Has God Forgotten You?

  If you were to look into my Bible and see the subtitles listed there, you would find the following:  Noah Pleases God, The Ark Prepared, The Great Flood, and Noah's Deliverance, in precisely that order.
  Let's break that down.  Noah Pleases God. Let's see what God has to say about him - a)just b)perfect in his generations c)walked with God. Pretty impressive resume, wouldn't you say?
  What might you think would happen to such a man, assuming you weren't familiar with the story? Blessings, right?  I mean, that's kind of what we are taught from little on up.  Think Santa Claus.  Remember how we were rewarded by our parents. No parent ever said, "Now, Johnny, if you are a good boy today, tomorrow it will rain and you will have to stay inside."  Of course not.  On the other hand, they may have said, "If you are a good boy today, tonight we will go for ice cream."  Reward follows obedience.
   Even the Bible says so.  Blessed (happy) is the man that doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.  Sign me up!
   Oh, but wait.  Back to our story.  The Ark Prepared. God talks to Noah.  He tells him what is about to happen.  Then he tells him exactly how to prepare for the disaster in order to save himself, his family, and a remnant of animals. Please observe what I said first. God talks to Noah.
    On to the next title.  The Great Flood.  God is still talking to him.  He commands this and that; very precise directions. Then the Lord shuts him in and the Great Flood begins. For forty days this boat bobbed around on the top of a rolling, powerful, huge beyond imagination, body of water. Forty days.  Think of it!  Do you get depressed on rainy days?  I must tell you that I quite enjoy rainy days, for the most part, although I don't enjoy the succeeding messy floors.  There are others that enjoy rain, too, my oldest daughter being one of them.  But, we are an odd and tiny group, I am afraid.  More often then not, we can be experiencing a drought and someone complains if we get rain.  Most people don't want rain - ever!  It totally messes up their plans.
   Granted, there wasn't much happening on earth about that time that they would have to miss, if you know what I mean.  But, still!  Even I, the one who likes rain, start to get a little tired of it after a few days.  I am ready for some sunshine after those dreary, tedious periods.
   Imagine this, as well. A great body of people that they knew had perished.  A single death is difficult. A teen dies and the whole high school mourns.  A few teens die in a car accident, and the whole town mourns.  But, we are talking about every  - single -  person -  that   they   knew, save them.
   Can I remind you at this point that this is a man who was just, perfect in his generations, and walks with God. For you animal lovers, there's more - "And all flesh died that moved  on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man."  Remember that God told them exactly which animals to take.  It says they went to him.  It doesn't say he went to them.  Therefore, that pet chicken of yours?  That pet cow?  Maybe even a cat or dog, who knows?  Probably left behind.  Imagine the agony!  Imagine the grief!  Imagine the sorrow!  It is beyond description.
   And let's not forget, they were losing their homes, as well.  That is no small thing, for sure.  Of course, they were getting a new home, but this one wasn't very stable. I can only imagine that, short of a miraculous intervention, sea sick would hardly describe their predicament.
   Now, after these forty days of flooding, there was more waiting! "And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days." I love the next sentence, which falls in under Noah's Deliverance.  "Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing...Wait, what??  He forgot about Noah and what was happening on the earth?  Hardly.  According to Bible Hub, it is called anthropromorphism when human characteristics are assigned to God, and happens often throughout the Old Testament. Why did He wait those one hundred and fifty days before causing a wind to pass over the earth, that the waters might decrease? Your guess is as good as mine.  This is why He is God, and we're not.
    Again, I want you to notice something.  The ark rested in the seventh month on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to decrease until the tenth month. Noah sent out first a raven and then a dove to test things.  All told, from the time that God shut the door until the time of  Noah's departure from the ark, it was one year and ten days.  In all of that time, God said absolutely nothing to Noah.  He never told him to send out the raven or the dove, but when the time came, God spoke to Noah saying, "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you."
   May I suggest that God doesn't waste words. Leading and guiding us doesn't always mean that He is talking to us.  Was it necessary to talk to Noah while they were waiting for the flood to cease?  Not really.  I can only imagine that at times Noah and his family may have wondered if they were going to be floating around indefinitely. I'm sure they would have appreciated it if God had checked in periodically.  Perhaps saying after forty days, "Ok, the rain is over now."  Maybe, just maybe, he could have said, "I'm sending wind, now, so that the water will decrease," or  "You're sitting on top of Mt. Ararat, now." Would it have changed things? Not really.  But often, knowing feels like we've got some control, and they didn't.
    Sometimes, God is silent for "no good reason".  Sometimes He is silent because He has nothing more to say to you at the moment. Sometimes, he is silent, of course, because of our sin.  It isn't always easy to know. Hindsight is, of course, the clearest.
    There are those who will tell you that if you have faith, all will be well, all of the time.  Things will be "well" because God is in control.  He is the Great Shepherd. If you are his child through faith in Christ, nothing can touch you that God hasn't allowed.  Nothing can "go wrong", if you will. At the same time, things can go "terribly wrong", but only from our perspective.  God was managing things all along.  Noah just had to go along for the ride. Pun intended. He had already done the "work" previously, through his relationship with the Lord.
    Remember how frustrating it was sometimes as a kid?  Those times when mom and dad wouldn't budge regardless of your whining, begging, or pouting?  Yeah, same with God. He'll take care of you.  Doesn't mean you're always going to be happy about the way He is managing things.
   You don't get to vote. You can relax knowing that He is at the helm, come what may.  He may not be telling you what he is doing, but if He isn't, you don't need to know. You can rest in this knowledge, but it isn't always easy.  In fact, sometimes, it can be beyond difficult. Remember Noah when you seem to be getting an unjust "reward". Remember Samson or Jonah when you're getting what you deserve.  But, ultimately, remember that all things work together for good to those who love God.  You're not forgotten.


Popular Posts