Everything I know about Bible stories for kids I learned from Veggie Tales. Honestly, not everything, but I didn’t grow up going to Sunday School, so I have no emotional attachment or fond memories of flannel graphs, puppet shows, or whatever other culturally relevant and cartoony format teachers used to tell these stories to the five-and-under crowd. Interesting, but not particularly relevant side note – I met Phil Vischer once, back when there were still conferences for bloggers. He’s a lovely man and it’s incredibly odd to hear the voice of a talking tomato come out of the mouth of a grown adult.
The actual story of Noah, the one we’re going to dig into today, is found in Genesis 6-8 and doesn’t include any talking vegetables. It’s the story of a man who found favor with God and chose to say “yes” to God instead of following what the world said he should do. It’s our reminder that the work God has given us, the way we serve and love and obey, will make us stand out from the culture around us – and we can embrace that.
Instead of conforming to the world, Noah chose God. And God chose Noah.
As God laid out His plan to Noah, He made two promises. The world and everything in it would be destroyed by floodwaters, but God would protect Noah, his family, and two of every kind of animal on the ark Noah was to build. Four times in this section of Genesis we read of Noah’s complete obedience to God (6:22, 7:5, 7:9, 7:16). Surrounded by evil, Noah chose to say “yes” to the work God was giving Him. Even though Noah was 600 years old. Even though nothing like this had ever been done before. Instead of listening to the shouts of the world around him, Noah focused on what God was saying – something he had been doing throughout his life, not just in that moment. His every day obedience prepared him for an extraordinary assignment.
In Layman’s Old Testament Commentary, Dr. Lomgman points out how the record of the flood is “structured by a careful counting of the days,” just like the account of creation in Genesis 1.
- 7 days of waiting for the waters to come
- 40 days of water rising
- 150 days of waters prevailing
- 40 days of water receding
- 7 days of waiting for the waters to recede
- 7 more days of waiting for the waters to recede completely
God may have been grieved by the sins of humanity, but it did not change His character. He is a God of second chances who desires a relationship with us. He found the one man on earth who quieted the shouts of should that likely told him he was crazy to build a giant boat on land, abided closely enough with God to hear His commands, and said “yes” without knowing how it would all end.
The work God has for us, the way He invites us to build His kingdom through our service to others, it can be a little scary sometimes. But if you are in a season where God has you outside of your comfort zone, trust Him. He knows what will happen on the other side, how it will all turn out when you follow in obedience. Those around you may not understand why you work, rest, serve, and love people the way that you do. But, our every day, ordinary acts of obedience will help us say “yes” in the small moments so that we’re prepared to honor God with our complete obedience, like Noah, when God presents us with bigger opportunities.
Lean into our verses from Psalm 23 today. When our own storms come, we can find comfort in knowing that God has a plan in place to invite us to rest and lead us to a new place. Trust that God can trade flood waters for refreshing water and the living water that is Jesus Christ. When we’re pursued by storms, find comfort in knowing that we are also pursued by God’s goodness and faithfulness. Even in our scariest circumstances when everything feels dark and unknown, we can lean on the promise that God is with us, providing all that we need.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a place that feels lonely as you’ve worked to listen to God’s quiet voice over the shouts of the world. You feel set apart, not in a way that makes you feel special, but like an outsider. You’re committed to doing the work God has assigned you but the people around you don’t understand, can’t see the value, don’t grasp the significance. Keep going.
Your obedience today could be the thing that introduces a new generation to the love of a God who cares so much about His people that He not only offers second chances, but sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be forgiven and saved. It’s worth it.
This post includes excerpts from Quieting the Shout of Should. You can find this lovely, helpful, and encouraging book at your local bookstore or favorite online retailer!
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