Remembering the ark
I am done with all this rain!
It is a good thing that God promised he would never flood the world again in the scriptures, or I would really be thinking it was time to build another ark. You cannot even tell that I was able to get the grass cut last week before Easter weekend. I am sure that once we get into summer we will be begging for some rain to cool things off, but for now, I say enough.
I could not help but think about the story of the flood while waiting for all this rain to dry up. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be Noah back then. This guy gets specific directions from God and just starts building a huge boat in his backyard. I wonder how long it was before his neighbors started asking him what he was doing. How would our neighbors react if we told them that God was going to destroy the world with water from the ground and the sky? He lived in the desert, so I figure there probably was not a lot of rain going on at the time in the first place. People would have been laughing the whole time he was building the thing. There is no place in the story that makes it sound like Noah had any doubts. Noah and his family would have been the joke of the marketplace … at least until it started raining.
Noah was 600 years old when the flood started. I used to think it took so long because of him tripping over his robe and sandals trying to catch the pigs and chickens. (A funny mental picture for me.) The scriptures say that the animals “came to Noah” which if you really think about it it was probably not funny at all. When the animals started showing up, there would be no doubt that this thing was really going to happen. After Noah, his family, and all the animals entered the ark, the scriptures say that God himself closed the door.
Once the flood waters started rising, I wonder if Noah’s neighbors came and begged him to open that door. Did they break their fingernails off clawing to try to get that door open? How long was it before the rain turned the solid desert ground into thick mud? How long did his neighbors have before the situation became desperate for them? How long did they tread water outside that boat screaming and begging to be let in? Once God shut that door, you were on either the right or wrong side of it.
We of course understand that the ark represents salvation. The flood represents the coming judgment. In the same way that Noah knew that the flood was coming, we know that Christ is going to return for a final judgment on all humankind. Every proud word spoken against him will be answered for. Those of us who serve him in love and obedience (regardless of what the world thinks of us) will be on the right side of the door when it closes. I do not even want to try to imagine what it will be like for those people who are left behind the last time God closes the door. This time … it will be forever.
At least for now we can all take comfort in knowing that eventually it is going to stop raining.
Dennis McFarland is the pastor of the Plumwood Church of Christ in Christian Union, 175 Arthur Bradley Road. He can be reached at (740) 857-1714 or by e-mail at: email@example.com