gideon only had three hundred left. Three hundred against 135,000. Can you figure out how many times 300 goes into 135,000? If you found that for every one of Gideon's men there were 450 Midianites you divided correctly. How can one soldier beat 450? Only one way. By Faithing. Acting on God's promise that He would help them beat the Midianites.

That already seems like enough for God to ask, but He wants people to trust Him all the way. So the next thing that the soldiers had to do was to make three groups and spread out all around the enemy camp sometime about three in the morning. Remember that there were now only 300 men. One hundred in each group, and that camp, with all the tents and cattle, was spread out so far that each group of Gideon's men were way out of sight and hearing from the other soldiers. And they didn't even have their swords drawn! Their trust was really being tested.

I wasn't there, but I guess Gideon had them all line up so he could pass out their weapons. And what unusual weapons they were. Each man was given a trumpet, a torch and a clay pitcher. He was told to put the torch inside the pitcher so it couldn't by seen, and when the signal came, to break the pitcher, blow the trumpet and shout, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon." That must have seemed pretty silly, but you know what it takes to Faithe or trust God's word? Courage, lots of courage. Try to put yourself in the place of Gideon's soldiers. There they were in the middle of the night, far away from their nearest friends, with a horn, a torch and a pitcher. Sitting there in the dark waiting for a signal. How did any one of those 300 know for sure that his buddies hadn't got scared and run away? Or maybe been discovered by the enemy and killed. How did any of them know that there was anyone left to fight but themselves. That's pretty scary.

Before we find out what happened next, we have to back up a bit and see what Gideon did before his troops were placed around the enemy camp. He was still sort of scared and wanted to do everything that he could to be sure he'd win. So he and one of his men went down into the enemy camp and crept around by one of the tents. There they heard two of the enemy soldiers talking. One man was telling about a dream he had. In the dream he saw a big loaf of bread come rolling into camp and knock down a tent. His friend said that surely this was the army of Israel and that they were going to beat the Midianites in battle. I guess that made Gideon feel a lot better.

Now we can get back to the battle. After the 300 were set up all around the Midianite camp, Gideon gave the signal. All his brave men broke their pitchers, blew the trumpets and shouted, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon." Well, what do you think happened? Those Midianites didn't have a chance. They were so confused, being waked at three in the morning, that they mistook their own men for the Israelites and started killing one another. And do you know, 120,000 of them were killed right there. The rest fled as fast as they could.

Well, there isn't too much left of the story. Gideon and his men chased after the Midianites, and sent messages to the other tribes of Israel to come and pursue the enemy also. When they caught up to them they killed the rest and even captured the kings of the Midianites.

So even though Gideon and his men were afraid, they trusted in God's word that they would win. Then tried not to worry about the whole battle at one time, but only thought about one step at a time. At every new step in our story, God added His power and in the end the Israelites were free from the enemy.

We don't normally find ourselves as bad off as Gideon's people, but often we have to stand up for what we know is right; even when it looks like the whole world is against it. If we can remember Gideon and how he and his men Faithed on God's promise of help, and ask God to keep His promise to us too, we can stand up to those people and things that try to keep us from doing things God's way. God said, "If you believe that I can help you, and ask me for help, I'll be right there with you."

Be sure to check out the other Heroes of faithing listed in Hebrews, chapter eleven. See if you can tell what each did that showed he trusted things that God had said. I also invite you see how the whole book of Hebrews talks about faithing.

NOAH-In this series of stories about the Heroes of Faithing we've never seen a faither like Noah. He faithed, or acted in trust of God's word, longer than any of the others. Longer than Daniel in the lion's den. Longer than Joshua at the battle of Jericho.

What made the difference in Noah's case, was that God told him and his grandfather to go preach for a hundred and twenty years to the wicked people in the land at that time. Noah and Methuselah were to tell the evildoers that they had 120 years to turn away from their ungodliness or God would send a rain and flood the earth. A hundred and twenty years is longer than a whole lifetime now days. Now you have to remember that up to that time it had never rained on the earth. That's in Genesis 2:5. Some people say that a great water-filled cloud canopy covered almost the whole planet. Can you imagine what the people thought when Noah came around saying that if they didn't change their ways God was going to send a rain that would flood the earth? They must've laughed long and hard. I bet old Noah, he was then 480, got run out of town more than once.

Finally, after 115 years, God told Noah that he'd had it with those people. He told Noah to build an ark. And the word ark can also mean a "chest." So the ark didn't have to look like a boat. It could have easily looked like a giant shoebox that was close to a football field long. That would make it a lot easier for Noah and his sons to build such a big thing for all the animals. God also told Noah to make three levels with dividers inside the ark. I guess to separate the animals.

It's time to use our imaginations. We want to see what it was like for Noah and his boys when the people came around and saw that they were building this huge thing because it was going to rain. They couldn't even picture what rain was like. Those people must've poked a lot of fun at Noah. And it must have gone on for five years. That's how long it took to build the ark.

Now you see why Noah is the longest Faither in the Bible. He acted on God's promise to flood the earth, for one hundred and twenty years!!! One hundred and fifteen, he went preaching, and for five he acted in building the ark. Both those things are actions that people can see, and tells them that you trust in God's promise.

I bet you can remember one time when everyone around you was making fun of something you did or said, and you felt like you wanted to stop or take it back. It's very hard for us to not go along with a bunch of our friends; especially if we're embarrassed. It takes a great deal of courage. I'd say Noah was very brave standing up to ridicule for 120 years.

