“Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22)
This intriguing verse haunts me, floats inside the middle of my mind and refuses to go overboard. I can’t shake it; it’s caught in the netting of my thoughts like an inescapable notion. God dumped a life-altering command on a man named Noah, and he does not reply with a gasp or a cringe or a sigh. God handed Noah a world-shattering assignment and we learn that “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).
The Lord regretted making the world and had a plan to eradicate the planet because “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). It’s as if God said, “Enough! I will start over. Who is the one man I can trust with this critical assignment? Who can navigate the depths of this enormous responsibility? Ah yes! Noah. He’s the one who is altogether righteous and blameless. I know I can count on him.”
God shared his plan with Noah. Build an ark. Super-size it: three decks, one roof, rooms inside, cover the vessel inside and outside with pitch. Fill it to the brim with a pair of every living creature, one male and one female, and add in seven pairs of all clean animals, too. Gather enough food for all of them and for your family. Store it carefully. Bring your wife, three sons, and their wives into the ark. Get ready. I will send rain for forty days and forty nights “and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground” (Genesis 7:4).
How did Noah reply to all of this? What does the Bible record as his response to God? We read, “And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).
What an incredible example Noah set for us to follow. Usually we fixate on the enormity of his job and try to stretch our imaginations to picture the actual size of the ark. We cannot begin to comprehend what it would take to maneuver all those animals inside this strange vessel. Rarely do we take the time to consider Noah’s immediate, unwavering acceptance of the entire assignment. Noah took God’s Word seriously and trusted the infallible character of the Lord. The task God appointed him to fulfill was secondary to the enormous faith he held for the God of heaven and earth whose word he revered more than life itself.
Noah did this! Noah did it all. Noah did everything God asked of him. When the Lord calls on us, may we do all he asks of us as well.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell
Photo Credit: Dee Kallgren