“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of . . .”
Noah . . .
Imagine for a moment that you are the man who built the unsinkable.
It’s a cloudless day. The sand beneath your feet is dry and crackled. You’re in the middle of the desert just minding your own bees-wax and God says, “Build me an ark.”
You look around just to see if anybody else heard . . .
Noticing no one else laughing you look up at God and say, “Who me?”
“Mmm –Hmm. You.” Says God nonchalantly.
Can’t you just imagine what it would have been like to be Noah during those days? Chances are he thought at first inspection that he’d lost it. After all, He was hearing voices. The neighbors well agreed that Noah could be in need of some serious counseling. I can just see them now looking out their tent windows and saying, “Oh, good grief. What is he doing now?” This probably was oft followed by the assumption that Noah was a fruit loop.
As we sit and think about Noah and his seemingly harebrained idea to build a giant boat in the middle of a desert with no water in sight I invite you to turn with me to Genesis 6:5-7.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Wasn’t that something? Noah had found grace.
He probably feared himself batty. The talk of the town wasn’t pretty. He probably had grown pretty scraggly looking out there working among the dirt and lumber. Maybe his own family doubted him sometimes. I can just hear his cherished wife coming out of their tent now saying “Noah, it’s a sweltering 95 degrees. There’s not a cloud in the sky. This is cruise weather, Noah. Not flood weather. Now get in here and take out the trash! When you are done with that please shave that ugly miner’s beard!”
This didn’t sound too much like grace.
But even faithfully so, according to the word that he had received from His Father he continued to build what seemed like the most ridiculous construction project of all time. It was hard work. It probably even seemed like punishment that as the world went on as normal, living fast and free, HE was expected to build the ark.
Night and day – night and day – until eventually it would all make perfect sense. Noah would soon see that yes, it was hard work. Yes it was painfully building character. Yes . . . it was all of those things – but it was by grace as the scripture in Genesis had said that Noah was given this burden. It was by grace that Noah and his family would be saved. It bears repeating . . . “Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Perhaps your coming rain has been the decision to journey over addiction, dangerous living, over wrong thinking, marriage problems or maybe something even more powerful all together like the loss of a child or the battle of cancer. “Sue, will never make it.” They whisper, “What’s a girl like her doing building an ark?”, “Ha! What does God want with Sue?!”
That’s what you’re going to hear. That’s what Noah heard. They all thought Noah was a quacker-jack . . . until the flood came, until the dove flew out, until the rainbow. They all thought Noah was inadequate for the task at hand – if there even was one. But what they didn’t count on was that His God, no matter how inadequate himself; His God was more than enough. His God was more than capable . . . and He was the one who was dishing out the blueprints.
They went something like this . . .
“The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”(Genesis 6:15-16)
If Noah had decided the cubits on his own, there would probably be a few butts of elephant sticking out the back end of the ship. There would have been giraffes on top of hungry lions . . . which would not have turned out in the giraffe’s favor. Alligators would have gotten stuck in with flamingos – leaving them not even one leg to stand on.
Yes. If Noah would have been doing this alone it would have been catastrophic! We were never told what Noah’s profession was, but by God’s count on count graph of how to build the ark it is painfully clear that this was an “Arks for Dummies” kind of project.
Did you ever sit down as a child and try to build a Lego set? Our oldest son is infatuated with them. I remember sitting down with him countless times thinking that I could go on the picture alone. I never paid a lick of attention to the directions.
Four Star Wars sets short important aircraft wings, a few “Mommy, that’s not how the Death Star looks” later and a collapsing Lego hotel roof that maimed two unsuspecting mini-figures – I came to the realization that following the instructions to a tee were so very vitally important.
In our lives, God’s word is very important. His instruction book has to be followed much like these erector sets, to a tee. Far too often we get into the word and don’t soak it in. We forget what we’ve read. We pick and choose the things we like about it and we leave the rest for folly. But when we follow it, truly get into it and believe that it’s the living breathing truth that’s going to set us free then we will start to see a reliable ark springing forth from the ground up.
Unlike Noah’s physical flood, the good thing about spiritual floods is that you don’t have to have come to the realization that you need an ark before the rain starts. You can come to that realization whenever God lays it on your heart. You can arrive at the construction site when God first calls to you. You come to it when God has been trying to get your attention for years!
There is no cut off time to jump on the boat!
Perhaps you’ve already built a boat and it sank. Maybe you had a perfectly good vessel and jumped ship. That’s ok too. God is “no respecter of persons”. (Acts 10:34-35) He has no intentions of looking back only to say “David doesn’t deserve a boat. Look at what he did to the last one I gave Him!” That’s not how God works. If you need an ark, God will give you the instructions you need to build it. I promise you.