“Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.”
~Genesis 6:14 (NRSV).
Whenever I think of this verse I think of the movie Evan Almighty (2007). But, seriously, the most important issue in the whole context of Noah building his ark for the Lord was that his actions centred on the obedience of faith. What he did was what God asked of him—in other words, he pleased God.
A Memorable Thing
Do you ever recall a time in your life where you received a tract or some other freebie from a Christian group before you became a Christian, but you kept it anyway?
I was ‘saved’ at 23, but a few years beforehand I was given such a tract, put it in my wallet, and basically forgot about it. It’s called, “The Man That Was Warned,” and it was about Noah’s obedience, and I still have it. (We have to love those things that have travelled with us long. They sort of characterise us in some ways.)
By the fact of his building of the ark, Noah had “condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.” ~Hebrews 11:7b (NRSV).
Noah expressed faith in God, the faith of righteousness, and didn’t waste his faith on the then dying world—a faith that was, and still is, based in falsity and wickedness.
We see in this, that we all have faith—even the atheist and agnostic have faith. We all must choose something or someone to believe in. We all give expression to our faith. If we don’t believe in God, we have set our faith on something other than God. Christians, however, have seen ‘the light’ and follow the Lord Jesus unswervingly—or that is at least the hope!
Noah’s faith was like this; perhaps there might have been doubts—particularly in the presence of ridicule—but it didn’t affect him adversely enough to change his mind or plans.
Faith demands that we make a choice—even if only it’s a momentary choice. Where our allegiance lies so too does our faith.
Noah was given tangible coordinates with which to follow. Perhaps his ‘kit’ didn’t involve the somewhat pre-cut click-clack elements of the ark in Evan Almighty, but God directed Noah to build him a purpose-designed vessel for the saving of creation—for another tilt at life—and Noah did just that.
Noah followed the instructions that were given to him.
Per the other heroes of faith in Hebrews 11—without a shadow of a doubt—we can only imagine it was their unshakable sense of obedience that propelled them to their eventual success; the outcomes that none of them could see beforehand!
Our obedience comes in the form of this very same exactness. How closely are we truly following God regarding the plans he’s placed into our hearts? We know, of course, that we will have to account for them.
He legislates—according to his nature; we hear, according to his nature, and then comply. It becomes pretty black ‘n’ white when we look at it, obedience.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.