When God makes a permanent decision, judgment is coming– be sure of it. The only question to ask is how long one has to get out of the way and what permanent steps should one take to ensure that he/she is not on the path of the destroyer. It sounds easier to do than it actually is because we, as humans, have the distinct habit of wanting to stick around as long as we can to see if what God said was going to happen is happening. This is not such a good way to think when you are trying to get out of the way on time.
Noah, now is the time
All of the preaching and convincing was good. But there came a point when Noah had to physically get on the boat. That required a separation. He became separated from all that he once knew, or thought that he knew; and for a little while he drifted into a place that had not been explained to him. Noah was in deep waters.
There will be seasons in your life when everything that you said you believed about God will be tried. You will be forced to trust him with your very soul in a way that you’ve never trusted him before. Either he will deliver you, or he will not, and you will be banking everything on his word.
I wonder if Noah doubted. I wonder if he worried about the waters ever ceasing. From his window, all he could see was devastation. It looked like it wasn’t going to get any better. Even though God had always determind when he would let Noah know the right moment to come out, Noah still sent testers to see exactly what he was dealing with. The truth is, Noah was really wondering, “Is there ever going to be a place for me to stand again”, and for what seemed like an eternity to him, the answer kept being “No”.
In the beginning, know the tone
There was a place for Noah to stand, but the place was still under water. Noah was going to have to wait on God. It didn’t matter how frequently he tested the condition of the new world, when the place had been made ready, God would let him know.
Aren’t we funny creatures though? One would think that the same God who arranged his protection would also be the same God who would arrange his freedom, so why was Noah so preoccupied? I think Noah was preoccupied with his own concerns. When we spend too much energy on preserving ourselves, we start to hear a tone that sounds different from that of God. We start to hear a “worry” formulating.
God wasn’t worried. Everything to God happens exactly when it is suppose to happen, and he doesn’t always share with us when that will be; However, God didn’t correct Noah for participating in the process. Sending out testers was not wrong. What he was waiting for did finally come. The dove didn’t return to him again. When that happened, Noah knew that God kept his word. Noah realized that the flood was over. Perhaps his realization allowed him to hear God clearly when he told Noah that now was the time to build again. Noah participated in the process by testing the conditions, without testing God.
Give ear to the healing of the Lord
Last week, we talked about David. David did the same thing. He tested the conditions without testing God. He needed to be sure that what he was feeling was from the spirit of discernment and not from his own paranoia. It was a good and clear-headed thing to do in waiting to hear from Jonathan so that he would “know” for sure instead of guessing the next move. God was sending David to a new world, where a place was made ready for him.
There was also a new world waiting for Noah, even though letting go of the old world was difficult to do. The new world had new instructions attached to it. It also had old problems. Noah still had to deal with unfinished business concerning his son, and he still had to handle his periodic stages of depression (probably about what he just came out of) in a better way than intoxication.
Healing takes time and energy. It is not a process that comes about by osmosis. Even when the wound is completely dry and the scabbing appears to be fading, the experience is still engraved in the recesses of our mind. It is the scarring on the inside that is the hardest to overcome. Scarring comes from the amount of grieving the Holy Spirit had to go through. Yet, God encourages us to try again. Even in the midst of the heartache of losing his whole world, God insists that Noah lives anew.
In fact, God is relying on Noah’s productivity in order to make the new world survive until He returns. There is a lot of work to do! When the lesson was over, and everything rejected was washed away, and there was a firm foundation on which to build again, God pointed Noah towards his watch. It was time to step out on faith…and multiply.
Reading of the Week:
(Week Two) October 16, 2010 – Go Out