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Still Waters: Noah's Obedience

Gen 6:18-22 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

According to Romans 1:20, there is ample testimony in nature to prove beyond question the existence of God, “even his eternal power and Godhead....” In fact, that evidence is so ironclad that it renders mankind “without excuse” when it comes to acknowledging the Almighty. There are so many amazing evidences of God one could consider that it would take a lifetime to ponder them all. Take for instance the simple monarch butterfly.

I have a vivid memory in my mind that is triggered anytime I see or hear of the monarch butterfly. Lynn and I took a picnic lunch up above Sunburst when Caleb and Anna Laura were young, before Jacob was born. We walked out to the Middle Prong of the West Fork of the Pigeon River, a stream that was a favorite fly fishing spot of mine, and the kids played in the cold mountain water. Anna Laura was still in diapers, and she waded out into the shallows of the stream and squated down playing in the water. In just a moment, she was completely surrounded by monarch butterflies. I do wish we had a video of that scene. It was beautiful, and Anna Laura was not even scared.

The monarch butterfly is an amazing creature. When winter time is approaching each year, millions of monarchs will leave their homes in the Northeastern United States, or on up in Canada, and make a 3,000 mile trek to southwestern Mexico. They will winter there, mate and produce millions of caterpillars that will transform into another generation of monarch butterflies. These will begin their northern trip back to the land of their ancestors, but they cannot make the entire journey. In fact, it may take four or five generations of butterflies to make it all the way back to the homeland. Then the southern trip begins again. However, those that leave the far north will make the entire journey back to Mexico. The average lifespan of the monarch butterflies that are heading north is only about 5 to 7 weeks, but those that leave the north to go south live up to 8 months. Scientists are baffled at this phenomenon of nature. How does the monarch know to go to southeastern Mexico where others have gone for many, many years? How does the new generations know the path to return? How do they know when? How do they know the places to stop along the way? Those who believe in God have no problem answering these questions. Their Creator has worked these details out, and countless others that are demonstrated in nature. Hibernation is one of God’s amazing creations. The migrations of various birds, including the tiny hummingbird are just further demonstrations of God’s power and wisdom displayed in Creation.

The Biblical account of the flood and of Noah’s ark has been the subject of much ridicule and unbelief, especially in our “enlightened day.” As stated earlier in our devotional thoughts, honest science has concluded that the ark was capable of taking care of the animals spoken of in the Bible. If monarch butterflies make a 3,000 mile trip yearly to winter, with later generations of their offspring making the return trip unguided, could not God have drawn animals to Noah’s ark? Would it be feasible for God to have put those animals within the ark in a condition of hibernation, eliminating the necessity for tons of food for the journey, and the removal of tons of waste that would have been produced. The bottom line is this; “he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarded of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) One who believes in God, in His power and wisdom, can easily understand and believe the Biblical account of the global flood and the ark of Noah. For the unbeliever, none of this will ever begin to make sense. Believe and “have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)

True faith is followed by obedience. Noah believed God. He believed God’s assessment of humanity, and he believed that God was literally going to destroy man for his sin. He believed that God would be able to spare him and his family from the judgment that was coming through the ark that God had commanded him to build. Because he believed, Noah immediately began work on the colossal, wooden sailing vessel that God had instructed him to build. Jesus once said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10) Noah’s love for God, and his belief in God were clearly demonstrated in his obedience to God. So it should it ever be with those who have faith in God.

Pastor Steve Smith


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