Chronicled in Genesis
Has God ever told you to do something that seemed so foolish you wondered if it was God’s voice in the first place? This is how Noah must have felt. God told him to build an ark—a massive boat—and prepare for rain. That doesn’t seem so bad upon first thought; the problem was that it had never rained before…ever. Not only that, but the size of the ark God called for was gargantuan! We’re talking roughly 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Can you say, Titanic?
Imagine how long that would take one man to accomplish. The Bible says it took Noah 120 years to complete the task by himself, by hand. Let me again put this into perspective: the man built a boat for 120 years on the promise of rain that had never fallen on earth! Talk about “foolishness,” at least in the world’s eyes. Don’t you think the dude got made fun of, at least a little? No doubt Noah was mocked by naysayers for years (more like decades) on end. But, God has always used the “foolish” things to confound the “wise.”
There had to have been some doubt in Noah’s mind. He probably asked himself on more than one occasion, “Am I going insane? Am I really hearing God? ” But, Noah pressed on in obedience. Though the process was long and arduous, a sense of urgency and anguish must have overtaken Noah during this time. Remember, the ark was being built so that God could preserve a remnant of life (Noah, his family, and a few of every species of animal on earth) while destroying the rest of mankind because of the world’s wickedness.
My guess is that Noah probably tried his best to get those around him to repent. “Rain is coming. God is going to flood the earth. It’s coming. Turn your hearts back to the Lord!” Can you see him pleading with everyone, only to see his cries fall on deaf ears? Alas, they all scoffed and continued to poke fun at the aged old codger (over 600 years young at the time) they thought was off his rocker. They would soon find out how “crazy” he was.
That rain did come. For 40 days and 40 nights the wind howled, the lightning flashed, the thunder rolled, and the storms raged. There was a great deluge that covered the entire earth. All of mankind was wiped out except for the one faithful man of God and his family. Great faith, great diligence, and great perseverance. Those are the traits that Noah exemplified, perhaps more than any other man ever had or ever will. He heard God’s voice. He did what he was told and we are here today because of him.
Noah obeyed. When it seemed outrageous, he obeyed. When it seemed improbable, he obeyed. When the world called him a lunatic, he obeyed. When no one believed him, he believed God. When he heard the multitudes say no, he listened to the one voice saying yes.
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Let the haters hate while you hold onto the promise.