Genesis 6:13 Then God said to Noah, "I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth. 14 "Make yourself an ark of gofer wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it with pitch inside and outside. 15 This is how you are to make it: The ark will be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 You are to make a roof, finishing [the sides of the ark] to within 18 inches [of the roof.] You are to put a door in the side of the ark. Make it with lower, middle, and upper [decks]. 17 "Understand that I am bringing a deluge-floodwaters on the earth to destroy all flesh under heaven with the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives. 19 You are also to bring into the ark two of every living thing of all flesh, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of everything-from the birds according to their kinds, from the livestock according to their kinds, and from every animal that crawls on the ground according to its kind-will come to you so that you can keep them alive. 21 Take with you every kind of food that is eaten; gather it as food for you and for them." 22 And Noah did this. He did everything that God had commanded him.
Wow! Aren't there some awesome stories found in the Bible? I've said before that there are certainly some times that I read in the Bible that I wish I could've been there to witness. Well, let me clarify. I certainly wouldn't want to be stuck on the earth when that event happened. Well, let me think about that again. I don't think that I'd like to be stuck on/in the ark for a year either. Shooo-weee. As a matter of fact, I appreciate the Bible even more now that I think about that a little longer. I can read of these magnificent/horrible stories from the Bible and learn something from other peoples examples. God truly is amazing, and I'm so glad he's blessed me to allow me to live in this time on earth.
I want to have a little fun at Noah's expense right now. I sort of want to make a modern day funny story in order to make a serious point. Now let's be clear - right up front. There's no way in this earth that Noah would ever do what I'm fixing to tell. But I'm using Noah and his situation as an example of how I see some people in their religious freedoms today. I'll try not to drag it out too long, but maybe just long enough so you can get my point. So again - this story is definitely not true. In fact, we just read in Gen 6:22 that Noah did everything that God commanded of him.
The next day, after Noah thought about what God had said to him, he was very thankful that God was willing to spare him and his family. Noah was proud that his righteous living and many lessons that he taught his family were paying off for him in such a special way. "I can't believe that we're the only one's going to be left on this earth. We'll have it all to ourselves." he thought. "But before any of that will happen, we've got to get busy on building this humongous ark. Let me think.... God said build an ark out of what? Gopher wood? He didn't say Gopher wood did He? Surely not. Does God know how hard that wood is to cut? Does God know how heavy that stuff is? Does God know how far away those trees are? Why there's hardly any Gopher wood around here, but way over in the next territory. I'd have to cross other peoples lands and set up some kind of trading arrangements to get that. I think I'll just skip that and get some local wood that's lighter, softer, closer by, and right in my own back yard."
The next day, after chopping a few trees down and sawing them into boards, Noah started to check his notes again. "God said build the art how big? 450 feet long? And 75 feet wide and 45 feet tall? Does God know just how much wood I'm going to have to chop down to get that done? I think I'll make it just a tad bit smaller. Let me see....how many trees do I have around here anyway? I'd also rather not use tar pitch on the inside of this ark anyway. Between the smell of pitch and all the other animals, I just don't think I could take that smell. Besides all that, my wife will already have plenty to complain about anyway, I certainly don't want to add any more that she can whine about. I'll skip that step."
A few years later, as Noah was finishing his decked-out yacht complete with sun roofs, moon roofs, horns, digital satellite tracking devices, large screen TVs, soft leather seats, showers, game room, cafeteria, xbox entertainment system, surround sound speakers, theater style seating, and on and on.... He started to check his notes again. "God said bring two of every living thing into the ark, plus seven sets of clean animal. Uh, well, how am I gonna get those wild animals that are too dangerous to handle. No one can even get close enough to capture such wild and dangerous animals, let alone capture them and live with them on my yacht. I gotta bring food and store it in the ark for all these critters too. There's just no way that I can even accomplish these task. Surely God didn't mean to do all that. Surely God just meant to do just what I was able to and he'd save the rest from perishing in His own special way. Besides, I don't want all these animals getting my shiny new yacht dirty and smelly anyway. I'll just get a few of my favorite animals and bring them along so that we could have a few to play with and and few to sustain us once the flood leaves."
After Noah gathered a few of his favorite animals, and put them away in their compartments, he and his family climbed in his yacht and shut the door. Soon, it clouded up and started to rain. Aw cool. Never seen that before. That's pretty neat. Rain and rain and floods quickly covered the earth and just as quickly the yacht started springing leaks. "Shem, Ham, Japheth! Get me some of those reeds we gathered for the animals food. Stuff them in these cracks. I had no idea that God was going to lock us up in this leaky yacht. Honey!!!! Bring me some of them rags so I can stuff them in here. Ya'll tie them animals up. (blub, blub, blub) Turn the TV off and get over here." ( blub, blub, blub)
Okay. That's all I can come up with. I think that we can see in this fictional story that Noah and his family were sunk. Why? Well, they didn't listen to God. God told them what to do. God told them how to do it. God found Noah to be faithful in everything that He told him to do.
What I get out of this story (and believe me, I didn't even have to be there to get this though my thick head) is that in order to live and be pleasing to God, I'd better figure out what he's told me to do and do it -- and do it right. I see no reason to be consumed in finding "better" ways to do what God has told me to do. His words are sufficient for me. If God's ways were good enough for those before me to do it, then His ways are good enough for me.