Knowledge of Noah’s Obedience
The sun set in the evening, enveloping the entire city in an orange glow, and a cool breeze suffused the room. I sat by the window reading the Bible. The Bible says, “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). Noah was called a righteous and perfect man by God, which is always thought-provoking: God asked Noah to build the ark. However God wanted it to be made, he did exactly as God asked. Noah was a person who followed God’s will. But, thinking back on my years of believing in the Lord, I keep His name and way, cast off everything to spread the gospel to testify for the Lord and work hard to shepherd the church. What’s more, I didn’t deny the Lord’s name and betray Him even in the persecution and tribulation. In my point of view, what I have done can be called righteous and I have been carrying out God’s will these years. Beyond a doubt, I finally can be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. After a while, I saw the words of the Lord Jesus in the Bible, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). I started to wonder whether my opinion was in accordance with the Lord’s will. Isn’t my pursuit good deeds or righteous actions? Afterward, I discussed this issue with my co-workers, but to no avail.
One day, I read one passage of words from a book, “What Noah did was essentially different to what people are doing now. When Noah did as God instructed, he did not know what God’s intentions were. He did not know what God wanted to accomplish. God had only given him a command and instructed him to do something, and without much explanation, Noah went ahead and did it. He did not try to secretly figure out God’s intentions, nor did he resist God or show insincerity. He just went and did it accordingly with a pure and simple heart. Whatever God had him do, he did, and obeying and listening to God’s word underpinned his belief in what he did. That was how straightforwardly and simply he dealt with what God entrusted. His essence—the essence of his actions was obedience, not second-guessing, not resisting, and moreover, not thinking of his own personal interests or his gains and losses. Further, when God said He would destroy the world with a flood, Noah did not ask when or ask what would become of things, and he certainly did not ask God how He was going to destroy the world. He simply did as God instructed. However God wanted it to be made and made with what, he did exactly as God asked and also commenced action immediately. He acted according to God’s instructions with an attitude of wanting to satisfy God. Was he doing it to help himself avoid the disaster? No. Did he ask God how much longer it would be before the world was to be destroyed? He did not. Did he ask God or did he know how long it would take to build the ark? He did not know that either. He simply obeyed, listened, and acted accordingly. The people of now are not the same: As soon as a bit of information is leaked through God’s word, as soon as people sense a mere rustle of leaves in the wind, they immediately spring into action, no matter what and regardless of the price, to prepare what they will eat, drink, and use in the aftermath, even planning their escape routes for when the disaster strikes. Even more interesting is that, at this key moment, human brains are very good at ‘getting the job done.’ Under circumstances where God has not given any instructions, man can plan for everything very appropriately. You could use the word ‘perfect’ to describe such plans. As for what God says, what God’s intentions are, or what God wants, no one cares and no one tries to appreciate it. Is that not the biggest difference between the people of today and Noah?” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I”).
After reading, I was lost in thought, “When Noah accepted God’s commission, he simply obeyed without opposition and suspicion. He didn’t consider how much time and energy it would take him to build an ark or whether his own interests would suffer too much. Instead, he built the ark based on God’s demands without discount. Especially, when Noah was told that God intended to destroy the world with a flood, he neither asked the exact date, nor planned for his future and considered his fate when the ark was finished. He simply just obeyed, listened, and did it accordingly. This should be the reason why Noah was called a righteous and perfect man by God!”
Compared with Noah, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “For many years, do I have pure obedience to the Lord? Is there no doing business with God or demand on payment when I expend for Him?” After reflecting, I have to admit that what I did for God is to be rewarded and enter the kingdom of heaven to enjoy rich blessings, not to satisfy the Lord’s will. I read the Bible every day and spread the gospel, but rarely obey the Lord’s will. When working for the Lord, I would have jealous disputes with my co-workers. Once others were admired by brothers and sisters, I felt really thrown off balance. All of these performances were not to testify for God but to fight for status waving the flag of working for Him. In my work, I took more into account my own position, reputation and future plans. How could I possibly be someone who follows God’s will? Compared with Noah’s righteous deeds, it’s a big difference. How was I qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven? The Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mat 7:21). His words clearly told us the standard that God requires of man. Only pursuing to obey God like Noah, can I be raptured into the kingdom of heaven.
Thanks for the Lord’s guidance, I realize that I fall far short of Noah. Deeply corrupted by Satan, I am selfish and base without any obedience in my spending. For this, I want to start over with a clean slate. From now on, I don’t take into account my future or loss. Instead, I will take satisfying God as the principle, and take obeying His orchestrations and arrangements as a heaven-sent vocation. I’m willing to be the one who can truly obey God just like Noah.
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- 2Gamaliel’s Merits and Shortcomings - Bible Character Study
- 3What Kind of Christian Can Really Obtain God’s Approval?
- 4Knowledge of Noah’s Obedience
- 5Bible Study on John 9: Why Jesus Said, “If You Were Blind, You Should Have No Sin?”
- 6King Solomon’s Trouble: Emptiness