By Elizabeth Prata
I got to thinking, are times terrible? They are dark, and certainly getting darker by the day, that much is a definite fact. However, before I allow myself to sink into a funk, I think of two things. First, Jesus. And second, what my forebears went through. It is because of the work of Jesus we can be saved. It is because of the work of my forbears in the faith that the faith was handed down to me. I thank each and ever predecessor.
In this case today, I was thinking of Noah. Jesus said that at the time of the flood, Noah was the only righteous man left. Genesis 6:8 says that Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. Noah was blameless in his ways, and righteous. He walked with the LORD. (Genesis 6:9).
This is in contrast to the description of everyone and everything else. “The LORD saw that 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). “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11). “And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”
That’s twice in a row, God saw the earth and when God saw it, it was filled with violence and corruption. God was so grieved at this, He was sorry He made man! (Genesis 6:6).
The only righteous person was Noah. Of his sons, the Bible doesn’t say they were righteous or unrighteous. Just that Noah had three sons (Genesis 6:10) and that they and their wives came into the ark with Noah. (Genesis 7:7). We do not know if the sons walked with God. We do not know if the sons were blameless in God’s eyes or if they were allowed into the ark because Noah’s righteousness covered them. I mean, Job used to continually sacrifice on behalf of his children’s sins to cover them. (Job 1:5). Perhaps Noah did also.
In any case, either it was a small band of humans who were righteous and did right in God’s eyes, or it was one person. Either way, that is a lonely, lonely life. Imagine how grieved Noah must have been with all that darkness around him!
When I think of how grieved I am today, the sins of the world piling up … the trials friends are going through … the awful knowledge of what is coming for the lost…sickness over my own sins… I think of Noah. For many years, 120 certainly, Noah preached God’s righteousness and built the world’s biggest boat (the world’s only boat?) and asked people to join him. He had not one taker. They mocked and they laughed and Noah saw his neighbors and friends go further away from the LORD into their one evilness. How sorrowful he must have been?
I was thinking this morning, just how evil do the days have to get to be actually like they were during Noah’s time?
We Christians have a lot on our minds. But no matter how heavy our hearts are in their burdens for other people, we need not fear.
Here are some essays encouraging us as to the reality of our position. The darkness is around us, but not in us.
I end with reminding us to keep our noses to the grindstone and our heads focused on working for Him who is Light. No matter how dark things got for Noah, he nailed his nails and bent his planks one by plodding one. He never stopped working until the LORD said ‘get in the boat and I shall shut the door’. (Genesis 7:13, 16). We should never stop working until either we pass through death into heaven’s gates or the Lord calls us with the trumpet of God and the voice of the archangel and a shout, “Come up here!” Yes it is getting dark. But soon the Light cometh! Noah persevered, let us take comfort in his righteous act as our example. Noah is an heir of righteousness (Hebrews 11:7).
Here is Encouragement for Christian Laborers — J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), “Expository Thoughts on Matthew”
“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” – Matthew 11:11
“Do we know what it is to work for Christ? Have we ever felt cast down and dispirited, as if we were doing no good, and no one cared for us? Are we ever tempted to feel, when laid aside by sickness, or withdrawn by providence, ‘I have labored in vain, and spent my strength for nought?’ Let us meet such thoughts by the recollection of this passage. Let us remember, there is One who daily records all we do for Him, and sees more beauty in His servants’ work than His servants do themselves. The same tongue which bore testimony to John in prison, will bear testimony to all his people at the last day. He will say, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ And then shall His faithful witnesses discover, to their wonder and surprise, that there never was a word spoken on their Master’s behalf, which does not receive a reward.”
Those in Christ will dine with the eternal Savior at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! Your reward who is Jesus Christ will come for His bride, and darkness for us will be no more.