“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.” – Genesis 6:8-9.
It would be fascinating and highly educational if we could ask Biblical characters some questions. There are so many choices. For example, can you imagine asking Adam and Eve what they were thinking when they were hiding from God? Or ask Methuselah what kind of aches and pains he had in the latter part of his 969-year life? Or ask Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego what it was like in the fiery furnace? Or ask Peter how he balanced his faith with his impetuousness. Job, Abraham, and Joseph from the Old Testament are others. Then there was Noah; so many questions come to mind.
When God called Noah to build an ark, think of the questions he was asking himself. Can I pull it off? Just think of the complexity of what God was asking him to do. He would have to source the right trees, prepare them to be worked, measured, cut, and sealed by the skin of his hands to build a 137 meters long (450 foot) boat. Don’t forget Noah was 600 years old when the flood came. He would have had to become a designer, engineer, carpenter, and zookeeper that has never been or ever will be matched throughout history. The boat would contain two of every animal; lions, tigers, snakes, scorpions, spiders, wolves, and the list goes on. What was he thinking when he started? Not only did he have to gather at least two of each animal, but he also had to look after them, feed them, water them and clean up after them. How was that all going to work? It took Noah somewhere between 55 years to 120 years to build the Ark.
Even though I could guess the answer I would love to ask Noah how he reacted to the people around him. You can imagine that people were looking on and mocking him. Can you imagine the jeers, the laughter, the strange looks at year 60? Aren’t you done yet, Noah? The water is that way? “Here it comes now!” Despite the strange looks, the laughter, the jokes, even when people would mess with him, Noah “…did everything exactly as God had commanded him…” Everyone else was living large and doing whatever they pleased, Noah was spending his days working hard and sawing wood. I would ask Noah how he had so much faith, that in a time in history it never rained that he was building a huge boat inland because God had told him to do it.
I wonder if Noah ever got discouraged and what he did to encourage himself? It must have been disheartening at some point that no one wanted to listen and believe what he was saying. It took courage to keep on preaching for all those decades when the only people who believed his message was his family (see 2 Peter 2:5). Nevertheless, Noah’s faithfulness to God’s calling saved his family and ultimately the human race.
Many stories in the Bible come to a crossroads because of a decision to obey God at all costs. Noah’s relationship with God gave him the faith to trust God and build the ark. Noah feared God and chose to listen to God rather than ignore him.
- What Biblical character would you like to ask questions?
- How can we apply Noah’s faith to our own lives this week?