Remember the story of Noah? It’s been recounted in movies and bedtime stories for centuries. It’s the story of a man who lived in the midst of a sinful society.
Standing alone. Set apart.
“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Gen 6:5-8
Make no mistake – our unfaithfulness and sin grieve the Lord.
At this point in history, God could have easily wiped out all of mankind. He could have thrown up His hands and said, “It’s finished. I quit. I give up on man.” Yet, He deals with us in a patient, merciful, generous and persistent manner. Because of God’s faithfulness and grace, mankind lived on.
Noah found grace because God, in His grace, found Noah.
The account of Noah continues with the construction of The Ark. Bible scholars estimate that The Ark was 95,700 square feet (to put this in perspective – 450 feet equals the size of 1½ football fields). The building of the ark was a massive undertaking that required complete obedience on the part of Noah. Notice the following verses.
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Genesis 6:22
“And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.” Genesis 7:5
I want to point out to you that Noah was an ordinary man. He had a life – a job, a wife and kids – until one day God showed up at his doorstep and asked him to build an ark. An ark..something no one ever had heard of before. God provided him the blueprints for this intricate and large task. I wonder if Noah ever questioned what God was really up to. I wonder if Noah ever complained about all his sweat and hard labor. Do you think Noah had a difficult time letting go of his friends and co-workers the day the floods came up?
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be in the shoes of Noah?
In Genesis 7, we read the rains came for 40 days. Everything was washed out. Only Noah and those with him on the ark remained living. The waters flooded the earth for 150 days. Wow! That’s a really long time to be stuck on an ark with stinky animals wondering when God would show up again.
Throughout the entire account of Noah, do you notice that Noah never said a word? God gives four little speeches, but Noah keeps his mouth shut and does his job. Noah, his family and all the stinky animals are basically imprisoned on the ark for months with nothing to look at, except an endless ocean. There were no mountains. There were no trees. All Noah could see for miles and miles was blue, blue sea. About this time in the story, I would have been wondering, “God, where are you? Have you forgotten about little ole’ me?”
Have you ever found yourself asking, “Where are you, God?”
Have you ever begun on a new adventure and then felt that the rug was pulled from beneath your feet? You felt as if God had vanished, flooding you with emotions of sorrow, loneliness, perplexity and despair. I’m sure we all have had a time in our life when we could relate to the words of Asaph in Psalm 77:4:
“You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore?”
And then God shows up! Not in our timing. Not as we expected.
But you come to realize, God did not lose track of Noah and He will not lose track of you! God never forgets about you!
Today’s Truth: Genesis 8:1, “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”
There is a fairy tale ending. The expression “God remembered Noah” is not alluding to the disappearance of Noah from God’s mind and into the land of forgetfulness, but rather that God’s remembering Noah was the return of His mercy to mankind. The discipline of man’s sinfulness to the extent of sending a worldwide flood was over and God’s favor on mankind was restored. The floodwaters abated and the mountaintops did appear once again. Eventually, Noah, his family and the animals safely exit the boat. Life resumes once again and there is hope! There is hope for you and I as well.
Regardless of our situation and circumstances on this side of our eternity, we can put our hope and trust in the Lord.
“The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11