The more I get into Genesis, the more I realize that this is God’s story. Other people are woven in and out of each chapter, but God is the constant…
Last week, when we left off, Cain, son of Adam and Eve, had just murdered his brother and was exiled. He now wanders the land, but God has promised to protect him.
As years pass and the population increases, and it seems that Cain’s act of murder has started a deadly spiral for the rest of humanity. It gets so bad that “the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved his heart” (6:6). So the Lord decided to deal with the corruption of man by sending a flood.
Kind of a downer, right? (I still wonder why this story ends up on so many nursery walls!)
But here’s hope: “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (verse 8).
Despite all the evil in the world, there was one man who stood out from the rest–a man God would use to preserve the human race.
Noah was a special guy. We don’t get any dialogue from him until after the flood, but we do learn a bit about his character. We are told that he was a “righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” (verse 9).
That’s a special compliment, to be known as one who walks with God. Adam and Eve literally had that experience of walking with God in the cool of the day, but there is only one other man who is described this way: Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch. I wonder if Noah was encouraged in his relationship with God by his great-grandfather…
Because of Noah’s character, he is the one with whom God shares his plans: “Noah, you’re a good guy, and I know you really love me, so I’m going to fill you in on what’s about to happen. The world has gotten so evil that I’m going to send a flood to wipe out everyone and everything. We’re starting over. But your family will be spared” (verse 13 paraphrased).
God went on to give very specific instructions about how to build a vessel that would hold Noah, his family, and two of every kind of creature. Noah had an entire blueprint–at least a verbal blue print. God dealt with every little detail of what the ark should be like. Good thing, too, because up until the flood, there isn’t anything recorded about it raining. Perhaps it did rain, but I’m guessing it wasn’t enough to where a boat would be necessary. I’m guessing Noah probably didn’t even know what a boat was!
So God gave the instructions and “Noah did this; he did all that God had commanded him” (verse 22).
Now, like I said, we don’t have any dialogue from Noah until after the flood. All we have are his actions, which, quite frankly puzzle me. I feel like if I were in Noah’s position I would have had a few questions or comments about the whole plan: “What exactly is an ark? How am I going to get all of those animals inside it? What will my family say? How long will this flood thing last?”
It took a lot of faith to hear what God said to Noah and then just set to work building a big boat. It took a lot of faith to keep working on said boat when his neighbors laughed and mocked and called him crazy. It took a lot of faith to stick with the project even as decades passed.
I always thought Abraham’s twenty-five year wait for a son and Joseph’s thirty year wait for his dreams about ruling to become reality were long waits. But I think Noah worked and waited decades.
I so admire his faith.
God spoke. Noah obeyed. It was as simple as that.
I have trouble in that area.
In my writing lately, I’ve had to step out in faith. My first book is on it’s way to publication (hopefully!), being passed back and forth between my editor and me. The story has been on my heart for years and has continued to be adjusted. But now that it’s nearing completion, and it’s time to work on book two, I’ve been afraid. I have a big picture of where this second book is headed, but I don’t know the stops to take along the way. I look at this project and realize that I need to keep working and I want to share this story, but I don’t know how.
God’s reminded me this week of the journey I take when I write stories. It’s not about knowing where I’m going; it’s about having the faith like Noah to saw wood and hammer nails–to punch out words on my keyboard, even though I sat down without a clue of what to write. It’s about that act of daily getting up and saying, “I get to write today.” Not “I have to” or “I need to.” I get to. Because God’s given me these characters and this story, he will be faithful to reveal pieces as I need it.
I want to be faithful in building it with him.
I want to do what he’s called me to do.
Just like Noah did.