Wow! I just read the story of Noah's Ark. I think it blows my mind more now than it did when I was just a little boy in Sunday School. I don't know what kind of shoes Noah wore, but I don't think they would fit me. In the first part of Genesis 6, we find God pretty ticked off. The wickedness of man was rampant and seemed to be getting worse. There was a total disregard for all that God had done to give man a great place to live. We've come from the Garden of Eden to a moment in time when God regrets even making man and all of creation. Their mode of operation was shear wickedness and He was really upset.
He made a decision: Destroy the earth and all that is on it. Wipe them off the face of the earth. BUT, (this is a really big but) Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (6:8). Wipe your forehead, ...phew(sound effects)! You and I were almost not. If Noah, one individual, had not walked with God we would not be here. Talk about the power of one life!
God, being relational by nature, wanted to discuss His plan with Noah. Imagine being Noah. "Hey Noah, God wants to run something by you before He does it. He wants to see you right away." Noah: "You sure. I mean, I walk with Him, but He has never really discussed any big plans with me." "Yep, He has something really big for you to do." Noah must have been a little apprehensive going into that meeting. "Noah, I want you to build a big boat and get ready for the ride of your life. I want you to make it as long as a football field. What's a football field? Oh, that's right, we haven't done that yet. Never mind. About a hundred feet wide and 60 feet high." (read 6:14-16) "That's a big boat! What's a boat? A housebarn that floats. Ooooh! What does float mean? Stays on top of the water. I see. Where's the water? It's going to rain. Okay. What's rain? Sorry for all the questions God, but I'm new at this boat building thing."
Long story short, "Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him." (7:2) I could spend the remainder of the year just talking about this guy Noah. He was a really cool dude. Noah was successful in this story, not after boat doors closed, but the first day he put on his tool belt and went to work. So much to learn from Noah, but I want to shift the emphasis back to God's response to Noah.
It is very interesting that God wanted to discuss His plan with Noah. God wanted Noah to understand exactly what He was doing and why. He also wanted Noah to know what he needed to do and why. We get a peak from their discussion into the heart of God. It appears that God was really angry and that was why He was going to destroy the earth and everything on it. WRONG! It never says that God was angry because of the wickedness, but it does say two times that He was "grieved" and" His heart was filled with pain"(v.6, 7) Our sin breaks the heart of God far more than it makes Him angry. It breaks His heart because He knows what it will do to us. Most of us respond to God as though He is angry with us when we mess up and we have a tendency to avoid Him or at least distance ourselves from Him. What we need to do is recognize His heart has pain and we should approach Him with our broken heart because of where we failed Him. The really cool thing is that the two broken hearts heal each other. His heart is healed by our brokenness. In Psalm 51, David realized that God did not want burnt offerings and sacrifices, but rather a broken and contrite heart. Out of His healed heart full of love, He heals our broken heart and restores the joy of our salvation. Once again we see the relational side of God. When we are not right with God relationally, He is grieved.
The next important lesson we learn here is: regardless of all the wickedness around us, God always notices and rewards a heart that is locked on Him. In James it says God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. We will always be surrounded by those who ignore God, by those who are defiant to God, but that will never block His view from seeing those "walking" with Him. God made a covenant with Noah (6:18) based on His appreciation for Noah's walking with Him. In 7:16 we find God "shut him in". Is that not a picture of a caring God making sure Noah was secure.
We can never over state the pleasure God gains from our "walking with Him" We are here today because one single man chose to "walk" with God and "obey" everything God commanded. Thank you Noah for willing to be different. We wish you were here today with us on our journey, however, we can JOIN THE JOURNEY and walk with the Lord.