In Genesis 6, we are introduced to a world drunk in its own wickedness and evil. We read in Genesis 6:5; “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. (English Standard Version throughout). Despite that, Noah remained righteous.
So Noah was tasked to preserve life by building an ark. This was not to be a vessel just for Noah and his family; this vessel was being built with others in mind. Every creature on earth was to be preserved so that life could continue after the flood had wiped away the evil from the world. That was Noah’s task from the Father—not for his salvation alone but to accomplish the Fathers purpose for creating life.
Imagine the early years of building the ark, the massive amount of supplies being gathered so that the foundation of the ark could be laid. The society around Noah would have seen this monumental work coming to fruition, but most would have just jeered him for what was being built. People must have asked him what he was doing and why. What could he say? All he could do was preach the righteousness of God (II Peter 2:5) and warn them of the soon coming flood.
Those wondering what was taking place no doubt mocked Noah, not just about how he would accomplish his task but how Noah’s message could ever become a reality. What they did not know was that it was not his message and it was not his mission; it was the Father’s. Perhaps the Apostle Paul was reflecting Noah’s struggle when he said in Romans 10:16, “Lord who has believed what he has heard from us?” Noah must have grown weary seeing the world around him not heed the message of warning the Father was giving them. But the fact that Noah completed the job meant he never lost his focus with respect to his mission. That means he remained faithful to God.
How about us? When we view where we are right now as our Father’s children, are we mocking or questioning God because He isn’t building fast enough? Maybe we want a different boat that fits our own dimensions instead of those the Father has determined? We need to be careful because we could get ahead of what God has in store for us. Have we been allowing our own ideas to get in the way? Now we are at a time where we can only build what God instructs us to build. Noah didn’t alter the ark’s dimensions, and we cannot alter what God intends for us to accomplish. We have a mission before us. First we must set ourselves right with our Father. Only then can He use us to build a spiritual ark that will be a beacon of his light.
Today we face a similar situation to what Noah did. We’re told in Genesis 6:11-12, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on earth.” But this corruption would be brought to an end. Likewise, everything that is evil on this earth today will soon be done away with, and a new life will spring forth with Christ’s return.
We must not lose faith or hope, even if we cannot see the end result. In Hebrews 11:7 we are shown the example that Noah had; “By faith Noah being warned by God concerning the events yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
The ark was to be a place of safety for all living things, as well as a means of providing a witness and a warning message. For decades, Noah preached to the people of the flood and built the ark from scratch, never losing sight of God and his responsibility to warn the people around him, even though the message went unheeded. We must do the same.
As a small church, we have some challenges Noah didn’t. While the ark was easy for people to see, we may not be so easy to be seen at this moment. However, if we do what God requires of us, we will be used as His witness. He can then accomplish what He wants to do through us.
Today we look to God’s plan for how to build. We need our Father’s guidance and direction. Let’s get ourselves right with the Father so He can use us effectively. God was able to work with Noah. We need to be like Noah. So let’s pick up our tools and get to work!
By Robert Lord