Imagine the miracles Mr. And Mrs. Noah saw and experienced! The very clear VOICE of God telling them what to do AND how to do it. An ARK -- larger than anything they could ever have imagined! The ANIMALS -- they just showed up in pairs, you know. And when they left the ark after the flood, they left in pairs! The RAINBOW that appeared in the sky as proof of the covenant God made with them! No one since the beginning of creation had ever seen anything like this -- or has anyone seen it since!!
When Mr. And Mrs. Noah were married, he was a preacher of righteousness. They lived at a time when the earth was filled with wickedness and violence, yet Noah didn't let the world come between him and his fellowship with God.
When God looked down and saw the wickedness of man, He was grieved in His heart that He had made man on the earth, so He decided to destroy the earth and man with it to rid the world of such evil. He told Noah that He would bring a flood of waters across the earth and it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights and every living thing would be destroyed. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord because he was a just and righteous man.
God spoke to Noah and told him His plans. But He didn't stop there, He told him that he (Noah) was the one who was going to carry out these plans. Talk about an awesome assignment...this was it!! Then God gave Noah specific directions as to how He wanted the ark built. The Hebrew word for ark, by the way, is a "box" or "chest" so that gives you some idea of what this was going to look like. It was to be 3 stories high, have rooms in it, be covered on the inside and out with pitch to keep the water out. It was to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It addition, it was to have a window in the roof to let the light in and a wide door on the side of it. Both Noah and his wife knew a boat built like this wasn't meant to do anything but float on the water.
But God wasn't finished speaking to Noah yet. He told him to bring into the ark with him, in addition to his wife, 3 sons and their wives, all the cattle, all the birds of the air and everything that creeps on the ground. Oh, and don't forget all the food that will be eaten by you and your family. I wonder how they knew what all these animals would eat, and where they were going to find all this food and how were they going to get it all and then...whew...where and how would it be stored? They were probably dizzy just thinking about all this! I certainly would have been!!
Noah and his sons worked faithfully day and night, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out -- for 120 years -- to build the ark. And not one person ever offered to help. In fact, the people ridiculed them and scorned them. Yet Noah trusted the Lord and continued preaching about the coming great flood. But no one listened.
Then one day thunder started to roll behind the clouds and God told Noah to get all the animals on board because in 7 days it would start to rain. And would you believe, the animals just showed up and Noah didn't have to go out look for any of them. After Noah and his family entered the ark, God Himself shut the door.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights as God had said it would and every living thing on the earth was destroyed. The water covered the earth for 150 days, but God saved Noah and all those that were on the ark with them. Then God sent a wind to blow across the water and the flood started to disappear. Can you imagine how anxious they must have been by this time to land on solid ground and get some fresh air? Then one day there was a terrible shaking and quaking on the ark. The animals were terrified. And then the ark was still -- after all that time. And sure enough, the ark had come to rest on the mountains of Ararat in Turkey.
But it wasn't for almost 7 more months that God told Noah to leave the ark. And the animals came out of the ark two by two, just as they had gone in. The first thing Noah did was to build and altar and make a sacrifice to the Lord. When God smelled the sweet fragrance of the sacrifice, He told Noah He would never again destroy the earth because of man. Then He told Noah He would establish His covenant with him and never again would there be a flood like this. As proof of His promise He said, "I will put my bow in the clouds and this will be a sign unto you and all flesh that is upon the earth. And whenever the bow in the clouds is seen, I will remember my everlasting covenant that I have made between me and every living thing on the earth." Just imagine! The most beautiful display of colors painted across the sky just for them -- a RAINBOW! The eight of them must have stood there in awe when they saw the final magnificent ending of their journey.
The story almost sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it? But have you ever wondered how tired Mrs. Noah and her daughters-in-law must have gotten from watching and waiting for their men to finish the ark? Do you suppose they were ever lonely. It doesn't seem like there was much time for togetherness, does it? One hundred and twenty years is far longer than any of us will ever live!
Do you suppose any of them got sea sick? Or did they ever get tired of eating the same old food day after day? And what about the smell that must have been never ending! And the noise! Did the eight of them ever get on each other's nerves?
Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for Mrs. Noah when everyone thought her husband was crazy and told him so? Can you imagine how disheartening and discouraging it must have been to be so unpopular? Do you wonder what kept them going all those years? Would you have been discouraged enough to stop hammering and nailing? That's a difficult question to answer, isn't it?
But they were faithful ... to the end. They knew thousands of years before the author of Hebrews penned the words, "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5). In Noah and his wife we see obedience at its very best. No matter what it cost, no matter what people said about them, no matter how long it took, no matter what it looked like. They were obedient and God honored that.
And that is what God is looking for in our lives, too. Obedience -- nothing more, nothing less and nothing else. God has given us His "rule book," the Bible, that tells us how to live our lives -- God's way. We have strayed far from that many, many times, but all is not lost.
We can start today by determining in our heart to do things God's way. We can start reading the Scripture to find out what God's will is for our life. We can believe that He provided a way for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins, and then to simply invite Him to come and live in our heart.
And finally, we have to trust Him with our whole heart -- just like Noah and His wife did. Will you do that today? It is, indeed, my prayer that you will. It will be the most important decision you ever made in your life.