The story of Noah is one of the various books in the Bible that had often been disputed among theologians whether it really happened or not. If the scripture said it happened then it did! From the story of Noah we can see so many lessons that can guide us to greatness if we apply it. I will be talking about few of them.
- Faith in God Guarantees safety
The Scripture said Noah was the only righteous man living on earth, I never saw where his children were mentioned to be righteous but they all entered the boat with him.
“Noah was a righteous man, the only man living on earth at that time” Genesis 6:9
He was not righteous because he got it all good, he wasn’t righteous because he did everything perfect, he was righteous because he walked in faith – in consistent faith with God
“He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him” Genesis 6:9
Faith in God is what guarantees an intimate relationship with God. Faith establishes relationship because trust is embedded in faith; consistent faith makes relationships more intimate and intimate relationship with God is what shapes our outward character. Noah was a good man through faith, he walked with God through faith and it was seen in his deeds.
- Be an Influence
We must remember the Bible said Noah was the only righteous man. But because of Noah’s righteousness his family was spared.
“But I solemnly swear to keep you safe in the boat, with your wife and your sons and their wives” Genesis 6:18
Noah was the only righteous man but God had sworn to keep his family safe not because they had such faith in God but because Noah was an influence and their faith must have been strengthened after the experiences they witnessed. As the head of the family he was an influence to his family and this influence brought safety to them all.
- Be Doers not Hearers
“So Noah did exactly as God had commanded him” Genesis 6:22
Jesus said to His disciples “if you love me, keep my commandment”. There is only one factor that can make a man be a doer of God’s word. It is love for God! Noah didn’t obey God out of fear and trembling… He had a close relationship with God and so when God instructed him to carry out a project, he didn’t go questioning Him. He just did exactly as he was commanded. Remember, as of that time, Noah was not a man under the laws of Moses but because he had faith and loved God, he was obedient by default. James told us
“But be doers of the word and not only hearers” James 1:22
Noah’s evil environment did not make him ignore God’s instruction. Even at this time, can we really follow God’s instructions without distraction? It is not about being perfect, it is about being ready to follow God’s instruction. Noah was always ready to follow God’s instruction – He had an intimate relationship with God
- Only God can save
There is something significant about the story of Noah. Noah was not the only person who had a boat at that time. It very possible that during that time, some business men were also on voyage, it is possible that so many boats and ships all over the world was on course but all of them were destroyed except that of Noah. It was only Noah’s ark that could save and only people who went on course in Noah’s ark that were really saved! In the same manner, we presently have a means though which we can be saved… Jesus said “I am the way… no one comes to the father except through me” another part of the scriptures says “anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. In that time, Noah’s ark which was a shadow of Jesus was the only means of salvation! Today, Jesus has been made manifest, we can only be saved through Jesus. Trusting in God even in the days of trouble assures us of safety! Noah’s family was not saved because the ship was made of wood which can float; they were saved because they had faith in God… It was only God who could save them.
“I solemnly swear to keep you safe…” Genesis 6:18
You see that? It was Goad who kept them safe and not the boat.
- Leave Details to God
One would wonder how many years it took Noah to gather all the animals according to its gender and how he took so much time to make sure that his measurements were accurate. The truth is that in reality, the creation, along with Noah was just doing as God had commanded. As Noah played his part by saying “yes” and swinging into action, God took care of the details. Presently, many people will do the opposite. We worry about the details in our life over which we have no control while neglecting specific areas such as: attitudes, relationships, responsibilities and other things that are under our control Noah concentrated on what God has given him to do and he left the rest to God.
“Take along seven pairs of each animal…” Genesis 7:2
God’s instruction was “take along with you…” and not “gather the animals”. With such instruction, many of us might begin to wonder, “How do I gather the animals before taking them along?”… God did the gathering while Noah did the taking.
- God doesn’t forget us
“God didn’t forget about Noah…” Genesis 8:1 (TLB)
Sometimes it seems God is far away, sometime it seem God has forgotten us and we begin to pray and fast that God remember us! But then, God does not forget believers. It may take time but God will always resurface! If Christ is in us, God cannot forget us because we are now His children! Just as we have been instructed to go and evangelize, some people give up on God because it seem God is nowhere to be found and most times we expect God to manifest in a particular way and when He doesn’t manifest that way we give up on Him. For 150 days, Noah might not have heard from God as he used to but he knew God was there with him, he knew he was under the shadows of the almighty, he knew the boat wasn’t saving them but God was saving them and the boat. Even when God doesn’t manifest the way we expected Him to, we must continue trusting that God has not forgotten us. It is an error to pray that God remember you if you are a believer because in the very first place God cannot forget you.
“Never! Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm…” Isaiah 49:15-16
God is not saying He will remember us as a mother remembers her own son. He said even when a mother can forget her own child, He cannot forget us. Our name is tattooed in His body! Isn’t that a marvelous assurance? So it is important to beg God to remember us because He doesn’t forget us in the very first place. Noah had this assurance and in the era of 150 days it seemed everywhere was silent but Noah knew God didn’t forget Him not because God didn’t want to but because God cannot forget Noah!
- Waiting on the Lord
One would expect Noah to just open the boat the moment the rain stopped but he didn’t. Occasionally, Noah would send out a dove to check if the waters are dried up. He continued until he discovered the land is dried up but Noah didn’t open the ark. Noah was comfortably waiting for God’s timing, the dove left and didn’t come back… that was enough sign and assurance that the earth is habitable but Noah didn’t move an inch, Noah remained in the boat. His family might have pressured him to open the boat but he didn’t. God started the work and he allowed God to complete what He started. He waited until God said
“Leave the boat all of you…” Genesis 8:16
It takes patience to wait on the Lord but it also pay to wait on the Lord. It those who wait on the Lord that have their strength renewed.
- We Must Make God Our First
Many would have boasted on how their righteousness has gained them safety but that’s not Noah! The first thing he did was not going around inspecting the earth, the first thing he did was not to find a better place where to live… The first thing he did was to make a sacrifice and thank God. Have ever thanked God and sow seeds of appreciation because God saved you from danger? Have ever done that perhaps because your business or academics was successful? Noah did because he knew it was only God’s mercy that kept him
“… Noah built an altar and sacrificed unto the Lord…” Genesis 8:20
Anytime we make such sacrifices of thanksgiving, it is pleasing to God. When we take God priority, we allow take control. Our sacrifice to God is what really show who God is to us. It just didn’t stop with Noah thanking God; God blessed Noah too and promised to be with him always by establishing a covenant with him. This is what happens when you journey with God. Noah stepped out of the ark into the earth devoid of human life but God gave him a reassuring promise. Today, the rainbow is always a reminder to us of God’s love and faithfulness.
Aside the above 8 lessons, we can also discover others lessons. Everything we need to know about life, we learned from Noah’s Ark…
- Don’t miss the boat.
- Plan ahead! It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
- Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
- Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
- Build your future on high ground.
- For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
- Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
- When you’re stressed, float a while.
- Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
- No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.
Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. Genesis 9:12-15
So, whenever you see a rainbow, whether on a dress, on TV, on books and in the cloud, always remember these lessons and also remember that God is always mighty to save! Read my previous presentation on Noah’s Ark