As I’m writing this, we are sitting in the hotel room late at night at Polishing the Pulpit. What an amazing and spiritually renewing week this is. If you have never been, I highly encourage you to consider coming next year (www.polishingthepulpit.com).
As someone who writes blogs on a routine basis, I have heard so many lessons in the last couple of days that make me think: this would make a great blog post. However, out of everything I’ve heard in the last couple of days, there is one thing that has stuck in my mind more than anything else, and it’s probably because I’ve never heard it explained this way before.
We all know the account of Noah and the Ark. It’s one of the lessons we are taught very young as children in Bible class. As we get older, however, we learn that the flood was not a time of picturesque joy with a colorful boat floating on a calm ocean under a cloudless sky, Noah and his big white beard sticking out the top, and two of every jungle animal looking over the railing of the boat with a big smile on their face. Instead, it was the most gruesome death that this world has ever experienced with so many people dying helplessly as they can no longer find higher ground and they drown.
Turn in your Bible to Hebrews 11 (I know that sounds like a very “preacher” thing to say, but just humor me). We know that Hebrews 11 lists Noah in what we call the Hall of Faith. In a session at PTP, David Smith brought out something in this passage that I have never really noticed before. It’s one of those verses that I’ve always just kind of read over without thinking about it. Read verse 7.
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
You may be thinking: So what, Jonathan? I didn’t hear anything different in that. Maybe you just read over it, too. Look back at the reason why it said that Noah prepared the ark. It says he did it for the saving of his household. He worked for nearly 100 years to build a structure by hand, solely to save his family. That is a dedicated father that is looking out for his family.
What are we doing for the saving of our household? What am I willing to build? What am I willing to destroy? What am I willing to eliminate from my house? Am I willing to move our family vacation from the beach to somewhere else so that my son doesn’t have to see girls that are very immodestly dressed? Am I willing to cut off the TV to make sure certain influences don’t find their way into my house? Am I willing to skip that ball practice to ensure my family gets to Bible class? Am I willing to give up a promotion at work because it would take too much time away from my family?
What kind of ark am I building for the saving of my household?
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in who land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)