11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. 17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. 24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
What a fascinating part of the story. Noah was 600 years old, that’s 600 years of life being a certain predictable way, and now everything is about to change. The flood was not a gradual trickle, but it began on one pivotal day. Yes, God had warned Noah in advance to build the ark, but one day he lived on the earth, and the next day he abandoned the life he had known for 600 years and boarded an ark, not knowing exactly what the future would hold.
What was it like for Noah and his relatives? Was the noise of the rain and waters rising frightening? What was it like seeing everything you’d known disappear under water? Did they wonder what life ahead would look like? Or did Noah just trust God, trust in His goodness and protection and take one day at a time? Despite the chaos around them, did they look at the ark and feel the solidity of the timber around them and trust that the God who had gone to the effort of directing them to build an ark, would continue to take care of them?
It also amazes me that they would have had no idea that their story would be shared by billions of people, and be a source of encouragement for thousands of years… the God of the Universe was not only working with them, but was working through them.
Thank you God that you are the same God who delivered Noah from the flood. You will take care of me, and I can trust you. I can trust in your ability to protect me and your bigger picture purpose as well, of which I may never fully comprehend in this life. Holy Spirit, please help me to trust in your greatness, your love, your faithfulness and your goodness. Amen.
Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh