The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
The King James Version of verse one says that …the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Indeed the Hebrew word for “come” is used here in the original text. What does this mean? If God is directing Noah to “come” into the ark, it can only mean that God is in the ark already! He’s beckoning Noah and his family to come. This is how it always is with God. His heart is for you and for me to come unto Him. Jesus beckons you and I to come unto Him for He said, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) This is the answer because Jesus Christ is the ark of our salvation! Coming unto Jesus is the solution to the problem of separation from God. If you haven’t already, listen to God’s heart, come unto Him. (see So Your Life Is Falling Apart)
Here’s more good news from verse one of our text. We know the Lord loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) We know that He loves the world and we know He loves individuals. But pause for a moment and think with me about this first verse in Genesis chapter 7. In verse one we see that God has obviously taken notice of Noah’s righteousness, yet He tells Noah to Come thou and all thy house into the ark… (v.1) God could have started over with just two. He’d already done it once with Adam and Eve. But He chose to save Noah’s whole family instead.
Isn’t it terrific that God desires to save not only you, but your whole family as well!
Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal… (v.2) Seven pairs of clean animals would have been necessary to account for the animals sacrificed to the Lord. Only one pair would be required for the unclean.
And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him. (v.5)
A few days ago my wife Kathy asked me to install a new thermostat.
“I did some research on the internet and it should only take about an hour,” she said.
So I dove in, removed the old thermostat from the wall, pulled out seven wires, and found that only four were used by the old model. As I read the instructions I learned that the new model used five wires.
“No big deal,” I thought. “How hard can this fifth wire thing be?”
After some research online I had the panel off of our heating unit and I was looking for a place to hook up the fifth wire – no good, can’t find the “C terminal” inside my heating unit.
“C terminal?! What the heck is that anyway?”
After a few phone conversations with Al, our local heating guy, I learn that I need to go under the house to check a junction box.
“I hate crawling under the house! A raccoon used to reside there, what if he’s back? My back always hurts when I crawl under the house.” I said to my wife with enthusiasm.
Under the house I go, belly crawling my way around in the dirt I find the junction box. It turns out that the blue wire is connected to a gray wire at the junction box.
“Dirty trick!” I said out loud.
So I figure out I need some extra wire and it’s off to Home Depot. At the checkout counter I see one of those large flat carts next to my wife, it has a large box on it.
“What’s that?” I ask, trepidation in my voice.
“It’s a grill,” Kathy answers.
“A grill?” I ask increduously.
“We need a new grill,” she says flatly.
I look at the box and read the words out loud, “some assembly required.” Great, just what I needed.
“Why me,” I say. “It’s Christmas time, New Years time. It’s the holidays. I’m supposed to be watching football! For goodness sake the Chick-fil-a Bowl is on!”
When we return it’s back on the internet again, back to the heating unit again, under the house again…
“This was supposed to take only one hour! What about me time? For cryin’ out loud the Meineke Car Care Bowl is on!”
Are you getting the picture?
Nearly two days and one hundred or so complaints later the thermostat is still not installed. So I call a friend of mine who is an electrician, Rick Chown, to seek some advice. While we’re on the phone Rick and his wife Linda begin to share about their granddaughter Madeline. (just a few minutes ago I also spoke with Madeline’s mother, Rachel)
How she had her first surgery when she was one day old.
How she’s had over fifty surgeries during her nine years on earth.
How she’s had pieces of metal implanted in her back to support her spine.
How these had to be removed recently.
How she continues to suffer from infections.
And how she lights up a room with her smile and great attitude, in spite of her many painful challenges.
Rick shared this video of Madeline with me. She was recently fitted with a halo device which is attached to a rack designed to take pressure off her spine. She wheels around the Dallas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in this thing, encouraging the other patients with her good cheer. (see Rogers Family Blog)
Wow! You can imagine how I feel.
…Noah did all that the LORD commanded him. (v.5) Noah knew what the Lord wanted him to do. Like you I often wonder what God’s will is for me. Sometimes I say to myself, “If only I knew what God wanted me to do, I’d do it.” I have good news. God tells me and God tells you what His will is for us.
…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“What does God’s will, giving thanks in all circumstances, look like?” you might ask.
Sometimes it looks like a little girl with a halo,
spinning and smiling,
spinning and smiling.