It’s Almost Time

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth. Genesis 7:6-10

The buildup to the actual flood is significant. While we don’t know this to be 100% accurate, we can surmise what the mood of the people witnessing all this would be in. As the animals board, the people surrounding the ark and taunting Noah are given a last chance to change. They were probably screaming obscenities even as they were drowning.

The same will be in the last days. They will taunt, mock, and harass until it’s too late. When it’s too late, it’s too late. They’ll go into a Christless eternity. It’s pretty sobering to think about, which we don’t do often enough. We push it out of our minds, but posts like you’re reading right now bring it to the forefront if only for a few minutes today.

Pray for loved ones who are lost. Pray that God will reach down and grab a hold of them before it’s too late.

The Moment of Truth

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 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.”

5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. Genesis 7:1-5

Noah had a tall order, but did what he was told. The end for building and gathering was nearing an end. This would be the moment of truth. Plus, he would be able to see how waterproof his ark was! Now there was a finality about it, in seven days. It must have been a surreal experience for Noah, knowing that he and his family would be the only people left on earth in a few days. But he trusted in his creator when it would have been easy to doubt.

The Lord spoke to Noah years before when he first started building. Presumably He had been instructing Noah every step of the way as he built all those years. God spoke to him then and it was clear. Would it be the same when the rains started falling? The old saying is still true:

Don’t doubt in the darkness what God revealed to you in the light.

In other words, when Noah’s head was clear and he could think, God spoke to him. Now that the “moment of truth” was approaching, how was Noah feeling about it all?

Or when the rains began to fall, did it become much clearer what God was trying to do?

Gathering Lots of Animals

19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:19-22

So after a half century of honing his carpentry skills, Noah set off to gather animals, and a lot of them. The logistics of that chore must have been a nightmare plus he would have had to plan for food for all of them and get them on board in a reasonably orderly fashion. The pictures we see of Noah ushering them on board two by two in a single file is probably inaccurate.

But while he was bringing them on board, he must have realized that whatever was coming next would happen quickly. Was there ever rain before this time? We don’t have knowledge of it.

Verse 22 is so simple and powerful, isn’t it. Noah obeyed God. Out of everything Noah had to do, he figured it out and did it. God had given him a unique skill set to do that very thing.

God has also given us unique skill sets to do what we do. Are you using them to His glory today?

The Expert Carpenter

14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. Genesis 6:14-18

Either Noah was an master carpenter or he was about to become one. God had given Noah a rough outline for the ark but no details. And He told him the ark’s purpose. Experts estimate it took 55-75 years to build the ark so we can assume his three boys helped somewhere along the way. Fifty five years is a long time to work on a project with the promise that this project will save you and your family. He must have undergone prolonged ridicule for his bold new project, but he pushed on until he was completed. What an accomplishment.

We can learn a few things from this. First, God is not in a hurry even though we might be. Noah really didn’t know long it would take to build this monstrosity. He did have faith that what he was doing was right and of God.

Secondly, little steps every day can add big dividends years down the road. What you are reading is evidence of that principle. I have written almost 4000 posts 11 years after I started the first one. One post at a time. I could never have done it in a week or a month, but one per day adds up. But it took one post a day for about a month to form a habit that would last a long time. Noah kept at his building project year after year really having no idea what he was getting himself into.

Lastly, God still rewards faithful men and women, those who “shlog” through each day but keeping their heads high knowing that there is a reward down the road. Noah’s reward was a finished ark where he would load up with animals and help to repopulate the world after it was said and done.

Which of these resonates with you?

One on One

13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. Genesis 6:13

It must have been odd for Noah being part of the human race that the Lord was getting ready to destroy. It’s as if we are privy to God thinking out loud, except that Noah was set to obey. He was eager to obey because he wouldn’t be among those who would be eliminated. On the other hand, it must have been terribly lonely for Noah knowing what he knew God was thinking.

