How does one stand with one’s family on law-abiding principles when every other human on earth has chosen continuous evil and violence? The Bible first makes mention of Noah when he was 500 years of age. At about this time, God communicated to him that humanity was finally irreconcilably corrupt and beyond hope. They must be annihilated.
Noah was instructed to build a massive boat—one which could carry samples of all the animal species. Besides the animals, only Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives were to be spared. This means that Noah had to face the painful heartache of leaving behind many relatives and even friends who had rejected God for perverse lifestyles.
Noah’s perseverance alone is astounding. The Bible indicates that building the boat and collecting and loading the animals took a great many years. Even today building a ship this size would be a formidable task. Yet here was a man with no formal marine architectural training. What frustrations he must have encountered as he worked.
More patient endurance was required after the rains started. From the day the ark’s doors shut, the Bible says that almost a year passed before the earth was dry enough for Noah and his family to leave the ark. ‘Cabin fever’ as well as the unpleasantness resulting from multitudes of animals shut up in close quarters must have made that year a very trying one.
Besides his perseverance, it is his moral purity that will always set Noah apart. In Ezekiel’s prophesy God distinguishes Noah, Daniel, and Job as among the most righteous who ever lived. Though, of course, they were not sinless, one is hard put to find cases in their biblical histories in which these individuals willfully disobeyed God.
We also learn that throughout the many years during which his boat was being built, Noah was also preaching to earth’s inhabitants, warning them to change their ways or perish. It must have been heartbreaking to preach year after year, yet see not one person turn to God from their violence and evil. We honor Noah—a deeply persevering man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord and thereby became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
What can we learn from Noah?
Whenever a challenge God has given us appears beyond our threshold of perseverance, we need only look to Noah as a motivating example. In spite of leering opposition and incredible obstacles, he stayed with his task to the end.
Bible Verses about Noah
Gen. 5-9; Ezek. 14:14, 20; Mt. 24:37; Heb. 11:7; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5
What questions does this help to answer?
- Who was Noah?
- Was Noah’s flood real?
- Who built the ark?
- What does Noah teach us?
Steve Fortosis served for six years as youth minister in several parishes. Meanwhile he was also working toward his masters, then his doctorate in religious education. Through the years he has enjoyed teaching on the college and seminary levels and writing professionally. He has published a number of books including story and prayer compilations, missionary biography, Biblical character biography, devotional lit, children’s lit, and even stories of Bible translation. Presently he resides in Florida with his wife, Debra, where he teaches part-time and writes on a free-lance basis.Steve Fortosis