I have been reading through the book of Genesis and am being challenged by the life of Noah. Sure; I’ve read it before, but God has been opening my eyes and reminding me of some things.
The days were evil and Noah was living his life faithfully before God. God gave Him instructions to build an ark. He obeyed. His obedience cost him quite a bit. He and his family were viewed as fools. Can you imagine what that must have been like? Most of the people at that time were either indifferent or opposed to Noah. While Noah built the ark, he preached. And he warned. Evidently, Noah’s preaching included a warning of coming destruction and a call for repentance. The pre-flood world consisted mostly of people who were distracted and “took no note” of Noah’s warnings.
Day after day he would go outside to build some more. Day after day people stood by and mocked him. I’m sure that if this took place today, a lot of people would “unfriend” poor Noah on Facebook!
After he was done building, he had to load up the ark with animals and his entire family, close the door, and listen as everyone on the outside died. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be on the inside of that boat and hear the people crying outside, and know that you had warned them and they wouldn’t listen…and now there was nothing you could do for them?
Then he spent probably up to a year cooped up with all those animals—a floating barn! Not a cruise ship!
But he obeyed.
As I have been reading through this passage, God has challenged me with Noah’s complete obedience. He didn’t question. He didn’t complain because he was uncomfortable or because he was being rejected or gossiped about. He didn’t make excuses for the sinful behavior of his neighbors. He didn’t waver when everyone, I mean EVERYONE, around him rejected him or was indifferent.
He built, he preached, he warned, he built…
and then he got on the boat and lived there with his family.
His life was an offering to God…
What have I been called to do? What can I offer? I live in a little home. I have a family. I live on a small college campus. I’ve been called to serve my family and to serve students. I do a little writing. Is there much discomfort, rejection or sacrifice? When I look at what Noah was called to do and what he had to sacrifice, I am ashamed at what I sometimes view as discomfort, rejection and sacrifice.
Discomfort? Sometimes I complain. If you heard me, you would THINK I am suffering! But I’m not really! I live on a college campus and sometimes I have very little privacy. My home is small, there are some things that need repair. The heat and air conditioning is limited, so it can be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. There’s only one bathroom. Sometimes our paychecks are late…But I really do live a very comfortable life.
Rejection? Well, we’ve actually had some people think we are crazy for working/ministering at a small college that can’t pay very much, when technically my husband could be making much more money elsewhere. I have had a few people walk away, reject me, and gossip about me because I challenged them towards holy living and they thought I was off my rocker. That’s hard. But nothing like what Noah faced.
Sacrifice? According to our society’s standards we live pretty simply, but we have more than we need. I suppose we’ve sacrificed time and money to a certain extent, but I don’t really consider that a hardship or much of a sacrifice.
As I’ve read about the life of Noah and all he endured in his obedience, I have been convicted that I easily complain and feel as though my obedience has cost me a lot….or that I am owed more than I have just because most most of the people around me have more.
When I read about this man and what he was called to do, it puts within my heart a desire to have a deeper commitment and obedience. I want to grow and be totally yielded to God and what He has called me to do, and to offer up my comfort, reputation and all that I have.
I want to see it as a privilege when I experience any discomfort, rejection or sacrifice, and I want to live my life as an offering to HIM!