I was reading over the account of Noah this morning and was struck by the amount of faith that he showed in obeying God in building the ark for the pending floods despite the lack of evidence to naturally do so. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say it, there’s the possibility that it had never rained before. Genesis 2:6 says that a mist was going up from the land that was watering the whole face of the the ground. Regardless of whether or not it had rained before, for Noah to trust in and obey God in building the ark highlights the the childlike faith and obedient heart he had for God. He would’ve been ridiculed as he went to work building this colossus of a boat – about 140m long, 25 m wide and 14m tall. It’s not as if he had a huge workforce at his beck and call… he just had his family. What a task!!! Yet Moses chose to obey God despite the circumstances. His faith and reverent fear of God (Heb 11:7) drove him on despite the doubts, confusion and heartache he would’ve likely had to endure.
In stark contrast the people of Moses’ time were engulfed in great wickedness. The sons of God saw that daughters of man were attractive and took what they wanted (Gen 6:2). Every intention of their hearts was only evil and this grieved God immensely (Gen 6:5-6). God was planning to wipe out all of humanity, yet Moses found favour in God’s eyes due to His faith in Him (Gen 6:8-9).
This highlights two things to me:
1) The corruption of humanity is real and knows no end. Our sinful nature is highlighted by the fact that we see something, covet or lust after it, and then do what we can to take it. It’s how Eve was seduced by eating the forbidden fruit. It’s how the sons of God treated the women around them – like trophies and objects for their lustful desires. It’s how many of us today go about our lives in looking after number one – ourselves. We may not do it as maliciously as others, but if we examine our motives and hearts, it never ceases to amaze and sadden me our capacity to think about ourselves despite the consequences. Sex outside of marriage is a prime example. We are told sex is a natural and pleasurable act – and it is! But God has clearly stated it is to be only between a man and woman in marriage. He commanded this not to frustrate or persecute us, but for our protection and edification. Sexual intimacy is to be treasured, yet this world says ‘take’ and ‘enjoy’! ‘Do what comes naturally’… ‘we have every right to feel good’… ‘it’s our body!’ The classic excuse is ‘but I love them’. Yet this is a love that is consumed with feeding our desires, not God’s. As a result there are grave consequences – sexual diseases, dysfunctional families, psychological and physical trauma, babies born into environments lacking a committed and united mother and father, and even worse babies being terminated because they pose an inconvenience. Apart from the mercy of God through Christ we ALL have much to fear from our jealous and holy God when He comes to judge us all!
2) Despite the corruption that surrounded Noah, he and his family stood tall in their faith in, and obedience to God. They weren’t seduced by the wickedness of the world around them. They chose to trust in God and obey Him even though it didn’t make a lot to sense to build a massive boat when they had never seen a flood before.What faith! What obedience despite the circumstances!
Noah’s faith serves as an inspiration to us all in an equally corrupted and depraved world. We are to serve God like Noah did, trusting in and obeying His lead despite the circumstances. We are to walk closely with God and choose to say no to the seductions and desires this world can well up within us. We are to feed those natural desires in a manner which God has commanded and as a result enjoy the blessings He intended. He created us – He knows what’s best for us.
To have faith in God in this world, to obey Him despite the enticements that are around us all the time, is a challenge. Yet God calls us to obey Him, to trust in Him, to rest in Him. We are to reflect His character in how we act and treat others, so that people see that this world doesn’t have the answers, but only God does. It’s only through faith in Christ and obedience to Him that will bring us fulfillment, peace and eternal rest.