Noah, at nearly 500 years old, heard the voice of God telling him to build the ark. It took him 120 years amid the sneering and jeering of those around him. Did he get weary? Did he doubt? Did he feel like abandoning the project about 50 years into it? The Bible doesn’t say, but it does say in Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” Not to mention humanity. Noah, as seen here in this classic Ron DiCianni painting, obviously knew the secret to success long before it was written one verse earlier in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…”
When I ponder the massive scale Noah was asked to undertake, my puny trials take on a whole new perspective. If Noah could stand to work 120 years on a boat, maybe it’s not such a big deal to work for a year to develop a project for the Church. If Noah could stand the jeers of those around him, maybe I can keep from buckling under the taunts of those who think I’m politically incorrect and intolerant to new “lifestyles.” I might even be able to hang in there when God speaks in that “still small voice” to me asking for something I’m not quite sure I perceive as “logical.”
No matter what Noah did or didn’t experience during that 120 year boat (and character) building project, imagine what he must have felt when the first raindrop fell. That is the moment to keep in mind when we get weary and tempted to give up.
Keith Green summed it up well in a song that included Noah, when he paraphrased God’s command with, “You just keep building that boat, it’s just a matter of time till they see who’s gonna float.” That principle lives on in you and me today. We will see who’s gonna float…
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