NOAH BUILDS AN ARK
Have you ever sat in an inner tube and floated on the water? You lay on your back, staring at the blue sky, the clouds are puffy and white, and the water gently rocks you back and forth. It’s relaxing, enjoyable, and seemingly harmless.
Imagine, though, if the water you’re floating on has a steep waterfall ahead. You’re aware of it. You’ve heard about it, but it’s far away, and nothing to worry about. So, you dangle your feet in the water, drag your fingers along the surface watching the clouds go by, never realizing that it’s not just the clouds that are drifting, it’s you.
The descendants of Seth didn’t plan to leave God.
The descendants of Seth didn’t plan to leave God. They lived on the mountain away from the Cainites in the valley. They loved righteousness more than pleasure. They worshiped God. They were sure in their choices. At first, they only visited the valley. When they did, it was enjoyable, and the company was pleasant. Eventually they spent more time in the valley than on the mountaintop. They lost their sensitivity to sin. They had drifted slowly and steadily away from God.
They lost their sensitivity to sin. They had drifted slowly and steadily away from God.
The valley can do that to us. We get busy, bored, restless, or relaxed, and we drift away in small and subtle ways. Our morning devotionals are interrupted until they aren’t happening. Our evening prayers get cut short because we’re so tired, we fall asleep while praying. The sermon is heard, but we have no idea what was said because our minds wandered, or our eyes were distracted. Small things, that happen to everyone, but added together they inch us away from God, not toward.
Take a moment and ask yourself: Where am I?
Being an active and engaged Christian is not easy. It involves intentionality. It involves commitment. It involves assessment. Sin drift happens to the best of us. Take a moment and ask yourself: Where am I? On the mountaintop? Or drifting toward the valley? Remember, it is on the mountaintop where you find God and are renewed.
Sin reached a point where God determined to start again. Noah was commissioned to build an ark to the specifications that God gave him.
The ark took 120 years to build. During that time, Noah not only directed the building, but he also preached. God had told him what He had planned to do, and Noah urgently and persistently preached this to the people.
Ellen White reveals that he actually did make an impression. “A multitude at first apparently received the warning of Noah, yet did not fully turn to God with true repentance. There was some time given them before the Flood was to come, in which they were to be placed upon probation—to be proved and tried. They failed to endure the trial. The prevailing degeneracy overcame them, and they finally joined others who were corrupt in deriding and scoffing at faithful Noah” (The Story of Redemption, p. 64).
When the flood did come, man and beast alike were frantic. Complete chaos reigned as thunderclouds gathered, lightening bolts hurled toward the earth targeted homes, gardens, idols. As the water climbed higher and higher, Mrs. White records a sad commentary: “They called upon Him earnestly, but His ear was not open to their cry” (The Story of Redemption, p. 67). How heartbreaking! How difficult it is to imagine a time and place where God is no longer inclined to hear the cries of people.
Jesus tells us, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. . . . Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26, 30). So similar days are coming. May we fully be ready when Jesus comes again.
Making it Real
The people in the days of Noah were completely convinced by what they could see. The sun was shining; there was no threat of water coming from the sky, a completely unheard of experience. The earth, then, still retained much of its Eden-like appearance. And yet what they failed to recognize was the invisible—the God they had rejected or even Satan who did all in his power to continue in their wretchedness.
Think about this great controversy between good and evil that is still ongoing today. In what ways can you see the invisible force of good in your life? How is God impacting you? Make a list and fasten it on your bathroom mirror for one week. Each morning read it to remind you of the goodness we sometimes fail to recognize in a world that continues to bombard our senses.
Respond & Share
An angel shut the door of the ark with Noah’s family inside. The rain did not come until seven days later. The multitudes outside could be heard celebrating Noah’s failed prophecy. What can we learn about maintaining faith in circumstances that might not look like the best choice? Share your thoughts below.
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.
Coming next week:
“GOD’S PROMISE IN THE SKY”
Based on Genesis 9:13; Genesis 8; 9:1-17;
PP 105-110; SR 69-71; BS, vol. 1, pp. 116-123