What kind of man was Noah? I was having this conversation this morning with my good friend, Kent Kile. This question might evoke a different response from various individuals. Some might say that he was a peace loving man that intermingled with the locals. Others might say that he must have been a crotchety old man that was set in his ways. Others still might say that he must have been deaf to put up with all of the scoffing for building a boat that was 450 feet long, when it appears that it had never rained before. Others might say that he was an Evangelist that attempted to save all of those around him.
I think the answer lies in Genesis 5:24 and Genesis 6:9. If you know anything of this passage, you know that Enoch was the father of Methuselah. We all know that Methuselah was the oldest reported man to walk the face of the earth. The Bible says that he died when he was 969 years old. Methuselah went on to have a son named Lamech, who went on to have a son named Noah. I would like to pay special attention to a relationship that is not brought very often to the light. This is the relationship that Enoch had with God, and the relationship that Noah had with God.
If you recall in Genesis 5:24 it says, "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." Every other passage before and after this talks about the men dying, but not Enoch. He had a special relationship with God. He WALKED with God. WOW... Enough said. He and Elijah were the only two men that are reported to never die. God took them both home and spaired them the agony of death.
If we read further in Genesis 6:9 it says, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." I find it sobering that Noah followed in the footsteps of his Great-Grandfather Enoch as a man who "Walked with God." Previously in verse 6 of chapter 6, God states how grieved He is that He even made man. He goes on to state that He is going to wipe them off the face of the earth. Not just man, but the animals that move on the face of the earth, and the birds of the air.
Who do you think God is telling this to? He is relaying his disappointment to Noah. Not for anything that Noah or his family has done, but rather all mankind around him. It says in Genesis that man's actions and thoughts were only evil, and therefore God was going to judge and cleanse the earth.
I love how verse 9 says that Noah was a Righteous and Blameless man. He did not succumb to the things of the world or the lustful desires of the flesh. Rather, he WALKED with God. He obviously had God's ear, as Noah was able to find favor in the eyes of the Lord, who in turn spared his family.
How many times have we heard the story about Noah and pictured him pleading and preaching to those around him? We tend to think that there is a crowd of people around the ark throwing rotten cabbage at Noah and his three sons. There is no mention of interaction with others in the Bible, or the option for those to even turn from their wicked ways. God had his mind made up to destroy the earth and all in it by water. Noah and his family were saved from the cleansing power of the Almighty God.
The Bible does not give an exact account of how many years it took to build the ark. We know that when Noah is first mentioned in chapter 5, he is 500 years old. We also know that when the flood came, Noah was 600 years old. Many people have no idea of what transpired, but rather are told elementary stories that are twisted and slanted. Did you know that it wasn't just two of every kind of animal that entered the ark? There were two of every kind of unclean animal, but there were seven pairs of every clean animal. They needed to have some clean animals to sacrifice.
Here is a timeline that Genesis 6 & 7 lays out on the events of the Flood:
February 17th: The Floodgates of Heaven and the Springs of the Deep are opened up for 40 Days.
The Earth is flooded for 150 days.
July 17th: The Ark rested on Mr. Ararat.
October 1st: The tops of Mountains become visible.
November 9th: A raven is sent out. It comes back empty.
A dove is sent out. It also comes back empty.
November 16th: A dove is sent out a second time. It comes back with an olive branch.
November 23rd: A dove is sent out a third time. It doesn't return.
January 1st: Noah removed the covering from the ark, and saw that the ground was dry.
February 27th: Noah and his family exited the ark, as the earth was completely dry.
I am sure that most people have heard the phrase out of Proverbs 9:10 (ESV) that says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." How many times do we hear scriptures like this, but we truly do not have the foggiest clue as to what they mean? I would venture to say, quite frequently, unfortunately. The understanding of the Word of God can only come through His Holy Spirit speaking and defining it into your very soul. It is with His voice that you come to understand the meaning of the Word.
This passage in Proverbs 9 is very easily explained in Proverbs 8: 13 (ESV), "The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." WOW... That is about as painfully obvious as it gets.
