I was just reading Genesis 6–the beginning of the story about Noah.
Most people know the story: Noah, a good man, was tasked by God to build an ark in preparation for the flooding of the earth. In fact, I think we know the story so well, it becomes rote and we do not look deeper.
I tried to look a little deeper this evening. That isn’t to say I am an expert on the story and what is happening between the lines, but I did want to think about this part of Noah’s story a bit.
Chapter 6 is the exposition…the scene is being set and we are being introduced to the people and the reasons for the story. It is easy to gloss through that kind of information.
What grabbed me, though, were two things: 1. an idea that I saw in the study notes of my Bible, and 2. something I kind of got from reading this chapter that reminds me of how God can send us left when we thought we were going in the opposite direction. (Vague…I know.)
The study notes of my Bible brought up the amount of years left on mankind’s clock–120–as an indication of God’s patience. God could have sent the floods whenever He wanted. However, He chose to give Noah, a man God wanted to bless, time to build the ark, and He was also allowing time for people to come to their senses. How often does God just show lengthy stretches of patience with us? I know from my own experience that He watches me walking into walls, letting me get bumped and bruised, but never allowing me to face the full “hurting” that could happen. God is so patient with me, and with all of us. However, when those 120 years are up…they are up.
Now, for the “something” I got from this chapter. I don’t know if it is because of the present “season” of my life, where I am searching and seeking God on some very specific things, but I started to think about what God was requiring of Noah: A good man, living a blessed life was tasked with building a huge boat…probably not very close to water, and had to warn people of their impending doom. Noah had to prepare animals and family for a long cruise…an event that they chose to believe would happen, even if it meant a leap into the unknown. Noah was mocked, probably told he was a few fries short of a happy meal. But, Noah believed God was true to His command.
It kind of reminds me of Abraham a little. Abraham was told to pick up and leave. Noah was told to build a huge ship and then fill it with animals. Sometimes God asks us to do things that don’t quite make sense, especially when it appears that we are so blessed to begin with. And we can have these feelings, even when we have a willing heart and want to obey.
Sometimes in my mind, I get an image of Noah, red carpenter’s pencil in hand, scratching his head as he measures the boards needed….wondering to himself if he heard God correctly.
The important lesson here, though, is that Noah obeyed, took a journey into the unknown and while still an imperfect man, he was blessed to survive the floods.
Hope this all made sense. Just wrote as I thought things.