11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
This passage begins by telling us how God saw the earth – it had become corrupt. Because everyone on earth was corrupt, God was going to wipe out everyone, except for Noah and his family. But here is the catch, God’s plan to start again was radical. He told Noah to build a boat because he was going to cover the earth with a flood. Noah may have seen boats before, we don’t know. But there had never been a flood, there had never even been rain.
What was Noah’s response to this plan? V22 tells us that Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Complete obedience. Not partial, not mostly, not similar but complete obedience.
Our times are not too different to the times of Noah, corruption and violence everywhere. God’s plan for our lives, may not be as radical as building a boat, but it is to live according to God’s way. It’s easy to compromise, to not be complete in our obedience to God. But when surrounded by corruption, does complete obedience really matter? Yes, it does. There is only one plan, only one salvation, only one way to live as God tells us too.
Noah’s complete obedience saved not only himself, but his whole family, and from this the whole world. We benefit from Noah’s obedience to God’s command. When I obey God completely, there is a benefit not only to me, but it also extends, not just to my family, but those around me. I don’t always get it right, but by God’s work within me I am trusting him more and more.
Father, I thank you for the pattern of obedience that has been set by people around me. Help me to completely obey you as well.
Written by Andrew Martin