Confession: Sometimes I think I’m crazy.
Hebrews 11:7 – “By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.”
Noah ACTED on his faith…on a seemingly crazy delusional belief that the skies were going to pour down water in the middle of the desert, when water most likely had never fallen from the sky.
Let’s just think about this for a minute–the fact of this hearing something from God that is counter to an everyday reality:
Genesis 2:5-6 says that instead of rain, God caused a mist to rise up from the earth and water the whole face of the ground. But in Genesis 6 &7, God tells Noah that he will cause rain and floodwater to come down cover the earth…so build an ark.
We can deduce that a massive downpour of rain for 40 days and 40 nights was a type of climate and weather pattern that would have been either highly unusual for Noah and his generation, or (and I tend to think this is more likely) never before experienced.
Has God ever told you something that is considered physically, politically, logically, literally impossible based upon human knowledge and experience? Have you ever felt crazy believing it, and even crazier acting upon that belief? If so, you in the company of Noah.
Noah believed God despite the everyday evidence contrary to what God was telling him, and Noah acted upon his trust in God–in God’s character.
Not only was Noah probably seen as cuckoo for his absurd “water fall from sky cover ground forty days forty nights” assertion, but then he went ahead and built a boat? In the middle of a desert. Where there’s no ocean. No large bodies of water, forecast says clear. Yep, certifiably insane.
And what he built wasn’t some tiny rowboat that took only a few weeks to build. He built something MASSIVE, a type of technology that was never before seen or created simply because, why would you need a ginormous boat in the middle of a dry land? You’d need a 4×4 Hummer or ATV.
The ark that Noah was building for this supposed “water from sky flood” was equally absurd, excessive, unnecessary, unneeded. Illogical. And it required a lot—A LOT—of resources, time, and labor.
Noah was probably met with a lot of mockers and scoffers. People probably called him loony, crazy; they didn’t believe the word of God that Noah shared with them. And it wasn’t just for a day or two or a few weeks that Noah endured this mockery. It took about 75 years to build the ark, not to mention the time to gather and load up the animals, supplies, and family into the ark. So for the span of a modern-day lifetime, Noah was consistently mocked for his faith and actions.
Yet he endured; he kept building. His faithful action was a demarcation between those who would believe, and those who didn’t. His faith and action drew a sharp line between an unbelieving world & a believing world.
I was reading through some comments on a video about the modern day life-size replica of Noah’s ark. One commenter wrote, “Christians believe in talking snakes.” For a second I was really touched like, “Wow! Thanks for the s/o to our childlike imagination and ability to think outside the box!” Until I realized it was meant to mock us. Oops (shrug).
There’s something far more attractive about living in a world of endless possibilities–where snakes can talk and men can fly and the dead resurrect–than a world of hard, cold, calculating impossibilities. Man, talk about a party pooper.
Yes, there’s a cost to this belief in possibilities (get accused of living in fairy tales), to this crazy obedience (get mocked for building amazing things). But the reward is so much greater.
Noah’s reward, the fruits of his labor, were that 1) his family was saved and 2) Noah became intimate with God.
In the same way, our acts of faith impact those closest to us and brings them into the act of worship, belief, faith. The manifesting Word of God changes and transforms them as much as it does us. We become intimate with God because of the enduring, persevering, believing–we become dependent upon Him, lean into Him, become so inundated with belief and trust, infused with His strength.
I’m so thankful for Noah. For all the saints of faith who weren’t satisfied fitting into the paradigms and ways of “the real world,” who weren’t interested in behaving according to the world’s dictates, but who lived knowing and believing in a whole ‘nother reality, another world, another kingdom and her True and Righteous King who is so real. They forged a path that gives me courage in my own forging and navigating.
May we all believe that (and act like) snakes can talk and water can fall from the skies.