While the story of Noah, the ark, and the flood is one of the first Bible stories to entertain children in Sunday School. It has engaged archeologists, scientists, and creationists to understand the meanings of the unparalleled and extraordinary job God called Noah to perform. While some may call Noah ‘the first entrepreneur’, Bible scholars agree this man achieved success not because he launched the first shipbuilding business, but rather because he demonstrated a most remarkable ability to fulfill his purpose, through obedience, within the framework of his calling.
Think about it. At the time God called Noah to build the ark, the earth had never had rain, no ships had ever been built, and God had never poured judgment over the wickedness of His creation. Now, from the platform of the 21st century, we can point a telephoto lens back through recorded history, and focus on what is arguably the most important decision any man or woman has faced since Adam and Eve decided to eat a solitary piece of fruit. With absolutely no precedent and no foreknowledge of what his decision would produce, Noah took the mountain-sized leap of faith, followed God’s call, and undertook the job. He began building the ark to the exact specifications laid out for him and he did so without question, without argument, and with total obedience to God’s plans.
Noah was successful at his work because he had the faith to follow God’s calling for him, even though the job looked impossible. The ark Noah built was 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high and easily housed more than 30,000 animals that God led to the ark. Noah and his family were protected on the ark for a total of 370 days. He was faithful to God with his first recorded act on leaving the ark was to build an altar to the Lord. The only time Noah is recorded as speaking is when he curses his grandson Canaan and blesses his sons Shem and Japeth. The rest of the time, God did the talking and Noah did the listening.
Because Noah was obedient to his call to be at work on God’s purposes, the earth was washed and cleansed by the flood. The reward for his obedience, persistence, and patience, was that Noah became the father of the first and only worldwide transformation.
Questions to Ponder
As you go to work and perform your job, do you believe, that like Noah, you are called to walk in obedience and live righteously? What are three major challenges at work that you face to fulfill your calling?
Noah’s wife, three sons, and daughters-in-law were with him on the ark for their 370-day voyage. Who do you have to support your efforts to be a Godly man or woman on the job and with whom you can share the challenges you listed above?
It’s not hard to imagine that Noah felt discouraged and very isolated as he built the ark. No doubt he had onlookers who jeered at his efforts and cast doubt on his sanity. If you were the one-person God called to offer Noah encouragement and hope, what would you have said to him?
Why do you believe God didn’t reveal to Noah all that was ahead for him? Do you ever ask God to show what is down the road for you? Think of a time in your life when it was God’s grace and mercy that you had to take one day at a time, and you weren’t shown what was beyond the bend of the road. When that trial or painful difficulty ended, did you, like Noah, thank God and praise Him for His faithfulness to you? If not, decide and write down how you will do that now.
Look back to a time when you felt overwhelmed and you feared you would fail at work. However, hindsight now allows you to see the truth in Romans 8:28 and that God was “working all things together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.”(Romans 8:28)
What can you learn from that experience?
Paula Bussard loves being part of the Neighborhoods Embracing Transformation Core Team and the At Work On Purpose community. Larry and I are honored to pastor a group in Colerain who faithfully follow Jesus and serve people. Our outreach, the Sharing Hope Center, supports victims of trauma, crime, and serious life challenges. Certified in trauma responsive care, my passion is to share hope that God can and will heal the pain. Then we bring resources to build resilience into the lives of those who have suffered adverse childhood experiences and set free those who are held captive in their homes, controlled by domestic violence, addiction, and abuse.
Larry and I are honored to be the parents of Christa Guntzelman and Jonathan Bussard. We are thrilled to be Nana and Popem to Nathan and Lauren.
Random fact: I have visited a place called, Critter County on multiple occasions where I met Sydney the singing squirrel, Lester the hilarious lion, and other talented, furry friends. You can go, too!