One of the Bible stories I remember most from Sunday School as a child is the story of Noah’s Ark. The animals coming “two by two” and the rainbow that God put in the sky to symbolize his promise to never destroy the earth by flood again were what the story meant to me until well into my adult life. Then I discovered there was so much more to that story than rainbows and animals.
Found in Genesis 6 through Genesis 9, the story of Noah also tells of God’s broken heart because of mankind’s evil and of His pleasure with Noah’s obedience. I knew why God sent the flood to destroy most of mankind, but I did not realize why he chose Noah and his family to be the sole survivors.
Imagine Being Noah
Imagine being Noah, the only one whom God found favor with among the whole human race. There were less people than now, sure, but still enough to cultivate arrogance for being the only one whom God is pleased with. Noah didn’t become arrogant though.
Instead, he was righteous. It’s why he found and kept God’s favor. He was the only blameless person on earth, and he enjoyed a close relationship with God. He also was completely obedience to God.
“Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.” (6:22)
No one else did what was right. No one else found favor with God. No one else was blameless. And no one else was completely obedient. This obedience, by the way, involved building a boat in a place where it had never rained, which means it meant obeying God in a way that didn’t make any logical sense to the human mind.
We live in a world where peer pressure and the desire to people please so often push us to become people we never thought we’d become. We do and say things we know God doesn’t like, but we seem addicted to fitting in. There are other addictions, too, of course. Busyness. Food. Drugs. Pornography. Status.
Sometimes, it seems our culture is addicted to addiction. We pursue empty pleasure instead of obedience. We reach for temporary relief instead of working toward long-term peace. We’ve become a culture all too like the one God decided to destroy in Noah’s day.
Yet Noah, living in a completely evil culture still found favor with God. He still obeyed God completely. God considered him not perfect, but blameless.
We all know how difficult it is to resist the pull of culture regardless of age, status, color, or religion. Perhaps if we imagine being Noah, we can begin to see how we don’t have to succumb to that which doesn’t please God even if everyone else is doing it.
Walk in Fellowship
We can have victory. We can be obedient. We can please God. How?
“Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.” (6:9)
Rereading this story as an adult has encouraged me to continue trying to walk in close fellowship with God. I don’t want to give into the pull of culture even when it seems everyone else is doing at times. Noah encourages me to keep walking.