Compliance Without Understanding

12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ge 6:12–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

It took Noah 100 years to build the Ark. But look how God approaches him. “I will destroy the earth,” God tells Noah. “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.”

Noah did it.

We read no gaps and think that God told Noah and Noah immediately complied. We read our biases and chronology into the text, but the text was not there. What we know is that God told Noah that he would destroy the earth. Then God told Noah to build an ark.

He had not yet told Noah why. The Middle East of the time was not a moisture rich place anymore than it is now. Noah trusted the Lord and built an Ark. He complied and God told him that the destruction would come from a flood.

Again, the Middle East is not known for an abundance of water.

Noah might not have understood how God would do it, but he knew God would. He trusted God and complied with God, though he might not have fully understood.

And God tells Noah that they will have a covenant. God will make a covenant with Noah — something unheard of in any other religion. The gods of other religions do not enter into contracts or covenants with the people. But our God will. He will see us through the storms of faith and life even if we do not see the how or the why or the end. He is with us.

God found Noah righteous among all the people, not because Noah was perfect. Noah was a sinner. But he tried to order his life toward God instead of toward the world. And God protected Noah and preserved Noah and his family. All Noah had to do was build the boat — a boat sealed shut by God himself.