April 2011 - Vol. 49
Noah was a righteous man,
blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.
Noah was righteous. He “walked” with God – that is, he had a personal relationship with the Lord and tried to live in the way the Lord wanted him to. Because of this, the Lord saved not only Noah, but his entire family. Because Noah walked with the Lord, and out of that personal relationship that consisted of worship, obedience, and love, he was able to hear and believe God’s word: that a flood was coming, and that Noah was to take his entire family inside the ark. I wonder if Noah’s family was also righteous. And I wonder if they thought, all of them or even one family member, that Noah was crazy for building the ark, for believing that a great flood was coming. As far as we know, only Noah heard this prophecy and instruction. Perhaps not even Noah’s wife heard what the Lord had said to Noah – but she and the rest of the family did end up trusting in him. Whatever they thought or felt, they did get into the ark and were saved, and were included in the covenant that God eventually made with Noah.
Jesus Christ is our true Noah. Because of his relationship with the Father, because of his obedience and righteousness, he has saved his entire family, us his brothers and sisters, the Father’s children from eternal death and pain, an eternity without him. Perhaps like a member of Noah’s family, we may sometimes be tempted to disbelieve when we first hear Jesus asking us to do something risky and costly. If I were Noah’s daughter, I do not know how I would have felt, knowing that all the people outside of my family were going to be wiped off the face of the earth. I do not know if I would have had the faith to believe that I would be saved, and that my father was not just a little crazy for building that giant boat. I do not know if I would’ve fully trusted him at all. Today, Jesus encourages me – and all of us – to take him at his word, to get into the ark because he intends to save us and everyone around us who will listen, too.
But because of what Jesus has done for us, we can be like Noah, who is an example for us because of his righteousness, and we can also “walk” with the Lord. Thus it says in Hebrews: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he …became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith” (Hebrews 11: 7). Peter the Apostle in his second letter says that the Lord “protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness” (2:5). There are people in my life, as there are for each of us, who have yet to come to the Lord, but Noah’s example gives me hope and clear direction for my own daily walk with the Lord; as long as I continue to walk with the Lord in faith, obedience, and love, those whom I desire to see converted to the Lord will be in a position, the best possible position, to being saved. Not that I can save them – only Jesus Christ’s blood can do that, has done that – but I allow God to work in their lives most fully when I continue to let him fully have his way in mine.
In addition to Noah, Scripture has many other testimonies of individuals whose yesses to God were acceptable to him, and thus he was pleased to save their relatives and bestow blessing on them: Moses, Esther, Nehemiah, Ruth, Job, Joseph, and Mary to name a few. The Lord, through all of these examples, and most especially Jesus, makes it clear that he is in the business of using even one righteous man’s “yes” to redeem others. Giving to the Lord the one “yes” we have is our handful of flour, our widow’s mite, our loaf to feed five thousand, our talent we invest. And because under the New Covenant, we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and thus have been made brothers and sisters, each of our yesses allows the Lord to bless one another’s lives – people we know and people we may never meet.
Most especially right now, I am being convicted that first and foremost,
I am called to love the Lord because he is worthy, because he is lovely,
and because he first loved me, each and all of us, and we can do nothing
without him. We love and worship him simply because he is. But our love
for him, our yes, is part of his redeeming plan of salvation for those
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