Have you ever thought about how Noah was able to handle all those animals, or pictured him trudging all over the earth for 50 or 60 years collecting two of everything? So did I. Well I found an old writing called the Book of Jasher which has an answer that makes sense to me.

God was to do all the rounding up. I bet Noah was relieved about that. God simply told Noah that he was to sit down at the door of the ark and when God sent him an animal that crouched down and showed meekness Noah was to send that one in for his sons to take care of. If an animal approached Noah and stood up, it was to be placed aside.

I found two more interesting parts to Noah's story in the Book of Jasher. First, about controlling the animals.

A few chapters after the story of the flood, it tells of one of Noah's sons, Ham, stealing some animal skins from Noah. Ham then passed them secretly to his son Cush, and Cush to his son Nimrod. Nimrod later became we could call the first emperor of the world; he ruled many cities. But Jasher says, that when Nimrod put on those animal skins, "God gave him might and strength and he became a mighty hunter."

If those skins were the ones God gave Adam for clothes, as it also says, and Noah had those very same skins, then the skins probably had some special power from God that helped the person wearing them to make the animals unafraid and easy to control. Maybe even, Noah had those skins on when he sat by the door of the ark. Any animal that could overcome the power of the skin's, and wouldn't crouch down for Noah, wasn't good enough to go. The second thing I've wondered about was the people outside the ark. I have a little Arguer inside my head, and my Arguer wants to say that those people weren't standing around laughing when the water started coming down. I can easily see a large mob of people with big timbers ramming the door of the ark. Well, Jasher says it was God to the rescue. When the people yelled for Noah to open the door, and he told them they were too late, 700,000 people started in on the ark. There were a great number of animals that didn't get chosen by Noah. They were still hanging around. God just sent all the leftover animals after the people and chased them away. Pretty neat, huh? By the way, those skins probably helped Noah calm the animals while the water tossed the ark around.

Well the rain and flooding certainly came, and it was a full year that Noah's family had to stay in the ark. It took that long for the waters to go down and the land to dry out enough for people to live. But in the end, all the animals came out and Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives. Noah immediately built an altar and made a sacrifice to thank God for taking care of them.

It's interesting to know that the Bible isn't the only place that talks about a worldwide flood. The ancient histories of all the different parts of the world tell of a flood happening at the same time as the Bible flood.

I hope Noah's faithing example helps you next time you find people making fun of you for doing something you know is Right. You can be sure that God will help you, too.

Before we leave the subject of Noah, let's do a couple fun exercises. First let's get an idea of how the people felt when Noah told them about the coming flood. Let's imagine that someone came on national TV and told us that we should build a 600 foot tower to put solar panels on for energy because a black cloud 500 ft. thick is going to cover the earth. We would have to install large fiber optics bundles in order to get sunlight to our plants. Can you imagine anyone taking this person seriously?

Now I want to take a practical look at the 40 day rain. In order to flood the whole earth there would have to be much more rain than we could have in 40 days. How much rain could that be by today's conditions? If we allow for 100 inches of rain, we would have more rain than most places get in a year. Forty days at 100 inches per day makes 4000 inches of water. Four thousand divided by twelve inches per foot makes only 333.33 ft.. That's only a little more than one football field. The Bible says that the water covered the mountains, and took a full year to subside.

But mountains are thousand 's of feet high. The height of mount Ararat is said to be 16,873 feet. Then where did all the water come from? The Bible lists two other things. The "fountains of the deep" and "the windows of heaven." I'm not positive what the "fountains of the deep" are, but "the windows of heaven" certainly sounds like more than just rain. Genesis 8: 2 says three things stopped: 1. fountains, 2. windows, 3. rain.

So the world must have been very different. Maybe it looked like Venus. Except that other evidence indicates that there was an opening in the canopy at the poles. This would explain how the earth could have no rain but still not be a desert. Genesis says the earth was watered by a mist.

Two other things are explained by the earth having a canopy. If the earth had a canopy, the air would be much more dense than it is today. Scientists have wondered how the flying dinosaurs could fly. Our air is too thin, and those flying lizards couldn't run fast enough to take off. They would have had to have a good stiff breeze blowing. But in the thicker atmosphere of the earth under the canopy they would be able to fly OK.

Secondly, the canopy would block out the harmful rays of the sun and allow people to live longer. This would help explain the very great age listed for some of the people in the Old Testament.

Noah really had some tough circumstances to overcome, huh? All he had to do was build and preach. But he was building and preaching based on something God had said. It took a lot of courage to preach that there was going to be a flood, when the people hadn't ever even seen rain.

WRAP: 1-One of the main tings I hope you realized in these stories is that faithing isn't some impossible job. All of our heroes did things that we do every day. Talking, building, blowing a trumpet, and praying.
2- We just have to direct our actions to God.
3- You want to talk some more about the Heroes of faithing or any other subject, STAG is a comfortable place to do that.
4- We're at 88 Briceland Rd in Redway. The number is 707 923 ALLY(2559). One the web it's STAG.WS, Email is STAG@asis.com.
5-You might like the archive and the YouTube videos that are up there now. 43 and counting.
6- I'll be back here on the 5th of Oct. Hope to see you then.
7-Faithing is the only way to get in touch with God. It works because He set it up that way. He's real and He keeps His word to us.
-----This is Jack, Bye.







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