Sometimes God tests our faith.
In the case of the blind man in the above verse, it was not going to the pool of Siloam and washing that restored his sight. Rather, it was his faith in following the instruction. God could have cured his blindness without making him wash his face, but to test his faith, He required obedience to a simple test.
But there’s more to the story. Instead of telling the blind man to walk about 200 yards to the north to the Pools of Bethesda, Jesus told him to walk south, all the way down the steep streets to the other end of the city, to the Pool of Siloam. That would not be easy for someone with sight, much less a blind man.
But by faith, he did what Jesus asked him to do and was rewarded with his sight being restored.
He never demands that we climb a mountain or swim across the ocean. He only asks us to do easy things like:
- Look His way.
And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived. —Numbers 21:9
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up —John 3:14
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. —1 Corinthians 10:13
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you fail the test? —2 Corinthians 13:5
If Jesus is in your heart, you pass the test!
I heard a Christian speaker recently say that Noah was still alive during Abraham’s day and that they probably talked about the flood. That seems incredible to me. Is that really possible?
Close, but not quite. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came and lived 350 years after the flood—plus float time.
Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. —Genesis 9:28
As best we can figure, Abraham was born 352 years after the flood. Therefore, Noah died two years before Abraham was born. However, the Bible does tell us that Shem, Noah’s son, who worked all his life building the ark, lived through the flood and died 502 years later.
These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; and Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters. —Genesis 11:10-11
This was 150 years after Abraham was born. So he would have been able to have given a first-hand, spine-tingling account to Abraham.
But this, of course, assumes they spoke the same language after the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). We can only speculate that God kept all those in the royal biblical lineage within the same language. If so, Shem would have been around long enough to talk to Abraham and even Isaac.
Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. —Genesis 21:5
It is interesting, therefore, to note that Shem could have shared with Abraham how Noah did what God wanted him to do (build the ark) even when he didn’t understand the reasons (it never rained, much less flooded—Genesis 2:6) which could have had some influence on Abraham when he was told to sacrifice his only son.
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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