Today my husband went to a men’s event in an Elim church in hillsborough to hear a preacher named Mark Ritchie. He spoke a message on courage, being courageous for God and stepping out but at the end of his message he told a story of a church in Germany who heard trains pass by their church week in and week out. He told the congregation a story of the holocaust and how these trains were filled with men and women screaming to be saved and how this church sung hymns by choice to drown out their cries.
I sit at 10pm disturbed and saddened by such a story. However it led me to think on Noah. To think what it must have been like for him to be told to build this ark that would house his whole family and every animal ever created.
I wonder how he felt as he hammered every nail in place begging the world he knew to believe, to trust and to be in the boat before the rains fell. Every time he had to saw the wood and nail it to the already made frame, or fill the ark with food.
The bible tells us in Genesis 8 that ‘Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.’ and that ‘Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God’.
I believe that Noah looked on His generation with eyes that felt the same pain as God. I believe that the corruption, destitution and wickedness was noticeable to a man like Noah. A man who found favour in the eyes of God. This ark was to be big enough to house 2 of every animal and 7 of every bird of the air, Noah, his wife, their 3 sons and their sons wives. This was no small task nor was it a simple task. It required strenuous, hard grafting and Noah at 600 years old completed the entire thing as requested by The Lord himself. During the days that led up to the Ark being completed I believe Noah reached out to His community. I believe that for every nail he hammered into place Noah felt an urgency to reach out and tell those who lived in wickedness of a door that led to safety and if they just put their hope in Yahweh then they too could be saved. I believe that for every piece of wood that was fixed into place that Noah knew the day of the Lords judgement was near and that these people, his neighbours, his friends, would perish.
The narrative in the bible goes on and says the Ark is completed as God had intended and the animals, the birds and Noah’s family were inside when the rains fell and they fell and they fell. I imagine in panic, fury, desperation and anguish these people were banging on the door, shouting, ‘Noah! We believe! Save us to!’ ‘Noah our children’. ‘Noah open the door!!’ But he couldn’t, because we read in 7:16 that ‘The Lord shut them in’. God closed the door. There was time and I’m sure Noah did his utmost to make them see that Adonai was real and serious. That God is a God of judgement but they were happy in their wickedness. I believe Noah cried out for mercy on their souls. I believe he and his wife and family bowed low and earnestly prayed to God to show mercy, grace and love even when these people who they loved, who they lived with and who they had done life with had passed on to Sheol. I am sure that Noah was a broken hearted man wondering did I do enough?
For Noah the door closed. He knew the urgency and he knew the final days were coming and I know that is no different that for us today. We turn on our tv to the news or open up a newspaper and see the horrific headlines. Rape, murder, death, sickness, war: all of which are consequences to the sin that entered the world in Genesis when Eve fell to Satans’ plan and ate of the forbidden tree and encouraged Adam to do so also. We read revelations and we see that all of this is the signs of the times coming to an end. The ark as we say is almost complete and God will soon shut the door and His judgement and wrath will be poured out. The trumpets will sound, the scroll will be opened and the horses will be let loose into the world in which we live.
Have we done enough? Can we say on that day that we lived as evangelists to our family, friends, loved ones? Can we say we did enough? We loved enough? We portrayed Jesus enough? If you can then amen! Amen for men and women who stand as a Joshua generation and be courageous fighting for the lost. If not, then there is still time. The trumpet has not yet sounded. Invite your loved ones to church, bring them random acts of kindness in Jesus name, pray, pray and pray for them and show them Jesus in action.
We can be a generation of people who will not say no. Who will stand and be counted and who will know a sense of urgency, who will know a sense of love, grace and mercy and freely give the gifts we have been given to those in need also.
Lets stand at the gates of heaven on the last days and welcome in our school friends, our neighbours, our husbands, wives, children and parents. Lets see this generation won for Jesus and lets start by stepping up and being like Jesus.