Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. – Genesis 6:11-22
The class is rowdy and boisterous. Paper airplanes are flying through the air. Spit balls and paper wads are barraging one side of the room or the other. Kids are laughing, talking, and completely ignoring the teacher. You, however, are listening as the teacher says, “I’m giving a test tomorrow. It will determine your grade for the whole semester. It will be over chapter 10, and you can bring notes to class. But you cannot share your notes with anyone. Once the test begins, anyone who talks will fail…” You hear this. None of the other students do. None of them seem to care even as you try to tell them about it before the end of the day.
Is this what is going on in Noah’s day? Evil is rampant. Noah is given clear and specific instructions to build a boat. Perhaps he sought to warn the people of his day. They would not listen. They would be lost.
Noah is given a daunting task. Building an ark as it is described here is beyond difficult. Think of the amount of wood that would be needed. Consider how it is to be put together. Imagine the reaction of those around him as he is building this on dry ground. This is a difficult job.
Noah is also given a very specific job. Length, breadth, windows, levels, a door: all these were laid out by God. His is a very unique job, clearly delineated, specifically outlined. Nothing is to be left to chance here. The survival of the human race is at stake.
Whether it is the daunting task, the specifics of the job, or the weight of the impending doom, Noah is an exceptional man with an exceptional mission. No one else is tagged to do this. No one else is given the dimensions for the ark. No one else will save his family. No one else will receive the covenant blessing promised to Noah.
Not many people want to be the exception these days. We all want to fit in. We wear clothes that reflect the current fashion trends. We try not to be outlandish in our actions. We seek to blend in with the crowd.
I think God needs exceptional people. He needs people who are willing to build boats of compassion, grace, justice and truth in the seas of evil, falsehood, retribution and hatred. He needs people who will not only stand for truth, but also engage gracefully with others. He needs people to take the name of Jesus in prayer – not in vain. He needs people to resist temptation rather than look for it.
Noah was such a man in his day. You or I may be the woman or man in our day. Jesus was and is The Exception to all ungodliness for all time. We claim his righteousness by faith, and seek to follow his example by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Click here or click on the podcast player below to listen to an audio version of this blog post.