Key Verse: By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.Hebrews 11:7
It can be difficult to different. By our nature, we want to blend in and be popular. How many young people have attended a party that they knew was a bad idea, but didn’t want to seem weird and say no? How many businessmen have made dodgy business deals to impress their colleagues? The truth is that most of us compromise our standards and beliefs to gain merit with others.
Noah lived in an age where “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5). It had become so bad that God regretted creating mankind. Yet in the midst of all this Genesis 6:9 tell us ““Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” Noah didn’t compromise with his culture but lived to honour God.
When God called Noah to build an ark, I can imagine that he wondered if he was up to the task. I know I would have. Just think of the complexity of what God was asking him to do. He would have to source the right trees, prepare them to be worked, measure, cut and seal. He would have had to become a designer, engineer, carpenters and an animal keeper. If building a boat 137 meters long (450ft) was not difficult enough, he also had to fill it with animals. Lions, tigers, snakes, scorpions, spiders, wolves, insects and the list goes on. Not only did he have to gather at least two of each animal, he had to look after them, feed them, water them and clean up after them. It took Noah somewhere between 55 years to 120 years to build the Ark. This was no easy, short-term task, but became his life’s calling.
You can imagine all the while people looking on and mocking him. While everyone else was living large and doing whatever they pleased, Noah was spending his days working hard and sawing wood. In a time where it had never rained, Noah was building a huge boat inland because God had told him to do it.
People will often think we are crazy when we live our lives to honour God. When God calls us to do something it often doesn’t make sense to those around us. When God told the disciple to cast their nets after not catching anything all night, it didn’t make sense. When David Livingstone left Scotland for Africa and to suffer incredible hardship, sickness, hunger, hostile tribes, lion attacks and the lose of his wife to malaria, didn’t make sense to many, but to Livingstone he was responding to the higher calling to ‘preach the gospel’ and the fruit of his faithfulness lives on until today.
It took courage for Noah to build that ark. It took courage to keep on preaching for 120 years when the only people who believed his message was his family (see 2 Peter 2:5). Nevertheless, Noah’s faithfulness to God’s calling saved his family and ultimately the human race. If God has called you to do something, He is the One who verifies it. Don’t compromise his calling for popularity, comfort or ease, but respond faithfully like Noah, and God will produce great fruit.