Why is it that when I sit down to write a post, song tunes run through my head? Hmmm. Anyway, our Women's Bible Study this Spring has been looking at the Bible starting at the beginning...Genesis. So, we've been talking a lot about Noah. Fun thing is, I have never looked at Noah quite this way before. I think the most amazing thing about Noah is his strong faith and obedience to God. God speaks to Noah and tells him to build an ark (Genesis 6:14). Then he tells him to fill it with 2 of all living creatures (Genesis 6:19-20). Noah never asked why. He just did it (Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 7:22). Gosh, I think I would have asked a few things first. Not only did Noah do something that may have seemed "crazy" to the world, but he brought his family along for the ride. The floods came and everything perished, except for Noah & his family and the creatures on the ark. God did tell Noah that it would rain and the earth would flood (Genesis 7:4), but He never explained the details, like how long would Noah have to be on the ark? God gave Noah as much information as he needed at the time and Noah obediently trusted God would take care of the rest. (That would have been hard for someone like me who likes to have all the information.)
We talked today about the burden Noah may have felt to have been the one chosen to survive when everything else was wiped from the face of the earth. Can you imagine? Why was God so gracious to Noah? Did he have survivors guilt? Noah certainly didn't deserve to be saved. He was a sinner just like the rest of them. But God is gracious and He chooses to give each of us grace even though we don't deserve it. I know there have been times in my life when God has blessed me and I feel overwhelmed by it. Why did God save my marriage? Why did God change my life? I could have lived my whole life unhappy, stressed out, and frustrated but God didn't let that happen to me. Why? Oh, we could ask why, but we will never really know the answer. Everytime I feel overwhelmed and wonder why, the only thing I can do is be thankful and appreciate what He has done.
God gave Noah a fresh start, a new beginning (Genesis 8:13-17). And I have experience God's gift of a fresh start and a new beginning. Adam and I are getting ready to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Looking back can sometimes be painful for us. Yes, we've been married for 10 years, but we struggled hard in the beginning. We must acknowledge the blessing of our union 10 years ago because it was significant and necessary to getting us to the place we are now.
Perhaps the most amazing thing is when God told Noah he could come off of the ark, the very first thing Noah did was praise, worship, and thank God (Genesis 8:20-21). After all of the hardships Noah must have endured spending 1 year and 17 days on an ark with a menagerie of animals (and all that entails), he remembered to thank God for all He had done. Oh, that we might all come through the struggles of life with thankful and obedient hearts! Thankfulness equals contentment! God is our security. His promises, to never leave or forsake us, of eternal life, should be a comfort to us. Maybe Noah wasn't sure about all that building an ark and flooding the earth stuff, but he did what God asked him to do. Through the "adventure" that God took Noah & his family on, Noah saw the faithfulness of God and he saw God's power. Sometimes we have to make it through the difficulties before we can understand what God was doing. What a blessing when we can look back and see God's hand working. Sometimes it makes sense to us and sometimes we will never know. Hopefully, we will learn to trust like Noah did. And hopefully, in obedience and worship, we will "build an altar to the Lord" (Genesis 8:20) to thank Him for all He has done.