I don’t know about you but it really helps me to hear stories of how other people have dealt with circumstances similar to mine. And I truly love it when I can find circumstances in scripture that will line up with mine. One thing to remember when reading scripture and maybe you find this easier than I do, or at least than I did for a very long time, is that the people we read about in scripture are just that. They are people. Real people that had real things happen to them and we have the benefit of having their stories the beginning, the middle and the ending right in front of us. Sure life was different then than it is now, but God was the same then as He is now. God never changes. He may have changed the way He communicates with us over the years. Truly wouldn’t a burning bush scare you to death anyway? But He is the same. People were still just people, with thoughts and emotions and failures and successes. I am glad that scripture gives us their stories.
One of the ways though that we see people differently is that people, especially people in early Biblical days lived a lot longer than people do today. Take Noah, Genesis 5:32 tells us that Noah fathered Shem, Ham and Japheth after he was 500 years old. And then in Genesis chapter 6 we see that corruption was increasing on the earth. Except ~
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8
Because of the corruption on the earth God made a decision to flood the earth and to wipe out man, all except for Noah and his family, that is and well to start all over. So he instructed Noah.
“Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.” Genesis 6:14
I wonder what Noah thought when given these instructions. First of all, he may have thought what exactly is an ark? Then, if he knew what an ark was he may have thought how am I going to get this ark to where it would float. See it had never rained on earth up to this point, so he couldn’t have supposed that is what it was for. God had not revealed that yet, according to scripture. If you read in Genesis 6 you will see that God gave some specific instructions in the building of this ark. So there is a realization here that this didn’t happen in a week, not even in a month, most probably it took more like a year or maybe longer, I did not find where scripture says that.
So what you have here is Noah and his family living amongst a corrupt society, yet walking with God and doing things that God told them to do that most probably they were ridiculed and spoken of as foolish. People would not have understood Noah’s obedience and it didn’t get over with in a few days. What did Noah do when God told him to build the ark?
“Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:22
Noah walked in obedience with God even when he looked foolish. He walked in obedience to God even when he was probably enduring a lot of finger pointing, and ridicule. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about that before. I know that as a child when I heard the story of Noah, it was like it all happened like it does in the story books, I never realized the waiting and probably the wondering of what all of it would look like. This story covers just a few chapters in Genesis but in real time it covered years of Noah’s life. Noah had faith in what God had told him before anyone even knew how to have faith.
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
So what do we take away from Noah’s waiting? First of all, Noah still did what he was instructed to do. God could have just given him the ark, and Noah wouldn’t have had to build it himself. God had already created the earth, he sure could have created the ark. But in Noah’s waiting, he worked. Sometimes I know for me, waiting on an answer can almost seem paralyzing. But waiting in faith is not just waiting it out and doing nothing. It’s doing what we know to do, doing whatever is in front of us. Oh I keep bringing the requests to God, for sure when I am waiting but I also ask the Holy Spirit to guide me through my day and I try to be obedient to do the thing in front of me. I wish I could tell you I was as obedient as Noah seems in his story. I know that at times, my waiting is with tears, and I hate to say it but sometimes even anger. But as I meet with Him every morning and pour my heart out to Him, I hope I get to the obedience, and then to the constructive part of the wait and just do the thing in front of me.