Dealings of the Lord with Noah.
The sons of God, being separated unto Him before the foundation of the world yet partakers of this flesh and blood, were given over to the lusts of the flesh and took unto themselves the daughters of the land. This unequal yoking resulted in compromise and confusion so that the thoughts and imaginations were only evil continually. This was no surprise to God who had ordain it to be so. He had created the flesh week and had manifested it in the wickedness of the world. The Holiness of His purity grieved Him to see such iniquity and He decreed that He would destroy man from off the face of the earth in 120 years.
BUT Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord because he had been cleansed. The translation states that he was upright and walked before God but he did not do this of his own accord, he had been afore prepared unto glory. John saw the Lamb, as it had been slain from the foundation of the world, who had shed His blood as the atonement for the sins of ALL His people and all these works were finished before the foundation of the earth. He was a chosen vessel who at the age of 480 years was given the daunting assignment to build an ark and 120 years to complete it. Whether he knew what a boat was or how to build it is immaterial for the God who gave Him this assignment also gave him the wisdom and power to perform that which He commanded. “Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (6:22).
God has promised that His Word would not return unto Him void but would perform all that He sent Him forth to do. In order for this to happen He does not ask, invite or rely upon the ingenuity or ability of man rather He empowered, enabled and caused all things to come to pass even to the gathering of the animals into the ark, two by two. “And Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded” (7:5). God had made him willing and performed His will through him in his weakness and ignorance.
Did God just hand Noah a set of plans and say, ‘See ya’ in 120 years?’ Not at all. Whatever God has assigned unto His children to do is started and finished by, through and for Him. He works in them both to will and to do and never is there a time when He leaves them to themselves to complete His works. Sometimes that path that He has set is painful and unpleasant filled with trials and tribulations, but He promised, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’. He told Jacob that He was with him where ever he went and He would return him back to the land of promise. He promised never to forsake him but rather to protect him and provide for his needs. Just like Jesus told His disciples in the parables of the Lilly’s of the field, who neither toil nor spin, and the sparrows of the air, who are sold in the market by the providence of God, His children are of greater importance to the Father than these, for He has loved them with an everlasting love. All things are attended to by the One who has decreed that they should come to pass.
Sometimes the path that is set before His people is dark and dreary and sometimes it leads into the valley of trouble and tribulation. Again this is no surprise to God for he has caused His people to endure these things for the experience of comfort and the learning of patience. After the flesh they begin to fear and look for comfort in the things they can see. But these things are done because “we have this treasure on an earthen vessel, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (II Cor. 4:7). And we suffer these things, “Knowing that He that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound top the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man (born of the Spirit and from above) is renewed day by day” (4:14ff).
No mater if it be persecution, peril or death Paul calls these our ‘light affliction’ which are but for a moment. Though they seem to last forever (120 years to Noah before the destruction of the earth) yet the “Sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Roms. 8:18) for it is the Glory of God and not of the man. No praise for Noah, Jacob or Paul for the work that they did but all praise and glory unto Him that worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. God set the assignments, properly prepared the subjects, sufficiently equipped them for the race set before them, causes them to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of their faith and completes what he has decreed. Where is there any room for boasting after the flesh?
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 18, 2010