Read: Genesis 7: 1 – 8:22
Focus: So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him. Genesis 7:5
The story of the flood and Noah is one of faith and obedience to God, even when doing so seems to defy all human logic and exposes one to ridicule. Today’s focus verse is really the central theme to this devotional: obedience. In Hebrews 11:7, we are told:
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
So why was Noah chosen as the one to build the ark? Why did he choose to listen to God instead of the scorn and ridicule that he most likely faced from others (I’m sure he heard an earful or two as he built what must have been a HUGE sea-worthy boat in an area most likely hundreds of miles from the sea)? In Genesis 6 as well as in today’s reading, we are given some insight into Noah. In Genesis 6, we are told this about Noah: Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.. In Genesis 7:1, God actually says this about Noah: “[f]or among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous.”
I think there is an important lesson in there for us. We live in what is often called a post-Christian society. We see this everyday in news stories and by looking around us as we see people (influential leaders as well as everyday people) turn away from and even thumbing their nose at God’s ways. When we choose to live our lives in obedience to God and walk in close fellowship to God as Noah did rather than by following our culture (and our own sinful nature), we expose ourselves to scorn much like Noah. Jenn’s message from this past weekend had it correct – it’s all about choice. Do we choose to be like Noah and walk in faith and obedience to God? Or do we choose to follow our culture and our sinful nature? As Paul tells us in Romans 8:1 – 8, our choices always have consequences:
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You give us Your Word to lead and guide us. Thank You for providing examples we can follow and learn from in the Bible. Where my faith is lacking, please strengthen it. Please help me to walk in obedience to You so I can be more like Jesus and serve You faithfully. In Jesus name… Amen.