My daily reading/journaling included the narrative of Noah and the Flood from Genesis 6-7 recently. As I read through that passage for what has to be the hundredth time, something stuck out to me that I had never really paid attention to before. I noticed that the phrase,
…[Noah] did all that God commanded him…
is repeated 4 times in those verses. It is stated in verse 22 of chapter 6, as well as in verses 5, 9, and 16 of chapter 7. For the first time I realized how powerful this simple statement reads in the context of Noah. I realized that the faithfulness to which God called Noah is the same faithfulness that he calls his people to today.
This faithfulness for Noah was not easy. God called him to do something so radical that that there had to have been days in his many years of building where he scratched his head and give up. He no doubt endured mocking and isolation from his community. He watched as his family endured similar treatment. This laborious task took its toll on him, causing his body to ache from full days of painfully slow toil and strife. He preached a message of redemption from a future day of destruction that he only knew through faith. Every single invitation he extended to be saved through God’s exclusive means of salvation met rejection. Every single one. Despite a burdened heart, an aching body, and a rejected spirit, Noah continued to do all that God had commanded him.
I am terribly convicted this morning by this simple phrase. God’s commission to me has been given in a much clearer way than his to Noah. I can look back and see this redemption that has already been secured through Jesus and all he has accomplished. Above this, I have both his Word that contains that commission as well as his Spirit that has been placed within me to enable me to complete it! I, too, live in a day that exists in light of a coming destruction. I, too, have been commissioned to preach salvation through the exclusive means provided by God. Noah pleaded with his fellow man to enter the safety of the ark through the single door God provided in order to be spared from the wrath to come. In the same way, I have been sent to plead with my fellow man to be saved from the coming destruction of this fallen creation by faith through Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and who exists as the only way to come to the Father. Noah called people to come and find shelter in the safety and salvation of the ark. We are given the task of calling people to find shelter in the safety and salvation of Jesus. Just as God provided to Noah the strength for his task, he has promised to provide the same strength to us in ours.
I am burdened by a simple question this morning:
Can it be said of me, ‘and he did all that the LORD commanded him?’
Can that be said of you? What would our lives look like if this were indeed the case? What would this mean for our families? For our churches? For our communities, and for the world? Are we willing to stand firm in our faith and faithful to the task despite the cost? Something to ponder on this morning, for sure.