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. Genesis 6:5 (NIV)
In the realm of storytelling, much attention is given to the one who is tasked with an indomitable assignment. We are drawn in by the plot’s intrigue, especially wondering whether the character will succeed or fail. It’s the hero’s journey, and Noah is the hero in Genesis chapters 6 to 9.
Wickedness increased exponentially throughout the earth as man perpetuated lawlessness and rebellion against God. The enormity of the situation is captured in Genesis 6:5: “The very imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” God decided He would give man the just result of his actions by destroying the world with a flood. He also determined to simultaneously give man an opportunity to be saved from the deluge by commanding Noah to build an ark (Gen. 6:14), a container that preserves its contents.
He gave Noah the blueprint for its construction, which included materials to be used (Gopher wood and tar), the dimensions (450ft long, 75ft wide and 45 ft high), which was used for oceangoing vessels because of its seaworthiness, and how many of each species of animal should enter (Gen. 7:2, 3). All of this occurred at a time when it had never rained. While building the ark, Noah withstood the cynicism and criticism of his contemporaries. He preached for decades, inviting them to enter the ark with him and his family when it was completed. An invitation they refused, and all perished.
Faith is not blind following of impulses or feelings but knowledge of, assent to and confidence in what God has said. Therefore, repeatedly in the narrative, we find that Noad did according to all that God commanded him (6:22; 7:5, 9, 16). In Hebrews 11:7, Paul is correct in saying “by faith Noah prepared an ark…” Indeed, Noah obtained knowledge from what God said and his agreement with God was evidenced by his obedience. What has God commanded that is incongruent with popular belief, practice, and consensus that you should begin obeying? The answer may determine your eternal destiny.
Prayer: Father, help us to demonstrate belief in what you have said by obedience to your word. Thank you for giving us the example of heroes of faith whose lives we can emulate. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By: Pastor Obed Babb