I am currently practicing my carpentry skills as I try to install frames and molding around the windows at the orphanage. As I worked very cautiously the other day, measuring, marking and sawing in the dining hall, I suddenly had a glimpse of what life must have been like for Noah. For the rest of that day, and days to follow, I thought about and meditated a lot on Noah, his life and how that all changed when God asked him to do the unthinkable. Take a moment and think back to Genesis chapter 6, as the Lord looked down on the earth He had once created. Unfortunately, due to man’s fall and incessant sinful nature, the world had become an awful place. We read in Genesis 6:6 that “...every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually.” The chapter continues on in verse 7 and 8...
“So the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created form the face of the earth, both man and beast creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
We know that Noah was far from perfect, yet, he was “... a just man, perfect (blameless, man of integrity) and “...walked with God” (6:9). Ezekiel tells us that Noah was a righteous man as well as a “...preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5).
Noah was to be God’s vessel and spokesman, to all that would hear, about the soon to come, destruction of the earth. God’s instrument of death, would be something the world had never seen before...rain and floodwaters. And for the next 100 years or so, Noah would act in great FAITH and TRUST in God’s word, and do the unfathomable...build a giant boat.
The ark was as about 450 feet long, or, as long as a 30-story building is high. It was about 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It was to hold some 35,000 pairs of animals, as well as Noah and his family (8 persons).
At this point in time, the earth had never seen rain, which would make what God asked Noah to do, all the more crazy. Imagine all the flak, jokes, ridicule and insults Noah received daily. How many of us would have given up after a few days, maybe weeks or months. Could any of us say, that we would have persevered for 100 years? As every board and nail was intricately placed, just as God had designed, Noah had NOTHING else to cling onto, other then God’s word. It was that defining moment where Noah's faith and relationship with God would be taken to a place it had never been before.
Building a giant ark, having never seen rain before, is kind of like building a giant orphanage, not having any kids. Or at least it has felt that way this past week. As I continued cutting wood in the giant 7,000 square foot facility, I felt like I could totally relate to Noah. I too, have been asked to take a giant step of faith, that requires extreme trust and reliance on God’s word. I am at a place where there is nothing to do but the latter. And when you get phone calls, like I did a few weeks ago, saying that the power company has lost our paperwork and we need to refile, I won’t lose heart. For I know that God’s word is more powerful then anything else, and I can trust in that.
So, in the meantime, or during this 'building period,' we will continue to cut, saw, measure, dig, pour, build, construct, etc...anticipating the day when God too will open those doors, just as He closed and opened the door to the ark. And we can rest assure that it will happen in His sweet and always perfect timing!
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and FEED on His FAITHFULNESS” (Psalm 37:3).