Today while I was out and about I felt like God started bringing to mind the days of Noah so I began to dwell on this a little bit. I was helping my wife today with her residential cleaning business and at one of her clients houses both of the boys had come home from college. While I was cleaning in their family room one of the boys who is currently in graduate school greeted me and I greeted him and he asked me how I was doing and I told him I was doing great and besides if I was not doing great right now my complaining certainly would not do any good, and I asked him how are you doing, and he told me great and I guess I would have to be because what choice would I have, especially after I had proposed to my high school sweet heart last night. I told him I certainly hope she said yes and he told me absolutely and that had not been to much of a concern, so we spoke for several more minutes and then I went back to work, and he sat down and began to eat his breakfast he had prepared. As I went back to work I was reminded of what Jesus had said in Matthew 24: 37-39 For the coming of the son of man will be just like the days of Noah 38: For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they where marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah had entered the ark, 39: and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away.
Again today I felt like the Lord was using the story of Noah to tell me the sense of urgency and days that we are in. We know in the book of Revelation there is another flood coming but this time it is not going to be a flood of water but yet Jesus says the Coming of the Son of man is going to be just like, not sort of like, or kind of like, or very closely related to, but just like the days of Noah. So here I am talking to this young man today, as he prepares to eat his breakfast and he begins to tell me about his proposal of marriage and then the Spirit of God quickens in my heart that before the flood in the days of Noah they where eating and drinking marrying and giving themselves in marriage. You are obviously wanting to make a point to me Lord so again I began to dwell on the days of Noah prior to the flood again, and this is what the Lord began to show me.
What was the Noah doing for a hundred and twenty years prior to the flood coming. He was building his ark to get ready for the flood and he was preaching to the rest of the world the message that God had told him. It is going to rain. The first point that God really began to drive home to me was that Noah had to uncompromisingly believe and trust God. Remember that up until this point in time it had never before rained on the earth. So Noah could not listen to his wife who was probably telling him I think you need to stay away from the fermented grapes Noah! I think it is starting to mess up your head. Think about it guys. The first thing Noah does is call a family meeting with the kids and starts to telling them that while he was talking to God today; the Lord told him that it was going to rain and it was going to flood the entire earth. Not just a little water guys, but a whole lot of water. So much water it is going to kill everything that walks the earth including the birds and stuff, so this is what God said we are suppose to do. Can you imagine the smirks that might have crossed his children’s faces when he began to tell them we are going to build a boat. Not just any boat, but huge ark that was also going to be able to keep his family safe, but one that was also large enough to hold lions, tigers, and bears. Shem jumps up and says, dad I guess I could see this rain thing happen but come on dad. You want us to build a boat big enough to protect the animals to. How on earth are we going to be able to keep the lions from eating the sheep or the bears from eating the pigs. I am having a hard time seeing this. So Noah begins to lay out the plans for the size of the ark and how it is supposed to be constructed and then He says we are only suppose to use gopher wood and Japheth jumps up and says dad. Where on earth are we going to find that much gopher wood! We are going to have to travel the entire earth to find that much gopher wood. Why can’t we use dogwood. Those trees are everywhere. Ham is thinking even if we had all the gopher wood stacked up from the entire earth; does dad have a clue how long it will take us to build something that large, so he speaks up and says dad besides the fact I think you have probably lost your mind, just when exactly did God say it was going to start raining. What do you mean he did not give you an exact day? How do you know we will have enough time to build this ark before it starts to rain? If we do have enough time to build this thing, are we going to draw straws on who has to go get the lions, tigers, and bears and convince them to get on the boat? because I for one, do not want anything to do with that! I mean guys can you get the picture here. Noah had to have some incredible faith here and he had to know he was really hearing God in order to start building this ark.
