Noah's Conversation With God?
||Sometimes we think Bible characters were super human angelic beings. Actually, they were normal people with struggles, doubts, and fears like us. Noah was such a man. Today I want to use my imagination to reconstruct the conversation he had with God when he was called to build an ark.
You will not find this in scripture, just in the wild imagination of an old man trying to reconstruct the conversation between God and Noah when Noah was called to do something he did not understand and which overwhelmed him.
Our associate pastor, Robert, will be the voice of God for today, and I hope for a lot longer!!!
God: Noah, I want you to build an ark.
Noah: OK God. I’m always willing to give you a couple of weeks of my time.
God: Noah, I’m not looking for a casual, part time endeavor, I want a life time commitment.
Noah: Say WHAT??? God, I’m a busy man. I have a family to support. Life is hard in these difficult times.
God: Noah, I want to be the center of your life. I want your life to revolve around me. I want to bless you and I want you to be a blessing to others. I want us to share lives.
Noah: You mean you want me to give you all I am and all I have and you will give me all you are and all you have?
God: You got it Noah. You have found grace in the eyes of the Lord!
Noah: Thank you God. I just have one question.
God: Yes, my son.
Noah: What’s an ark?
God: It’s a big boat.
Noah: Great! Are we gonna go fishing and catch a big boat full of fish.
God: No, Noah. I want you to fill the boat up with wild animals.
Noah: Say WHAT?
God: Yes, Noah. I want you to fill the boat with animals.
Noah: Oh, I get it Lord. You want me to take them out to deep water and drown the stinking, pesky critters!
God: No, Noah. I want you to save their lives.
Noah: Say WHAT??
God: Noah, I told you that if you would follow me, I would bless you, and through you I would bless others. Through you, I will also bless all my creation.
Noah: Oh. OK, Lord. I will build as big a boat as me and my 3 sons can carry to the water.
God: Noah, I want you to build a boat far bigger than you and your sons can handle. You will not carry the boat to the water. I will bring the water to the boat.
Noah: Say WHAT?? Lord, we ain’t never done it like that around here before. That’s just not the way we do things. Forgive me for asking, but God, are You sure You know what you’re doing?
God: Trust Me, my child. I’m in control. I don’t ask you to understand, I ask you to follow.
Noah: OK God. You’ve never led me astray. None of this makes sense to me, but I will obey.
God: That’s all I ask. Let’s get started. Here’s the dimensions of the boat: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.
Noah: God, I’ve got just one question.
God: Yes, my son.
Noah: What's a cubit?
God: That's the distance from a man's elbow to the tip of his fingers. In feet, it is 450’ long, 75’ wide, and 45’ high.
Noah: Say WHAT?? That’s a bigger project than I can handle. It didn’t seem quite so big when we were talking cubits instead of feet.
God: Yes, it is bigger than you can handle. But it is not bigger than I can handle!
Noah: But it will take so long.
God: What is your granddaddy’s name?
Noah: Methuselah. He's the oldest man alive and he's stilI active. I come from sturdy stock. I remember like yesterday playing on his knees about 500 years ago. He still lives right down the road at the old home place.
God: Is the grandson of Methuselah worried about God giving time to accomplish something?
Noah: I see your point. I guess you control time too.
God: I control everything.
Noah: But God, I live in the desert. There are no trees here. Where am I going to get the wood for the ark? (Aside: Anybody seen any wood around here? Look at pulpit, point with glee, then look at grand piano: "I see some grand wood over there, already got black pitch on it”)
God: I told you to build it out of gopher wood. Sooooo, go fer it!
Noah: Well, God, don’t ever let anyone say that You don’t have a sense of humor.
God: Well, I made you, didn’t I??
Noah: Just how many animals do I have to take onto the ark?
God: Every kind there is. Two of all the unclean animals and seven of the clean animals.
Noah: Say WHAT?? That’s an awful lot of animals. How long are they going to stay on board?
God: Oh, about six months.
Noah: Say WHAT?? Who’s going to feed and take care of them on a boat for six months?
God: You are, Noah.
Noah: Say WHAT?? Can you imagine the smell of the place after being cooped up with
elephants and water buffalo and giraffes and kangaroos and who knows what else for six months???
God: I never said life was always going to be easy!
Noah: But how will I know when its time to bring the animals on board.
God: Just before it starts to rain.
Noah: Oh, o.k. Just one more question.
God: Yes, my son?
Noah: What’s rain?
God: It’s water falling from the sky.
Noah: Say WHAT?? Ain’t nothing like that ever happened around here before. What You gonna do, pick up the ocean and put it in the sky and make a giant waterfall?
God: Something like that.
Noah: This I gotta see. You truly are an awesome God!
God: You ain’t seen nothin' yet.
Noah: But God, why are we going to all this trouble. Are we just giving the animals an all expenses paid cruise with all the amenities? And with me serving as their personal butler?
