Through the past several weeks, we’ve been looking in depth at Bible characters and learning what they have to teach us. So far, we’ve looked at Eve, Adam, Abel, and Cain, so this week, we’ll be taking a more in depth look at Noah. We have a lot about Noah from his story in Genesis chapters six through nine, but one of the first verses we see of Noah is Genesis 6:7-9, which says,
“So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.”
Later, we see that Noah got drunk, so we know that Noah wasn’t perfect in the direct sense of the word. This is a hyperbole; I believe to emphasize the fact that Noah was a good man in a world of wicked people. Whatever the people at the time did, their wickedness grieved God so much that He regretted making man in the first place and wanted to start over. Noah was just in the eyes of the Lord, so much that God decided to show him grace.
That’s the same thing God does with us. We are so wicked and yet, God decided to show us grace through Jesus Christ. Noah and his family are an example of what was to come, eventually through Jesus Christ.
God told Noah to built the ark and then Noah obeyed Him. Not only did he obey God’s instructions exactly—which was how the ark was build perfect enough to sail on the water, to withstand the storm, and carry all the animals and his family to safety—but Noah also obeyed God when it must have seemed a little strange. A flood on a global scale had never been seen before, as well as all the other disasters that must have happened to bring about the global flood as well. It must have looked so strange, but Noah obeyed.
Likewise, in our own lives, there are times when obeying God makes little sense. Sometimes, we don’t understand why He wants us to do certain things and there are even times when God asks us to obey Him when it isn’t the popular thing to do. When obeying Him isn’t going to make people in the world or on social media like us—it can seem, almost inconvenient for us to do so. When obeying God results in people labeling us as “haters” “intolerable” and wanting to shut down our beliefs, it can seem difficult to trust and to follow through with what God is asking us to do.
But Noah obeyed and the result was that he and his family were saved from the flood. More than that, the entire human race as a whole was saved, because the world was able to start again. All the animals were able to start over and reproduce, and humans were able to do the same. From there, we spread out across the world until now, when we have the cultures, languages, and countries that we have today.
When it comes to obeying God, we can’t see the ripple effects of our choices. Perhaps God asked you to share a post on social media that maybe you know in the back of your head is going to make some people mad. But you never know how that one step of obedience may trickle down through the years to come and influence people beyond our years. What if sharing the Gospel to one co-worker today could influence people years from now? Or writing a book on a Biblical topic that would offend most of the world, but would have an impact God can see that we can’t? The same is true for anything God may ask of us—whether we don’t want to do it because we’re afraid to do it, or because it will seem like an inconvenience… Whatever our reasons, we have to push through it because the simple and yet profound truth is that God can see what we cannot—
He sees everything—exactly how your obedience will play out years and years from now. He sees the whole picture, whereas we see in fragments. Start by trusting Him today and taking those first steps of obedience.