Jesus tells us as believers we have to faith to like a mustard seed did He not? We have to be able to trust God that when we die to our flesh and our old way of life that Jesus is going to raise us back up to walk in newness of life correct? And just like that mustard seed, when we put to death our flesh and bury it in the ground then we have to have the hope of the mustard seed, that says you can bury me in the ground and forget about me but someday I am going to be raised back up again. Once I emerge from the earth, you may over look me at first, when I began to sprout, but someday I am going to be a huge tree. I will bear my fruit in its season and one day after you have come buy and have picked some of my fruit and you will stand underneath me to escape the heat of the noonday sun, but you will no longer over look me. So go ahead and bury me in the ground and try and forget about me and see what I will do. Now that is the faith of the mustard seed we are to have as believers. Noah believed and that was the beginning of his salvation from the destruction that was coming much in the same way that our belief in Jesus is the beginning of our salvation.
Stop right there and be still for a moment and ponder this question. If Noah had believed God that He was about to flood the earth, but he did not have the faith to start the ark building process what would have happened? Think about it guys? He would have been destroyed would right guys?. So not only did Noah have to have faith that the flood was going to come. Noah also had to have the faith to start the sanctification process in his life. Only the completed ark would guarantee his salvation and protection from the storm. Building the ark, along with preaching to others about the flood that was coming, was Noah’s righteous act of the saints. The ark also represented his white clothes of righteousness that we are suppose to be dressed in when our Lord and Savior returns to take us home. Anyway let’s get back to the story of Noah.
So Noah and his sons began to build this ark. And why I am picturing this building process in my head I started asking myself what was so important about gopher wood and secondly what did it represent to us today in our lives as believers. If the Last days is going to be just like the days of Noah then what on earth was the Gopher wood in our lives today. I mean that would be a pretty important thing to know. I felt like God began to quicken in my heart that the gopher wood represents the revelation of Gods word in our life. When we first realized for the first time in each of our lives that we needed a savior we where a real mess. Our clothes where torn. I know in my case my close where completely gone and I was naked before the lord. Brother that was a scary sight. I had lived most of my life in a pig pin so I was covered head to toe in mud and dirt. I had flies buzzing all around me that where driving me crazy. I was covered head to toe in flees and ticks. I had mosquito bites and bug bites all over me that required some medical attention. I had not been eating real well because I had to eat the leftovers the pigs did not eat. I had not used proper hygiene and I stank to high heaven because I had been sleeping with a bunch of pigs at night. I needed to be bathed. I needed to shave. I needed to brush my teeth, I needed my fingernails clipped and the dirt cleaned out from underneath them. Now I did not need a haircut, because when God formed me in the womb He did not think in my case I needed a lot of hair. Probably because if I had a lot of hair I would have got it tangled in the barbwire, trees or bushes like David’s son did and it might have been the death of me. Because I was always rooting around in places I should not have been. In spite of all of this Jesus found me where I was at and reached out to me and picked me up and for the first time in my life I felt real love. I felt wanted, and then He began the sanctification process in my life. Where he began to slowly begin the process of washing me with the word and cleaning me up. The revelation of God’s word works like soap and water. Then as I began to take the revelation of God’s word in my life and apply it to my life and begin to walk in it then God would give me more revelation and I would have to address those issues in my life and begin to walk in obedience there as well and then more revelation and so on and so on. Are you getting the picture. That is the same in our lives as the gopher wood was for the building of the arc in Noah’s. We also know that Jesus was the word and came to earth as word manifested in the flesh as a living hope or promise to those of us who believe. So what did Jesus tell us to do with his flesh and blood. We are suppose to eat the word right. What is the saying that a lot of us have heard all of our lives? You are what you eat. You eat Jesus and you become Jesus. That is the hope right? Jesus said my word is true food and I could go on and on, but I do not want to forget about poor Noah over here because remember we left him and his sons building a ark, and it looks like maybe they might need some help.