For years I have been praying for wisdom. I have always been amazed at Solomon's choice of asking God for Discernment/Wisdom to lead his people. However, have you ever wondered why we have so many catchy phrases in our society? Who made them up, and where did they come from? I am astounded at the fallacy in the statement: "Wisdom comes with age." I don't know about you, but I have seen a whole lot of people in their 60's and 70's without a lick of common sense or wisdom. Although this can come from age, Wisdom can only come through the imparting of the Holy Spirit into a persons life.
So if we look back at that Proverbs 8 passage, we see that in order to have a fear of the Lord, we must first hate evil. With evil it goes on to explain that Pride, Arrogance and perverted speech we are to hate. The Proverbs 8 passage is all about Wisdom Calling out to you. Do you hear it calling? Do you hate evil in order to have the Fear of the Lord?
I find this Blog ironic as it comes on the heels of yesterdays Blog entitled "Busyness." The ironic aspect comes in yesterday's title as compared with todays. The purpose of my thought process is attributed to an ever approaching awareness of Jesus Christ return. With that being said, I wonder sometimes if I am doing enough to prepare for His return.
I was reading a sermon from Charles Spurgeon that was delivered in 1857 when he was just 23 years old. It was a sermon directed towards "Secret Sin." It was addressing the debilitating effects of sin in peoples lives. He was not addressing the blatant sins that are out there for all to see, but the ones behind closed doors and deep in the recesses of your heart and mind.
Hence the title, "Am I doing Enough?" Not in regards to "Earning" our way into the Kingdom of God through works, as we know it is by grace through faith. But rather am I sounding the warning cry enough. It is easy for us to ridicule the radical people that we see at ball games with signs such as "Turn or Burn" etc, but it begs the question of how we are getting the Word out.
I am afraid that we have turned into an individualistic society that selfishly only cares about oneself. We tend to recede inside our shell of life and state that they are not any of our business. True LOVE cares enough to confront others about their sin, and show them a better way. THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE...
Do you ever have the feeling like your eyeballs might just pop out of your head, or your hair automatically fall out? Me neither, but I must say that I have been a little overwhelmed as of late. Hence the reason for my committment to daily Blogs falling by the wayside. My intentions were absolutely pure, but life got a hold of me.
To start off, my computer at home caught a virus that crashed the whole system. Due to about a hundred individuals in my immediate family having birthdays in February, I have not had the money to get it fixed. Therefore my Blog writing at home on the weekends has ceased. Next, it seems like the PHD that my three kids are achieving in Elementary school is overshadowed by the mountain of homework that they come home with nightly. On top of all of that, I am leading a six week study on the book that I wrote, starting this Wednesday night at church. In the month of March, I am leading a four week Sunday School session on Being a Disciple. All of these take preparation, in order to not walk in and have people just stare at me (Well, they will probably do that anyways).
When I look back at last week, I was at church 5 days in a row. Wednesday night church, Thursday night I led devotions for the adults watching the Upwards Basketball game, Friday night I took my son Nathan to basketball practice and led his team devotions, Saturday I went to a 4 hour Disaster Relief training, and Sunday morning I was back in worship. When I look at this week, it looks much the same way. Tomorrow night I am taking my lovely bride out for her birthday, Wednesday night I lead a class at church, Thursday night my wife teaches a college course in Louisville, Friday night I have Nathan's basketball practice and lead devotions, Saturday we are celebrating 4 birthdays in the immediate family, and back to worship on Sunday.
Life gets a hold of you sometimes!!!
I say all of this to say that we have to proactively make sure that we are not overcommitting in our lives. What seems like a good thing, could quite possibly be detrimental to your life. It is not always the case, but remember that when you do something, there might be a different thing that suffers. In other words if I choose to veg in front of the tv at night, then the time spent with my kids might suffer.
II Thessalonians 3:1 (ESV) says, "For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies." It is important that we evaluate our level of productiveness. Don't just be busy to be busy. Make sure that it is something the Lord would have you do...