Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Walking with God – Day 17

Walking with God in obedience: Noah

Bible text(s)

8But the LORD was pleased with Noah.

Genesis 6:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

3Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them round your neck; write them on your heart. 4If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you.

Proverbs 3:3-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Imagine being one of the first major shipbuilders in the world, commissioned by God himself to build an ark and given strict instructions regarding materials and dimensions. Imagine building a boat the length of one and a half football fields, as high as a four storey building and able to hold the equivalent of one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. “And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.” (Genesis 7:5)

Although there are many people who find it difficult to believe in the ark’s existence, Dr Seon Hong, in a Korean study in 1993, “found no fault with the Ark’s dimensions” and said that it “would have been seaworthy and able to handle waves as high as 100 feet”. What is fascinating is that the plan used a 1:6 ratio for construction, which naval architecture discloses “is the most stable ratio for an ocean-going vessel” and “would be next to impossible to capsize”.

The irony of the situation is that even in Noah’s days, people did not believe in the ark and what it stood for; Noah probably would have been mocked for building it. Nowhere do we read of others offering to help him or hurrying to join him – even when the rain started.

The Bible tells us that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). But, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and full of violence … for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways” (Genesis 6:11-12). It was so bad that “the LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth …” and said that he would “wipe mankind … from the face of the earth …” (Genesis 6:7).

God was deeply anguished, just like a parent whose child’s conduct is going to bring him punishment, instead of the reward that has been lovingly prepared for him; however, Noah had found favour with God and He gave him a way to escape the destruction by the flood, and save himself and his family.

Even at this stage, Noah could have rebelled and refused to build the ark, but there is something intelligent about being humble and obedient, because it will lead to attainment in spite of losing autonomy of one’s life. This is reinforced in Jesus’ teaching: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25). As his practice was obedience, Noah built the ark and the day finally came when he, his family and two of every living creature went into it. “Then the LORD shut him in.” (Genesis 7:16)

Imagine being the only ones to escape the great flood and start afresh in the new world free of wickedness. Will we be in the ark?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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