Friday, May 29, 2015

All Things New: Noah - The Solitary Road, Part 1

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When I decided to look at folks who went through transitions, I kinda figured I'd start with Noah.   He was the first to really come through a transition and begin again with a promise.

Noah was a unique individual.  In a society that had become so evil and godless that God's heart was grieved and filled with pain, Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. - Gen 6:9 (all scripture today from the NIV 84).

Only one other person had been recorded as walking with God...

Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. - Gen 5:24.

It was a pretty unusual thing, this walking with God.  Noah was alone in his generation. His grandfather, Methuselah, who lived until the year the flood came may have encouraged him; his father, Lamech, who died 5 years before the flood may have encouraged him, but outside of his own family...Noah had no one who honored God with whom to share fellowship.    In a society wholly given over to wickedness...such a family would be an anomaly.  The scripture does not recount Noah's interaction with his peers,  but looking at the track record of how a worldly society esteems those who do not join in their pursuits, we can deduce with some confidence that he had a struggle.  In fact, I've wondered if part of the reason God decided to destroy civilization was to protect Noah and his family and the lineage of Seth from being annihilated by folks who hated them.

But...despite any possible contentions with those around him, God gave Noah very specific instructions on what he needed to do to survive the coming judgement and Noah did everything just as God commanded him (6:22).

Prior to his transition, God prepared him.  And he did what God said to do.

Ya'll, that just hit me like a ton of bricks.

I just sat there and pondered that for a bit.

There's gonna be a part two, 'cause I want to hang there for a minute.

God prepares His people.  You may or may not know precisely what's coming...but He will provide instructions that, if you follow them, will have you exactly where you need to be when the moment comes.

I think  its interesting that the ark is never referred to as a boat.  In fact, the word used is Strong's 8392 , tebah,  which means  'a box'; the Blue-Letter Bible site states that it has the connotation of a chest or coffer; it is only used to denote the ark that Noah built and the basket that carried the infant Moses in the river. 

I wonder how accurate modern renditions of the ark...which all tend to look a lot like a big boat...really are.  Did he taper it fore and aft?  Did he curve the outside as a hull?  Did the hand of God, which closed the door, hold it steady as the storms raged and the geysers erupted and the moisture stored since creation in the firmament above crashed to the earth? 

Whatever Noah did, it was what God instructed, even though it might have seemed ludicrous to him and certainly would have caused a stir in the community.  Someone already conspicuous for righteous living would now be even more conspicuous for odd behavior.  Peter records that Noah preached to his generation...a message of God's judgement against wickedness that was no more likely to have been popular then that it would be now.  We know he had no one who repented and asked to be included.  Possibly some of Noah's own children had joined the society and only Shem, Ham and Japheth  remained loyal to their father and his God.  Noah's siblings and their children certainly had left the family values behind.

Nonetheless, as the day grew closer Noah did not fall off the pace.  The ark was completed and stocked with food.  Genesis 7:5 repeats the statement, Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

For 7 days, animals from all over the globe suddenly appeared, heading to the ark.  One wonders if the neighborhood began to be afraid that there might be something to that crazy preacher after all, when animals that they had never seen before traipsed through their gardens and frightened their livestock.   Were there tremors in the earth leading up to the eruption of the fountains of the deep, or was there one cataclysmic heave after the animals and Noah's family went into the ark and the door mysteriously closed up tight?

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month -- on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heaves were opened.  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights...and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.  The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.  -- Gen.7:11-12,17-19

Noah's preparation had ended; the transition of the whole earth to a new beginning had begun.

What transitions have happened in my life that I can clearly see that God acted to prepare me ahead of time?  What is He speaking to me now that I need to be careful to obey in order to be prepared for whatever might be coming next?

No comments:

Post a Comment