We all know the story of Noah’s Ark and, like so many other stories from the Bible, it is familiar, which I believe causes it to lose its significance. Just think about it:
The Bible tells us Noah was 500 years old when he had his sons and “Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters covered the Earth.” For today’s generation, let’s say he would have been in his 70’s and it would have taken him 20 years to build. First of all, are you willing to wait that long for your calling? Are you willing to trust that God has a plan for your life even if it doesn’t come in your timing? Then, after waiting a lifetime, are you willing to put in 20 years of work before seeing the fruit of your labor? We all want the glory with none of the sacrifice.
I could go on a tangent about how evil the world was in order for God to see fit to wipe it out. And how many parallels there are to the state of our world today. But I think I’d be preaching to the choir so I’ll table that. HOWEVER, what is important to note here is that Noah lived among that society and was the only one God saw fit to save. The Bible says, “Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God.” Do you think that was popular? Do you think that may have been lonely? Do you think Noah compromised his beliefs in order to fit in? Did the mocking stop him from building that ark? Could you imagine if it did? It is hard to live in this world…to live in such a way that reflects Christ. It isn’t popular, it isn’t politically correct, it can be lonely, we will be mocked and persecuted…but we cannot compromise. Noah also didn’t lash back. It is not our job to convince anyone of anything. God is more than capable of doing that Himself. And…some will never be convinced. It is our job to live a life set apart in such a way that others see Christ through us (even if it repels them).
So…the boat is finished, the animals are boarded, and the flood waters are rising (this rain was not a sprinkle). Picture 8 people stuck inside the ark for 40 days with all the animals of the earth. Now imagine the darkness (there were no windows), imagine the stench (there were no bathrooms), imagine the uncertainty (there was no way to tell day from night or hour from hour). Now consider this…the 40 days was only the amount of time it rained. They were actually stuck on that boat much longer…over 150 days from the time the rain started until the time they settled back on solid ground. Could you do it? The thought of it makes me cringe. I think I might go insane…literally. If you think about it, this is not the friendly children’s story we grew up with. It’s actually quite haunting.
When all was said and done, God made a covenant with Noah and his sons to never again flood the earth. Then God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of that covenant. Another familiarity we take for granted. My DNA group was discussing this one time and the subject of the double rainbow came up. I said, “That’s God needing extra reminding not to flood our evil asses.” (excuse the language but it’s what I actually said) It was funny but now we all think of that when we see a rainbow. The rainbow was meant to be a reminder but it’s been reduced to a pretty display of how the light reflects through the moisture in the sky. Listen, we all go through our lives day by day. There does have to be some focus on the routine of it all, our schedules, our jobs, our bills, etc. I get it!!! But we need to find ways throughout the routine of it all to find God in everything. What’s the purpose of the routine of it all if we’re just living to die. We need to be heaven focused NOW.
I think when we become believers we think that Christianity will change our lives in such a way that protects us from the difficulties of life. It’s true that believers do fall under God’s protection. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who Love Him, who have been called ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Throughout the Bible, the stories we’ve become so familiar with are laced with trials and difficulties. We have these idealized views of the “Heros” of the Bible, but their lives were anything but glamorous…and still they obeyed. When you sit down and consider each story and what that would look like in our lives today, most of us would run the other way. Their lives were lived for the sole purpose of God’s glory…is yours? I was listening to a Francis Chan sermon on YouTube and he was talking about how Christians are willing to follow Christ as long as it doesn’t cost them too much. This convicts me BIG TIME. Am I willing to lose it all for Christ? Are you?