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MAKE YOURSELF AN ARK

Updated: Apr 8

I read a verse last week, a verse I’ve read many times before in a chapter I’ve read more times than I can recall, yet as I absorbed each word in that particular quiet-morning moment, I knew immediately it was the answer to a very specific prayer I had prayed just minutes before while seeking God’s wisdom on a matter weighing heavily on my mind.


“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.”

Hebrews 11:7


Though I knew right then that the Spirit had used these familiar words to give the answer to the request I had just uttered, I found myself all that morning (and the days that followed) considering this verse on a scale much larger than the confines of my early-morning plea for wisdom as it pertained to my particular situation.


I truly believe these twenty-four words and the example they address have never been more relevant or needed than in these sobering days in which you and I find ourselves living.


 

When you read the story of Noah, you cannot help but conclude that this man wasn't just a mere cautious identifier with God, wasn't just a mere casual recipient of God's goodness and favor. No, the Flood account, recorded in the Bible’s inaugural book, proves him to be a radical, all-in follower of the Most High, even though it meant living counter-culturally within the society that God had purposely designated his life would be a part of.


In an all-encompassing, all-consuming environment of darkness and depravity, Noah "walked faithfully with God" (Genesis 6:9). Indeed, his life of reverent, righteous living—authentic daily intimacy with God and reverential obedience to His voice—set him apart from from the rest of society.


And it was in this day in, day out fellowship that the Creator and sustainer of all would speak plainly to Noah about the criticality of the situation, the things to come, and the specific instructions regarding the ark's construction, which would provide salvation for Noah and his family.


A detail I find interesting about God's initial command is what's referred to in the grammar world as a reflexive pronoun. It's when the sentence's subject and the object are the same; the subject is the doer of the action, but the subject is also the receiver of what is done. In Genesis 6:14, God says to Noah, "So make yourself an ark. . ." (italics mine). In this first recorded mentioning of an ark, we see God's heart for Noah and God's commendation of Noah.


 

In Hebrews 11, the Bible's quintessential chapter on faith, the writer places Noah within a listing of Old Testament saints that pleased God—those that heard God's voice and took seriously what they heard, so much so that they obediently acted upon it. Though Scripture reveals they were far from perfect, what is evidenced in their individual stories is that they truly believed God. Because in response to their belief, they did what God said to do.


This is faith at its foundation, authentic faith at its core.

This is what their Creator commended them for, what their Creator deemed righteous.


I believe that long before God instructed Noah to build the ark, Noah was already habitually listening for God's voice, already saying yes to Him, already living his life in active, evident belief that what God said was truth—not what the world around him spewed forth. So God came into a covenant relationship with the man that had "found favor" in His eyes (Genesis 6:8); and through that relationship, Noah would become a benefited receiver, as a result of the obedient actions he would personally take. And as the writer of Hebrews 11:7 would thousands of years later declare, Noah's reverent obedience—his doing—would create a protection and preservation, an ark of safety, for himself and for his family.


From the first drop of rain to the height of the floodwaters' consuming devastation, the ark meant life to all who were sheltered in it.


 

In Jesus Christ, I know I have nothing to fear in this life or the life to come. He alone is my impenetrable ark of safety. Though I've done absolutely nothing to deserve so great a gift of grace and mercy, so great a relationship of incalculable favor, even so, I know that when God brings judgment upon this sin-corrupted world for the final time, because my Savior lived a life of faithful reverence and submissive obedience to the Father—culminated in a most cruel death on a wooden cross and a most glorious resurrection from a borrowed tomb—I will be safe. Completely covered. Sheltered and secure.


My glorious ark is He!


Indeed, my Lord did the hard work. What a Savior! And because of this great declaration of incalculable love, so incomparable, I put my trust in His words and unashamedly follow Him. I'd be a fool not to.

But aside from this most foundational application, I also realize that while I'm left on this earth, God has given me a Noah-like purpose. And it is this: that as earthly time flows swiftly toward completion, to resolve my heart toward faithfulness and obedience, striving to live and love like Jesus in a culture that continues rapidly progressing towards all things unrighteous and unholy.


Fellow Christian sojourner, He's given you this purpose too.


Like Noah and the others we read about in Hebrews 11, we will not do it perfectly, and there will be failures more than we can recall; but through repenting and reverently realigning ourselves to the ways of the all-wise, always-right, always-loving Heavenly Father (in submission to his infallible Word and indwelling Spirit of Christ), we will find ourselves living more according to what our holy Creator says is acceptable and less to what an ungodly culture says is alright. We will find ourselves progressively maturing, which is the goal; and over the days and months and years, you and I will find ourselves becoming more and more like our Savior.


In this, our Father is rightfully glorified through our designated time upon this earth.


In this—yes, even when life is raining down hatred, perversity and darkness, hardships, trials, and suffering—we are most blessed sojourners.

And. . .in this—I firmly and wholeheartedly believe—those who live within our most immediate, most intimate realm of influence and impact (the individuals in our own households) are overwhelming targeted and overwhelming surrounded by God's amazing love and saving grace.








 


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