The world was hurting.
The sin that rushed into the hearts of Adam and Eve back in the garden—it was now everywhere. It had spread like nasty germs into each and every person. It poisoned every heart so that no one trusted God or thought He was important. God was so, so sad as He looked at people throwing punches, screaming ugly words, wearing mean faces, and telling lies. God decided to scrub this world clean with rain, more rain than anyone had ever seen fall from the sky. More than any bathtub, swimming pool, or ocean could ever hold.
But God saw Noah on the earth. He loved Noah and wanted to make him, his family, and all the animals safe so that the flood wouldn’t destroy them along with everything else. So God whispered in Noah’s ear a warning of the rain. He told Noah the one thing that would rescue them from the flood, an ark. Now, Noah was different from all the other people on the earth. While they ignored God and plugged their ears when He spoke, Noah listened carefully because he believed that everything God said was really true. If God said a flood was coming, then it would come. If God said it would be so big that it would wipe out everything and everyone, then it would. And if God said an ark was the only way he and his family would be safe, then it was. So Noah trusted in God and built the ark. Then just as God said, for forty days and forty nights, the rains came. They hammered against the roof and the wood creaked and groaned as the waves crashed against the sides. Only Noah, his family, and the pairs of animals inside the great ark were safe from the water that swallowed up the world.
When Noah and his family came out of the ark, everyone was gone and everything looked clean. But it would soon be discovered that all the water in all the world couldn’t rinse away the sin hiding in the heart of every person. The flood didn’t stop the world from all its hurting. God again needed to deal with sin, and He needed to pour out a more powerful kind of storm to once-and-for-all deal with the sins of His people. So, just as before, He looked at the earth and found children that He loved— that’s us!—and He gave us an ark to protect us. But the ark that God gave us this time wasn’t exactly like Noah’s ark—it wasn’t made out of wood and tar. In fact it wasn’t an “it” at all. The ark that God gave us was a person—God’s own Son, Jesus. In order to protect us, Jesus received all of God’s raging storm that was heading our way. In the ark that is Jesus, we will be safe from everything God will send to get rid of sin for good.
God gave Noah very specific instructions on how he would be safe in the ark —what type of wood, how big, the number of decks, etc. What kind of instructions has God given us on how we can be safe in Jesus?
We can see that Noah trusted God by looking at all the ways Noah obeyed Him. Noah went and got the wood, he followed all God’s instructions, and he did what God said. If we trust that Jesus saves us, how will we see that show up in our lives?
Noah believed God when no one else did. In fact, most of the people around him were probably laughing at him for building the ark. If you follow Jesus, sometimes people might laugh or make fun of you for doing it. How do you think Noah was able to keep trusting God even if people thought he was silly?
This Advent devotional resource was produced by The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. The original resource can be found here.