Jul 14, 2008, 8:44 AM
When Noah began to build the ark, the people around him did not the slightest clue what it was all about. No one had ever seen a boat before. It was a project that took him 100 years to accomplish. Because of the magnitude of the project - which never seemed to end; and the number of years it took him to finish, the people around him had labelled him as one who had lost his mind. Plank after plank, nail after nail, however Noah kept at it as the ark began to take shape. He steadfastly and diligently obeyed God's instructions that he had received directly from Him. Bible says of Noah that he was "a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God." (Genesis 6:9) And so Noah was qualified for the task God had called him to accomplish.
God had said very clearly to Noah; "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood, make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out." (Genesis 6:13-14) Because of the waywardness of the people, guilty of violence and corruption, God decided to put an end to it all, to punish them for their wicked ways.
The instructions were clear and specific. Noah received definite measurements as to the size of the vessel. It was to consist of an upper and a lower deck, a roof and a door on the side.
Noah had a clear notion what the project was meant to accomplish, because God had revealed it to him in no uncertain terms: "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it." (Genesis 6:17)
When Noah had finished constructing the ark according to specifications, God said to him, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation." (Genesis 6:1)
'Enter the ark' was the last instruction God had given Noah before He himself shut the door of the ark. (Genesis 7:16) After all had been accomplished, and all of Noah's energy spent, God was going to make a move.
Entering the ark meant God had approved Noah's lifestyle. He was satisfied with the way and manner Noah carried himself amidst the people that lived in his day. It was a testimony that God was with him and his family. All that had life, with the exception of the eight members of his family along with the pairs of animals and other living things, were going to perish in the upcoming flood. Noah had found favour with God and therefore his family was going to be saved from destruction. (Genesis 6:8) Have you found favour with God? Is God on your side?
When we are highly-favoured by God, He protects us from danger and from harm and we are spared from His wrath. As the years lapsed, and as the ark project progressed, Noah did not refrain from calling the people's attention to the blatant disregard of God's word. They did not listen however.
Judgment for our actions will come one day, and God will spare only His own, those who have been attentive to His Word. For says Peter in 2 Peter chapter 2 verse 5 ".if He (God) did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man was living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) - if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment."
God's wrath descended on the people of Noah's day because of their corrupt desires and their sinful nature. Not one was spared. Our God is a just God and He will judge every evil deed. "The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thought of his heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5)
In the midst of this depravation Noah stood out. He was excluded therefore from the destruction that followed when the time was up. Approved of God, he was selected to show us how God deals with those who honour Him and are obedient to His word. God will select the good from the bad and the ugly. Therefore says our Lord Jesus; "He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 11:5)
By saving the lives of the members of Noah's family, God was saying that He approved of Noah, in other words that Noah merited God's favour. Noah was saved therefore by faith. His actions and deeds amidst a people who had been deeply corrupted was what would spare his life. When we are approved by God, He takes the initiative to ensure our safety and our protection. He reciprocates by showering us with His love and with blessings. Because of Noah's persistent faith, God honoured him. One Bible commentary puts it thus: "Considering his surroundings, the magnitude of the work he was called to perform, and the many years spent in hard work, Noah stands unsurpassed, if not unequalled, among all the characters of the Bible in persistent faith."
What does Noah's character teach us? "In the midst of this moral darkness, Noah's life shone with righteousness," the commentary continues. We serve a God who does not change. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Yet, He has offered us grace - favour that we have not merited, so that we may change. He said in His Word that He will never deal with humanity again the way he dealt with them on this occasion when He wiped out all that was evil from the face of the earth. "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done." (Genesis 8:21)
Each of us would have to qualify to enter the ark - God's bountiful grace. We would have to deserve God's favour if we want to live that quality of life that is everlasting in nature. When all was death and destruction around him, God sustained Noah, in spite of the flood. He was picked out of the lot for a purpose to show us that when we walk in the light of His countenance we are saved. Noah was lifted up by the flood waters and deposited on mountain Ararat away from the dirt and filth of destruction and the receding water.
Will God ask you to enter into His grace? Would we be picked out by His grace from the rubble of corruption and violence that has characterised this world because of our faith?
May the Spirit of God lead us in order that we may hearken to His call, and at the right time. And may the lives we live bear testimony of His grace that we may enter the gates of heaven. We give Glory unto His Holy name!