Sleep eluded me as I snuggled beneath the covers on a stormy, summer night. The glow from the alarm clock continually reminded me of the late hour and my frustration with insomnia. As I began a conversation with God about my predicament, thunder pierced the air and the sky opened up floodgates of torrential rain. Who doesn’t love a thunderstorm? I find something calming in the sound of drops pelting the roof and the rhythm of their dance upon the windowpane. For once I welcomed sleeplessness in order to be serenaded by the howling wind and rolling thunder. The more I listened to the surging downpour, the more my mind focused on Noah and the great flood.
The first amazing tidbit I ever learned about Noah revolved around his becoming a father at the age of 500. 500?! I can hear the creaking bones now as he played with his three sons. What had occupied Noah’s time for the previous 499 years? Did he ever tire and wish his life would end? Did he question the sovereignty of God and shake his fist in the air because he had no heirs? Not God’s Noah. Not the Noah I desire to emulate.
Genesis 6 credits Noah with three attributes: he was a righteous man, he was blameless among the people, and he walked faithfully with God. The more I pondered that description of Noah, the more I yearned to find myself depicted in the same manner. Not only did Noah earn respect among his people, but he found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Sin reigned over the world while people lived by the flesh, turning their backs on God. As the Lord’s eyes roamed to and fro, they honed in on 500-year-old Noah living to honor his maker.
God, who created the earth, decided to destroy it. He had reached His rebellion-tolerance point. Through witnessing Noah’s faithfulness, God chose his family as the only people worthy to be rescued. God then revealed His plan to Noah and directed him to construct an ark. Year after year as Noah hammered the cypress wood, his neighbors, who had never seen rain, surely laughed at this absurd man. The taunts and jeers must have pierced his resolve. Yet, Noah pressed forward doing everything just as God commanded him.
Lying in bed, I listened to the rain inquire of me, “Shelley, have you done everything the Lord has commanded you?” The serenading had turned to questioning, and I wondered what God would have thought of my ark-building credentials. Was I righteous? Was I blameless among the people? Was I faithful in my walk with God?
As the storm progressed outside my window, I envisioned the expressions on the faces of the people as they felt the first drops of wetness fall from the mysteriously darkening sky. As it puddled and pooled through the towns, how did they react? What thoughts ran through their minds as they pounded on the door of the ark, demanding entrance? Imagine a whole nation caught without their life preserver.
No, the fact that Noah became a father at the age of 500 isn’t what’s most amazing to me. It’s the reality that it wasn’t raining when he built the ark. His faith and obedience astound me. In following God’s commands when they didn’t make sense, Noah saved his family. As my eyes closed and I began to drift off to sleep, I thought, “I want to be a Noah.” Do you?
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/