WHO WAS NOAH?
Noah was the only righteous man who lived in a world full of evil, brutality and corruption. Among the people of his time, Noah was the only person who God found to be innocent of wrong doings. Although he lived in a society where everyone was doing what they wanted without any regard for God, Noah was completely committed to being God’s obedient servant. All the way through Noah’s long life, he showed unwavering loyalty to God. For Christians he is a truly inspirational person!
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE STORY?
When God saw how much wickedness dwelt in the hearts of the people that He had created, He was deeply grieved. For that reason, God decided to wipe out all of mankind from the face of the earth and start again. He said “I have decided to put an end to all mortals on earth; the earth is full of lawlessness because of them. So I will destroy them and all life on earth.” (Genesis 6:7) However, there was one good man left, Noah, and he was given very clear instructions by God on how he should build an Ark that would protect him and his family from the disastrous flood that was going destroy every living creature. Noah was told to take into the ark with him one male and one female of every living creature, seven pairs of all clean animals and birds, and finally, enough food to sustain Noah, his family and all the creatures while they were on board the Ark.
After they had all entered the Ark, it started raining and the downpour did not stop for forty days and forty nights. The floods caused by the rain lasted for one hundred and fifty days, and destroyed all the creatures that were not safely in the Ark. Gradually, the waters began to go down and the Ark reached the mountains of Ararat. The Ark came to rest there and Noah and his family waited patiently for several months until the earth dried up. Eventually God told Noah to come out of the Ark. Noah obeyed, then he built an altar for God and offered up some of the clean animals and birds that were with him in the Ark in thanksgiving. God was very pleased and He blessed Noah and his sons. More importantly, God established a covenant with Noah and his descendants for ever by promising that He would never again flood the earth and destroy all living creatures as He had just done. As a token of this everlasting covenant between God and humanity, God placed the rainbow in the sky.
WHAT DOES THIS BIBLE STORY TEACH US?
◗ Even though all the people around Noah were leading unholy lives, Noah refused to follow their example. He did not seek the approval of the world; he only sought to please God. Like Noah, we should have the boldness to say ‘no’ to sin and ‘yes’ to God’s will. The society we are living in today is full of temptations. If we’re not careful, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of worldly pleasures and forget all about our God who lovingly created us. Especially during our teenage years, our friends can have a massive influence over us. This means that it’s vital to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the strength not to give in to peer-pressure. If we resist then we are less likely to stray away from our faith and can live our lives in a way that makes us worthy of eternal life. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
◗ In the story of Noah’s Ark, we see that Noah was perfectly obedient to God. He did not question why God was asking to him to carry out the rather obscure task of building an Ark. Imagine if we were in Noah’s position; there would be so many questions and doubts that we would want answered before we started building an Ark. Although what God is asking us to do for Him may not always make sense to us, we need to believe that there’s a special purpose behind it. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”(Proverbs 3:5) Instead of voicing any doubts, Noah began to act on God’s words immediately. Through this great example, God is telling us that every time He asks us to do something, we should listen to Him without any hesitation and do whatever He wants us to do wholeheartedly. “If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine.” (Exodus 19:5)
The Ark that Noah built became a place of refuge for him and his family. When the floods came and destroyed everything, he was protected from all harm because he was dwelling in the safety of the Ark. During our lifetime we will experience the unwanted and unexpected floods of sufferings and pain. There may be times when we feel trapped by the problems in our lives and we might feel that there’s no way out but we should not lose hope. Instead, we should ask God for protection and believe that God, who protected Noah from the flood, will also shield us from all disasters. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”(Psalm 46:1-3)
Written by Rosemary Joy