Summary: In the Beginning, Part 6 of 7.
STOP THE WORLD, I WANNA GET OFF!
At the height of publicity given to a TV mini-series on Noah last year, a friend e-mailed me this insight on Noah by Don Kryer of Frontline Fellowship.
Subject: Things to Learn from Noah and His Ark
(1) Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. (2) Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something really big. (3) Don’t listen to critics. Do what has to be done. (4) Build on high ground. (5) For safety’s sake, travel in pairs. (6) Two heads are better than one. (7) Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails. (8) If you can’t fight or flee -- float. (9) Take care of your animals if they were the last ones on earth. (10) Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat. (11) When the doo-doo gets really deep, don’t sit there and complain ?shovel! (12) Stay below deck during the storm. (13) Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals. (14) If you have to start over, have a friend by your side. (15) Remember that the woodpeckers inside are often a bigger threat that the storm outside. (16) No matter how bleak it looks, there’s always a rainbow on the other side. (17) DON’T MISS THE BOAT!!! (Don Kryer, Frontline Fellowship)
The Lord commanded Noah to build a mammoth ark, one and a half football field long, 9 standard rooms high, on an extra wide house lot. In seven days the animals voluntarily came to Noah (7:15) -- seven of every kind of clean animal, and a pair of unclean animals (7:2), then the rain poured forty days non-stop (7:12), and the waters rose the next 150 days (7:24) twenty feet over the mountains (7:20) before going down the following 40 days (8:6), and finally, Noah, his wife, 3 sons and their wives got off the boat after another two weeks (8:10, 12).
Why did God deliver Noah and his family? Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (6:8). How does one do that? How are we to remain in God’s favor in an atheist society, before an antagonistic people, to an abominable world? Noah was a man of inspiration, perspiration and aspiration. He was a righteous man who attempted to save others and he walked with God.
INSPIRE OTHERS BY YOUR INWARD WORLD (GEN 6:8-9)
8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
I asked my wife when I was preparing this message: What is the difference between this world and Noah’s? How are we different? And what does the phrase ?that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time?mean in verse 5?
Doris was surprised. After all, like Noah’s generation, violence, depravity and chaos were the order of the day. She was surprised and then recovered and said: “That is a good question, I never thought about that. I think the difference is that not only were there wickedness and evil, but love and care were totally missing. Our present world, corrupt as it is, still has some good qualities remaining.?
That sums up Noah’s generation. Not only were immorality and violence present, love and honor were absent, but remorse and correction were unlikely. All negative, and no positive or redeeming quality. Every intention, thought and affection was corrupt.
Except Noah, who was a righteous man. His inward world was an inspiration. He was one of three, along with Job and Daniel, who defined righteousness (Eze 14:20). And he and Job were the only biblical characters who were known as blameless ?godly men marked by upright character, the fear of God and shunning evil (Job 1:1).
Noah was a shining light in the darkness, a shimmering star in the night, a single spark lit and aflame for God.
It is not easy to maintain integrity, character and uprightness when people, the society, and even your family are surrounded, seduced and shaped by evil.
Three centuries ago, Jonathan Edwards (1703-58), who single-handedly influenced the Great Awakening, wrote a list of 70 resolutions over two years, in his own words, ‘to fight against the world, the flesh and the devil to the end of my life.?(Eerdmans?Handbook to the History of Christianity p. 438) He was then 19, exposed to temptation like other youngsters but was mature beyond his years. The revival would occur under this spiritual giant twelve years later. Here are his 10 shortest resolutions:
(1) Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
(2) Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.