Jul 15, 2020, 12:17 PM
“And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.” (Genesis 7:5)
Noah became a laughing-stock when he embarked on his ark-construction-project. The people were fully ignorant of what that mammoth structure was all about. They had never seen anything of the kind before and therefore did not have paid any heed. In fact, they considered Noah had lost one of his bolts.
But Noah had a purpose for building the ark. He was carrying out God’s instructions. “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is full 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. This is how you are to build it;” (Genesis 6:13-14) Detailed instructions ensued.
Without hesitation, Noah went to work on God’s instructions. With the help of his sons, that project became a reality but only after 120 years. When God gives us an assignment it does not matter how long it takes as long as it is done in the fullness of time. What is important is whether we are on track and whether we would play our part to the very end as Noah did.
By his obedience, Noah testified he was not alone. Remember that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9) Why would a righteous God want to do something like that? Wipe His creation from the face of the earth. There is no smoke without fire. “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” (Genesis 6:11)
God intended to put an end to all wickedness and immorality by washing them away as waste and debris with the flood. “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breadth of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.” (Genesis 6:17) Wickedness is contagious and God wanted to have it done away with in order to give humanity a fresh start.
To achieve this, God revealed His plan to Noah. He is to expect a pair
of every animal and creature to come to the ark. He asked him to stock up on food as well for their livelihood. When the stage had been set and the different phases of the plan had been accomplished, God was prepared to put His plan into action. All along Noah collaborated with God following His instructions to the letter. God then instructed him: “Go into the ark, you and your whole family because I have found you righteous in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1) Will God say that of us?
The timing was right, the details precise. “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (Genesis 7:4) God confided in Noah with regard to every aspect of the plan as it unfolded. Nothing was hidden from him. (Amos 3:7)
We will always have it right with God however lofty the odds, as long as we carry out God’s bidding not our own. Our undertaking may look foolish in the eyes of unbelievers and mockers but that is of no significance. Only God’s word will survive after all has been said and done.
Because Noah had a close relationship with God, he diligently stuck to the project to the very end. He devoted 120 years of his 600 years to the realisation of the project. He never gave up. Paul in his writings emphasised Noah’s faith; “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith, he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes from God.” (Hebrews 11:7)
Paying attention to God’s word is paramount in the life of the believer. It is the only way to fulfil God’s purpose for our lives. The word of God is clear and plain; it is ‘yes and amen’; ‘no shadow of turning’. It will direct us the way we should go; but first, we have to train our ears to discern when it is God speaking to us.
Only one family survived the flood – that of Noah, his three sons and their wives because they were the only ones that harkened to His voice. For the others, it was ‘business as usual’. And so, it was an unpleasant surprise for them when “… the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” (Genesis 7:10) Our Lord Jesus in His teachings summed up the event thus: “As it was with the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.” (Genesis 24:37-39)
After God closed the door to the ark before the rain fell, Noah and his family were made secure and safe from the surging waters, oblivious to the wailings of those who were later submerged by the flood. How tragic!
God speaks repeatedly to us and His desire is for us to listen. Those who did not listen suffered the consequences. “The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth and the ark floated on the surface of the water.” (Genesis 7:18) “Everything on dry land that had the breadth of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; … only Noah was left. And those with him in the ark.” (Genesis 7:23)
God wants us safe ‘in the ark of obedience’ which is our reward. It offers blanket protection from His anger. All that is required of us is to believe in His Son Jesus – The Saviour of the world. Think about it!