[God said,] 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 6:17-21
“Tell me a story about David and Goliath, Daddy!” Or was it, Jonah and the whale? Or was it Noah and the Ark? These great Old Testament narratives are rich in spiritual lessons, important truths about people of faith, and the danger of opposing God’s ways and purposes. In so far as that’s the case, they are even more about people and God. In fact the entire Bible is really God’s story. And we do well to remember it.
I’ve written previously about my 6th grade PE teacher. Mr. Maybry was too cool for words. For me, that meant he had a flat top hair cut, a whistle, and a clip board. He called one of the girls in our class “Peewee” and seemed to know how to dribble a basketball. I could never be as cool as Mr. Mabry, I thought. Coolness aside, it’s a fools errand to try to be as cool as, brave as, faithful as, or heroic as someone else. That’s living another person’s life.
Oscar Wilde put it this way: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” I would add, “Let God be God. You would do a poor job of it if you tried.”
This is the account of Noah, writes Moses. Yes, Noah, as a major player in the story of God. He’ll have a major role, but will soon fade into the larger tapestry of God’s people, God’s claim, God’s glory, and God’s story. Others will take center stage as the drama unfolds: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and John. Then will come Jesus of Nazareth. He is the center of all history, the star of God’s story, and the One to whom God is always leading us.
So when you hear the stories of people like Noah, Abraham, Jonah, David, or John, let them inspire you in as much as they appropriately may. But more than that, let them point you to Jesus. For they each and all failed in one form or another. None of them had to deal with the issues you face each day. In one way or another we each must see how we enter the story of God. It is for his glory, and our eternal joy when we do.
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