Summary: Part one of a series on committment. Noah is an example of a person that was committed to obeying God. Scriptures are from the New Living Translation.
NOAH – COMMITTED TO OBEYING GOD
The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says that the word “commit” means “to obligate or pledge oneself.” A person who is committed has made a personal pledge to be faithful to a person, an organization, or an idea.
Commitment is surely lacking in our society today. Married couples forsake their marriage commitment, and husbands leave wives and wives leave husbands. Young people choose living together instead of getting married because they don’t want the responsibilities that marriage brings. Full service at a grocery store or gas station is almost unheard of these days, because CEOs have deemed that making money and staying cost effective is more important that being committed to the customer. And, of course, there are millions of people across our country today that call themselves Christians that never commit themselves to being faithful to church, reading their Bibles, or speaking to God through prayer.
As we go through this series, I pray that you are inspired to be committed in every area of your life. Over the next several weeks we are going to look at the stories of some of the people in the Bible that were committed. Some were committed to their family, some were committed to living for Christ, and some were committed to prayer, but all of them were committed to someone or something. Today we will look into the life of Noah, who was committed to obeying God.
Obedience is a funny thing. You might obey someone simply because you fear them. I don’t know about you, but there were plenty of times that I obeyed my parents when I was younger simply because I didn’t want an appointment with a belt or a switch. There are a lot of people that obey the laws because they are afraid that they will be caught and be thrown into jail or have to pay a fine.
Then there are those people that choose to obey someone in hopes of getting a reward for it. Maybe you had a teacher back in school that said something like this: “Now boys and girls, if everyone gets their work finished, we’ll spend an extra ten minutes outside at recess today.” If those students get all their work finished, was it because they were committed to do what was right to do, or because they thought that they would be rewarded if they obeyed?
Finally, there are some who obey simply because they love the person they are obeying. When I was a boy, I would do anything for my grandfather because I loved him so much. The reason I loved him so much is because it was very obvious that he loved me too. It’s very easy to obey someone that has your best interests at heart.
Of course, there may be times that we obey someone for a combination of some or all of these reasons. Sometimes we have multiple motivations to obey. Those students that got all of their work finished to get an extra ten minutes of recess may have also just loved their teacher, and had been taught by their parents that it was good to finish their work. One of the important things that you should do to examine yourself is to ask yourself what motivates you to obey others. You may be surprised at what you find.
Noah may have been motivated to obey for a combination of these reasons as well. The world was in a terrible state in Noah’s day. Listen to what the Bible has to say about it.
5 The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the LORD said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with the LORD.
9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!” (Genesis 6:5–13)