I’ve been thinking about Noah.
We all know the story. Noah finds grace in God’s sight and he and his family, along with the animals, are saved because he obeys God and builds a big boat to ride out the coming flood. God promises not to destroy the earth by flood again and sets the rainbow in the sky as His promise.
A nice little story, isn’t it? I remember learning about Noah and the Ark in Sunday School, coloring bright pictures of cute little animals hanging out the windows as they gently float on top of the water. It’s a childhood story, neat and sanitized for young minds, devoid of all the deeper meaning that the actual Biblical account has.
So, we all know about Noah and his family. But what about the people he lived with? The people who made up the fabric of his life? The tentmaker who lived down the street? Did he have brothers or sisters, cousins or parents, or other family members who lived near him? Did he have a best friend from childhood who grew up beside him? Was he well known in his village? What about the people who he saw every day of his life?
Well, the Bible says in Genesis 6:5-6, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
Did you get that part? It grieved God in His heart. So much so that He decided that man needed to be purged from the earth and chose only Noah to carry on the human race.
Let’s fast forward our story. It’s been one hundred years, and Noah has faithfully built the ark. He was faithful as his friends and family came to mock him and make fun of him. He was faithful as those who he lived among continued to sin and grieve God’s heart. He was faithful to warn them of the coming judgment.
All the animals have answered God’s call and boarded, and all that is left is to shut that mighty door.
Let’s pause a moment to remember my earlier question. What about the people who made up the fabric of his life? The Bible sometimes leaves out the little details that readers long for, such as in that moment, the moment when God shuts the door to the Ark, what was Noah thinking? What was he feeling? How was he coping with the loss of his entire world?
We need to remember, these people were not strangers to him. Whoever they were, I have no doubt that Noah loved them. He loved them so much that even though they refused to listen to God’s warning about the coming destruction he continued to be faithful to warn them. I truly believe that his heart was grieved as much as God’s and when that door shut, it probably tore him apart inside to imagine the horror of what his loved ones were going through.
Unfortunately, when Noah’s story is told, we very rarely hear about the people who were left behind. Instead, we gloss over the fact that millions of people died that day and instead focus on the eight who were saved. But shouldn’t we pause and consider them now?
What about our family? What about our friends and neighbors? Have we been faithful to warn them of the coming judgment? Do they know that their sin will separate them for eternity from a God who loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cross to save them?
The end is coming, dear friends. Jesus is coming back and perhaps we need to consider this…We are the Noah’s to this generation, we are the ones whom God has chosen to warn our loved ones of the coming judgment. The question is this…
Will we be faithful?