In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. (Gen 7:11-12)
Imagine the pitter-patter of the first rain drops on that giant vessel of gopher wood. What did it sound like from the inside as the windows of the heavens were opened? How did Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives spend that first anxious night? Were they able to get a wink of sleep? What did it feel like and smell like and sound like as this ark full of livestock, creeping things, and birds began to be lifted from its construction site and carried upon the waters, high above the earth?
“All the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered.” Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. Water would reign on the earth for the next five months.
How helpless must Noah have felt in that season?
Before all the fountains of the great deep began to burst, Noah couldn’t stem the wickedness of mankind that was great on God’s good earth. He couldn’t keep the thoughts of human hearts from being only evil continually. He couldn’t close his eyes, snap his fingers, and wish man-made corruption away.
But Noah could walk with God. He could choose to believe the LORD’s warnings concerning events as yet unseen. By faith he could follow God’s directions and build with reverent fear. He could shine as a light in the darkness. He could resolve to stand up, stand out, unashamed.
Before all the windows of the heavens began to open, Noah couldn’t make people listen. He couldn’t force them into safety. Over the course of decades, he was unable to convince the overwhelming majority that God meant what he had said.
Noah couldn’t keep the rain from falling. Once it started, he couldn’t make it stop. The vessel carrying him had no rudder, no sails to adjust, no helm from which to steer. When the LORD “shut him in,” Noah had no idea how long this terrible journey would last. He and his family would spend just over a year in that ark.
But God remembered Noah… (Gen 8:1)
There was a flood of things Noah couldn’t do, couldn’t stop, couldn’t understand. But Noah walked with God. He believed God. He trusted God. He did all that God commanded him.
And God remembered Noah.
As we head into this weekend, there’s a flood of things we can’t do. Frustrating things we can’t control or stop. Broken things we can’t fix. Perplexing things we struggle to understand. Things we wish just weren’t so.
But we can walk with God. We can believe God. We can trust God. We can do what God has commanded us to do. And if we walk by this faith? The same God who remembered Noah will not forget or misplace us.