I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m glad that God does not leave it up to me to make certain decisions. I understand He has given me free will. However, He has already told us how He wants certain things to be done. All I have to do is obey it. That’s it. It seems so simple. I hate hearing people use the excuse “Well, we’re all human.” That just seems like a copout for sin. However, there’s no way we will obey every command perfectly. We have sinned, and we will continue to sin (Romans 3:23) by not being obedient to what God told us to do or not do. Too many times this is because we try to use our own logic and intuition to justify a “one-off case” of disobedience.
Sitting in a Wednesday night Bible class last week, we were discussing Noah and the different ways that he obeyed God in the process of building the ark. There were a few comments that you would expect. He used gopherwood (Genesis 6:14). He built it to the correct dimensions (Genesis 6:15-16). He brought in the correct number of animals (Genesis 7:2-3). Then came the one comment that I promise no one else in the class had thought of, and it was so true: Noah let God shut the door (Genesis 7:16).
Now why is it important that Noah let God shut the door of the ark? It’s because we as humans are weak. Our minds are feedble, and we sometimes seem to think that we know better than God. Noah knew what was coming. He knew that he, his wife, his three sons, and his three daughters-in-law were going to be saved. He knew the animals were going to be saved. He also knew that everything and everyone else was about to die.
His entire world was about to be turned upside down. Noah may have had a lot of family around (and not just his boys and their wives). How many relatives of his died in the flood? We know that his grandfather Methusaleh died the same year the flood happened (see here for explanation). If he did by chance die in the flood, do you think Noah was tempted to let him on board? If I had been in Noah’s shoes, I don’t know how I would have handled it emotionally. I wonder sometimes what was going through his mind as he and his family got on board. Did he watch out the window and cry as he watched others panic as they felt the rain start to fall?
Maybe now you understand why it’s important that God was the One to shut the door of the ark. That’s not a responsibility that was laid on Noah. He would not have to spend the rest of his life on a new Earth knowing he was the one that shut everyone out. It was not his judgment. It was God’s.
But here’s what is really interesting to me from all of this. There is no indication in the Scriptures that Noah tried to get God to hold the door for just a moment. There’s no indication that he tried to convince God to allow anyone else on the ark. He and his family simply got on the ark and did what God said. They obeyed.
You want a “poster child” of faith? You want to see a perfect show of trust? I believe it was Noah. I only pray that I can have faith that strong.
So how does this help us today? Sometimes, we need to understand that God has already told us what to do. He has told us how He wants us to worship. He has told us how He wants the family to be structured. He has told us how He wants us to treat each other. Why do we question that sometimes? Why do we try to interject our own opinions? Why do we think that we know better than God? Even if it’s hard. Even if it doesn’t make sense to us.
Sometimes we just need to have faith and let God shut the door for us.