Genesis 6:14-22 (New English Standard Version)
10 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. . . 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
No one needs to tell you that the world is a difficult place. Surrounded by sin, death, and pain, the Christian sojourner has the long and hard task before him of finishing the race well. Following the will of God may be difficult, made even more so by the presence of unusual or strange circumstances. In the times we are living in today, the will of God feels even more hidden, obscure, or obstructed than ever before.
These circumstances call to mind the story of Noah, and his brave efforts to build an Ark that would house every creature that lived upon the Earth. Building an Ark of this size would be an enormous undertaking. Genesis 6:15-16 reveals the commandments of God: “And this is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. 16 You are to make a roof for the ark, finish its walls a cubit from the top, place a door in the side of the ark, and build lower, middle, and upper decks.” In modern terms, this would amount to an ark that was 510 feet wide and 50 feet tall, higher than a four story house!
Of course, the specifics of Noah’s great vessel is only one part of the equation. The mockery, violence, and disrespect shown to Noah from the sinful men of Earth is the second part. While we have little in the Bible to give us specifics, Genesis 6:5 does tell us that “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Working on this project for as many years as he did, we can be certain that Noah’s neighbors, acquaintances, perhaps even family, mocked his steadfast adherence to the will of God.
Many of us have or are experiencing this in our own lives. Following God’s calling is a sacred thing, but yet so many of those around us will ridicule, scorn, and even deride us for following after the call. We receive so much pressure from outside forces that some of us wonder why we still continue our heaven-sent tasks at all.
How do we continue to follow the will of God in the midst of terror, trouble, and taunting voices?
Surround yourself with other believers. Iron sharpens iron, and the fellowship of other believers will help your soul stay strong through the waters of the storm.
Pray constantly. Noah remained in constant conversation with his Creator, offering up his joys, sorrows, and inclinations. Prayer connects you to the Lord in ways that attending church or fellowshipping with believers simply cannot.
Take a step back. Do not allow incessant voices from news outlets, social media, and digital advertisements to corrode your spirit. While others may mock you for following God, true believers never will.
Friends, take heart! Despite the leering and jeering from those around you, remember that you are following a sacred, holy will. Let us strive forward today like Noah with bravery and courage!
How can you work towards building your personal ‘ark’ even in the midst of trouble? Are there people, things, or spiritual battles that are preventing you from serving Him? What sort of trouble can you help others overcome today? Noah built his Ark not out of selfish motivation, but because it was the will of the Lord. Keep this in mind today as you strive to do His will in all things!
1 Peter 3:20 (Berean Study Bible)
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Hebrews 11:7 (New International Version)
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.