Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Noah Level

In an effort to drown out their words, he smashed the hammer down harder.

It didn't work.

"You old fool." The group had set themselves up to be his personal mockers. On a daily basis. They stood and sat far enough back that they wouldn't actually be associated with helping him, but close enough that he could hear every scathing word. "You are an idiot, old man. Give up and die!"

Noah's face pinched in anger. When was it going to be enough already?

Sometimes, he asked God that. He sit out here at night, surrounded by the chaos of a partially built boat, and ask God when it would be enough. Would it always be like this? Would it ever get easier?

Most of the time, he just heard some animal in the distance.

But there were nights, like last night, were he felt God's presence. His reassurance. His strength. It strengthened his commitment. He knew he could do this. Because God believed in him.

So he kept pounding the hammer while ignoring those fools.

Based on Genesis 6:22

"Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, 'I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.' Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him." Genesis 6:11-22
"Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth." Genesis 7:6

I was writing a children's blog for our spin-off blog, Snack Pack for Kidz, and I wrote about Noah. Good, solid story for children. But the more I wrote, the more I remembered that Noah was a really cool guy! Some people think it took Noah as many as a 100 years to build the ark. That's impressive. That's devotion, people. Me, I work on something for a few years and think I'm a hero. Reality check.

I think Noah is one of the MOST committed to God people in the entire Bible. Every day he worked on a huge boat for the flood - an anomaly that had never happened before this. Every day he had to listen to people taunt and laugh at him. Every day he was faithful to God's call.

"Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'" Luke 9:62

This always struck me as harsh. I mean, what's wrong with looking back! What's wrong with remembering? What's wrong with a quick glance over the shoulder? But then I think about Noah. I don't think he could have finished the huge task God had entrusted him with if he was constantly looking back thinking, "I don't want to leave. I don't want to change. Why is this necessary?" He wouldn't have been the man God had picked.

I think about this, and I feel the impact all the way to my soul. Is my commitment to God that strong? Strong enough that I can handle endless, taunting abuse? Strong enough that I can work towards a goal for a hundred years with no proof in sight? Strong enough that I can always look to God instead of looking back?

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

If you've felt the convicting hit, too, stop beating yourself up. Be faithful to confess this failing to God. Then from this point on, strengthen your commitment to God. Strive for that Noah-level of commitment.

V. Joy Palmer

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