From past reading of this passage, I knew the people were wicked, but I never remembered that they were increasingly violent and that God pointed it out twice in the same passage.

Unfortunately we see violence all around us if we cared to look. The media’s only going to show you a small portion of it. As mentioned yesterday, preceding the violence is hate. Hate is such a strong word in the English language but it carries a powerful meaning. Often the hatred is totally irrational, but mostly it originates and is exacerbated by the evil one. He has always hated and loves to stir up violence in families, in communities, and in entire nations. Until we understand that the evil one is not nor has ever been a friend of mankind, we will still fall prey to his schemes.

Today would be a good time to pray against the evils of society: the murders, rapes, abortions, human trafficking and slavery, and the violence in our city streets.

The Earth Was Full of Violence

10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. Genesis 6:10-12

Violence is not a 21st century phenomenon. The history of mankind has revealed that man is known to be violent. It started with Cain and continues to this day. For God to make a pronouncement like this, it had to be bad, worse than anything we’ve ever seen.

Just think of a world without light to shine the way. Yesterday I made a statement that was premature given today’s topic. You see, without spiritual light in the world there is only spiritual darkness.

In a nutshell, envy leads to hate which leads to violence. We see this even in the news this year. Radicals stir up people because they are envious of the wealthy. The envy has turned to hatred. Soon the hatred will devolve into violence. What happened in Zimbabwe is a classic example. What’s happening in South Africa today is mirroring Zimbabwe. It’s starting to happen in Europe and soon in the United States.

But it all started with being envious of something you don’t have and believe you should have.

That really should tell us something, shouldn’t it?

A Man Called Noah

9 This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Genesis 6:9

Based on the first five chapters of Genesis, it probably wasn’t hard to stand out from the crowd as far as sin went. Noah obviously knew something that the others didn’t know about God, and would be graciously rewarded for it. It’s quite a simple verse, isn’t it? He know where his allegiance lay and he proved it among the people. I suspect he was a freak in that respect. He was clearly the exception and not the norm.

God is searching for these righteous people: men, women, and children. Of course those who have faith in Christ are righteous through Christ, and no one can take that away. However, He is still seeking those who walk faithfully with him and those who are blameless in the market square. I know it seems obvious, but evidently it’s not because Islam and atheism are both on the rise in the West.

With so many Christians in the country, how is that possible? It’s possible because 1) Christians aren’t walking faithfully with God, 2) Christians aren’t blameless among the people, 3) both 1 and 2, 4) evil is escalating, or 5) all of the above.

Go and Do Likewise

6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 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.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:6-8

It didn’t take long for man to become thoroughly corrupted. God was getting ready to wipe the slate clean and do it all over again. Even though God was disgusted with His creation, He found a good guy, Noah. It’s actually a good legacy to have, isn’t it? If we knew nothing about Noah that “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord,” it would be the crown of a satisfying life. What did Noah do differently? Why was he singled out? We’ll soon discover some things about Noah but suffice to say, he said and did things that pleased the Lord.

Let’s go and do likewise.

Indictment on Mankind

5 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

What an indictment on mankind! When given the choice with little to no consequences, man chose evil. I’d like to think we would be different, but it’s wishful thinking. Without God in the world, man will do what is best for himself. Even with Him in the world, we still lean that way. We struggle to do otherwise because of our sin nature. We can relate to the lyrics in the song:

Born to wander, Lord I feel it.
Born to leave the God I love.

But as Believers we do have the Holy Spirit as our helper in the broadest sense of the word. In fact, without His help, we really can’t be trusted to do what is right. I wish it were not so. I wish that we didn’t struggle with sin nature and problems in life but we do.

That’s why another well-known but old song is appropriate:

I’m learning to lean,
Learning to lean,
I’m learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I’ve ever dreamed
I’m learning to lean on Jesus.

Such a simple song but powerful and meaningful words.

After all these years I’m still learning to lean.

Are you?