God: No my son. Destruction is coming. A great flood will cover the earth and destroy all who are not on the ark. I have provided a plan to escape the destruction. I will use you to implement that plan. When death and destruction come, I always offer a plan to escape. I am not willing that any should perish, but that all might have life, and that more abundantly.
Noah: Are you saying that You can use little old insignificant me in your plan to save the world?
God: Yes my son. And you are not insignificant. I will amaze you with what I can do through you.
Noah: Wow! I never dreamed that I could have a part in destiny; in history; in carrying out your plan for salvation.
God: Noah, I can use you and anyone else who will give me all they are and have, so I can give them all I am and all I have. Even a little boy with a small lunch. I have the power and the means, all I need is willing people.
Noah: God, I'm willing. I may not be much and I may not have much, but such as I am, I give to You. Please use me. What do I do? Let's get started.
God: First you need to make preparation. Recruit help. Start with your family. You have 3 strong sons with healthy wives. Study the plans for the ark. Gather materials for the ark. Prepare testimonies of how I have called you and share the message of my plan of deliverance from the coming destruction. As you work, preach the word of my salvation. It is available to all who will accept.
Noah: I'm trying Lord. I've told people about the flood and your plan to save them, but they just laugh. They think I'm just a crazy old coot who's lost his mind.
God: Keep preaching the word. You are not responsible for the results. Your duty and privilege is to share the word, warn people and invite them to enter the ark.
Noah: God, they're not listening. Except to mock me that is. Can you zap them with blindness or something so I can force them into the ark?
God: No, my son. I will not force anyone to enjoy my salvation. They must do it of their own free will. But whosoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out.
Noah: God, I've been building this ark for 120 years now, preaching as I worked, and our Church of the Ark only has 8 members, and they are members of my family! I feel like a failure. I will never make it as an evangelist. Our church is so small and the task is so great. I've tried so hard. Why have I failed?
God: My son, you have not failed. You have been faithful to your call. Though your group of believers is small, I will save the human race through them. I will replenish the earth with people and animals because of your faithfulness in sharing the word and building the ark. You will see the results of your labor throughout all eternity and you will be amazed by what I have done through
Noah: Lord, the ark is complete. The animals are on board. I hope we have enough food for them. The door of the ark is still open. When do I close it?
God: I will close the door. Preach to the throngs of people who have come to watch the spectacle. Tell them the door remains open. They are invited to enter and escape the coming destruction. Tell them the door is closing soon, and then their day of opportunity will be gone forever. Plead with them to accept God's plan of salvation for them, for there is no other way.
Noah: God, I just heard the door close. I hear loud noises like I have never heard before. Louder than the stampede of a thousand elephants. One of my boys called it thunder. I hear water pounding on the ark. I don't understand how you did it, but it seems that you are pouring the ocean on top of us. I feel the
ark moving. We're floating. You have brought the water to the boat as you promised. Through the thunder and rushing water, I hear screams and people beating on the sides of the boat. They are yelling, "Let me in, let me in. Open the door." What can I do? Can I open the door?
God: You have done all you can do. You have faithfully fulfilled your task. You built the ark to provide for their safety. You warned them of the coming destruction and invited them in. They refused. The door cannot be opened because water would flood in and sink the ark. They must face the consequences of their own decision. This is not my will or my desire. I am not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to eternal life. But
I will not force my will on anyone, because I have given freedom of choice. People are free to choose, and I set before them the way of life and the way of death. Choose life and live, for why will you choose to die? But for those who refuse life, that decision is to choose death. What the world calls the wrath of God, is God allowing people to face the consequences of their own decisions.
Noah: Thank God, I chose life. And thank you God for giving me the choice to choose. After 120 years of working and preaching, and being mocked and made fun of, my accusers are all wet and I am left high and dry.
And thus ends for today the conversation between God and Noah.
The story of Noah is the story of a loving God who sees destruction coming and makes a way of escape. It is God offering an ark to carry us through, and above, the floods and storms that are sure to come. It is God offering life, but not forcing it on us. It is God respecting our decision, even if it is not to follow Him. It is a picture of God's plan of salvation for us, where we are freely
offered eternal life, but that offer must be accepted.
The story of Noah is a picture of God saying to us: I love you, I want to bless you, I want to use you. It is a reminder that God can use people who do not understand, who are overwhelmed with the task before them, but who are willing. It is a reminder of God's promise to, "Call unto Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you cannot imagine." (Jer. 33:3) He can and will amaze us by what He can accomplish through our lives.
God looked throughout a wicked world that was headed for destruction for someone willing to be used and found Noah. Today He is looking throughout a world that has little place for Him and He sees you.
He stands at the door of your heart and knocks, saying if anyone will heard My voice and open the door, I will come in and share My life with you.
He is not looking for perfect people, but imperfect people who have failed, who do not have all the answers, who don’t understand everything, and who have doubts and questions. He is looking for YOU. He says, lets share lives.
Give Me all you are and all you have and let Me give you all I am and all I have. To those who are willing to obey He says I will amaze you with what I can do through you. Are you willing to be
the person like Noah that God is looking for in this generation?