A Man of God… Obeys

So, we started talking about Noah this week at Church of Monroe.  It’s our little church that anyone and everyone is casually invited to Sunday mornings at 10 AM at our home.  We’ve spent about 6 months talking Romans, so it just felt like the time was right to move on.

So move on we did.  And in our moving on, I felt like it would be a good idea to look at the lives of the men and women of the Bible.  I mean, it’s one thing to be able to sit down and talk theology for a while, but it’s another thing to be able to practically see theology in action through the lives of these servants (sometimes that’s a really loose term) of God.  In doing so, the first person I found interesting for this purpose was Noah.

One thing that we took away from Noah was this:  Noah pleased God.  Now of course, that goes without saying, since God chose Noah to repopulate earth.  But we can see Noah’s obedience in action even in his actions explicitly recorded in scripture.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

(Genesis 6:14-22 ESV)

It’s easy for us to miss the details, because most of our experience with Noah began on a flannel board in Sunday school, and has steadily progressed to boxes of animal crackers and Precious Moments figurines (man, I HATE those). But, we really miss the meat and potatoes of this story when we take such a “10,000 foot view” of Noah. These are the details I really want you to walk away with:

Noah was not exactly a shipwright (I actually looked that term up).  Noah was a farmer.  So, you can imagine first of all the shock of finding out that he was now a shipwright.  Second, God didn’t exactly send him out to build a pontoon boat with the little cup holders and party tables on board.  This boat was 440 feet long.  To put that into perspective, took a football field (including end zone) and add another 25 yards.  It was also 75 feet wide, and 43 feet tall.  This was not an amateur boat building undertaking.  In addition, God laid out very detailed wood needs (“Gopher wood”, whatever that was), and he also made Noah an amateur zoologist in charge of collecting animals.  Now, any of these chores in and of themselves would be a gargantuan undertaking, but BOTH?  And, keep in mind, whilst building his pleasure yacht and zoo, Noah was also involved with the daily process of feeding his family.

For me, I could understand if Noah were to try to circumvent God’s exact directives.

“Maybe we could make it 250 cubits instead of 300?”

“Do you really mean ‘ALL of the animals?’

“Hey, what IS gopher wood, anyway?  Can’t I use something simpler?  Can I use more than just gopher wood, because there are some other trees around here I COULD use.”

I could definitely see that happening if it were me instead of Noah.  Instead, the Bible records Noah’s response to God’s commands…

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
(Genesis 6:22 ESV)

How different is that from what we do?  In today’s society, we like to cut corners with God’s commands.  Things that God makes very clear, we tend to muddy the lines a bit.  Take homosexuality, for instance.  The Bible explicitly says that it’s wrong, and yet, we tend to figure out each and every way to circumvent that.  Some people act as though we are far too cosmopolitan now to not figure out that homosexuality is fine, and the Bible is instead old and antiquated.  Or, we misunderstood the meaning of it.  Regardless, we find it difficult to take God at His word because we are such an educated bunch and no doubt no more than the being with infinite wisdom.  You see where I’m going with this, right?

The lesson we need to learn from Noah is this:  one of the essential keys to being a Man/Woman of God is to obey.  Just obey.  God does NOT need our wisdom, anymore than He would have needed Noah’s.  God knows the situation, knows the outcome, and He is infinitely trustworthy in any and every situation.  It’s just our job to obey.  It is in the obedience to God that we are able to fully watch as His story unfolds, and understand the depth of His wisdom and love.  Without that, we struggle against the circumstances, work around God’s wisdom, and never really get to see His hand at work. Let these last words of Genesis 6 sink in…

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
(Genesis 6:22 ESV)


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