So Noah starts out on a quest to find some gopher wood. Now once Noah began to find the Gopher wood he could not leave it like he found it right. So when God shows us revelation out of God’s word and we see it in our minds we can not leave it as just head knowledge right? So when Noah found a gopher tree he had to cut it down and make lumber out of it so he could use it to build a arc which we know was Noah’s sanctifying work of the Spirit right? If Noah just went out and found the gopher wood but did not cut it down and make lumber it would have been really difficult to build a ark. Especially a ark that God had given him exact specifications on. Remember God said I want you to build the arc exactly like this. I want it t be this big, and I want it to look exactly like this. Does God do that to us today? You bet. God also wants us to look exactly like something when He is finished with us. Who or what are we suppose to look like when He is done with us? Jesus. So let me ask you this. When God shows you revelation directly out of God’s word, what are you doing with it, and how much of God’s word do you have to eat to become like Jesus? When God gives you revelation it is not to know something but we are supposed to cut it up into small pieces so we can eat it and swallow it. Once digested it enters our blood stream and we are then transformed and become that revelation. You are what you eat. Secondly God says you have to receive the whole council of God. Or as Paul so eloquently put it you not only have to run the race, but you have to finish the race, not only do you have to finish the race, but you have to run the race to win. Because like Paul said only first place gets the prize. Second place gets nothing and is first loser. It would be a shame to dedicate your life to something only to come in second place and receive no reward. Think about that.
You know I had a cousin who was a world class gymnast and dedicated his life for the dream of competing in the Olympics and winning a meddle. He dedicated hours and hours every day in the gym for years just to have an opportunity to compete in the Olympics and win a meddle. Then in 2000 he got to go to the Olympic games in Sydney Australia to represent the USA. In the national qualifier to decide the USA Olympic team. Sean came down sick really bad with strep throat and was very close to being unable to even compete for a spot on the team. Sean had dedicated his life to this and he had decided he would have to be on his death bed to at least not attempt to make the team. He competed and was the number 2 qualifier on the team of six male gymnast that qualified to go represent the USA in Sydney. Sean had a month to rest get over strep before going to Australia so his spirits where good and the USA gymnastics had listed him as a wild card to meddle possibly in the all around for the USA. Then one week before he was to compete he had a bad relapse on strep and had to be placed on Antibiotics right before he was to board a plane to arrive for the opening ceremonies. To say the least antibiotics does not do very good things to a persons equilibrium so in warm ups just prior to the competition, his coach pulled Sean out of four events to give the USA a better shot at a meddle for the team all around and only let Sean compete in two events, and it cost him his shot at a all around meddle. His sickness disqualified him from his dream to meddle in the Olympics. Something he dreamed about and trained his whole life for. How many Christians today are trying to run the race for heaven and have let the devil jump on their back and cause all sorts of sickness in their body and they are running the race double minded and somehow even managed to finish the race only to find out at the end that they stepped out of bounds running the race and disqualified themselves. How sad will that be.
You see in gymnastics my cousin got a chance to redeem himself and the next year to become a world champion on the parallel bars making him only the third male gymnast in USA history to win a world championship, but in the race of life we get no second chances. You got one shot.
Well it’s probably about time we check back on Noah and see how this ark thing is going and we find that Noah has been working on this arc now for over forty years now. Noah and his sons are having to travel farther and farther to find gopher wood and he never misses the opportunity to preach the word of the Lord wherever goes. You can imagine the looks he gets as he is preaching and a wedding party walks by on there way to a large wedding feast mocking at him as they go by. So you say it is going to rain huh? Oh no! Not the big bad rain. You are badly confused old man. I know a good doctor you might try. He only charges $60 dollars an hour. Well you be sure and let us no how this whole rain thing works out for you. After Noah returns home you can see that the ark is taking shape and the outer shell of the ship has been completed. He has become the laughing stock in his town and region. There are people who actually are profiting off the ark thing and they are taking people on guided tours to witness this so called salvation from the storm or flood that was coming. One such tour is coming by now. Yes and this man Noah says he is also suppose to protect the animals to and so he plans to load up some of every species and they are suppose to live on this boat in perfect harmony until they get where they are going. Of course Noah is unsure of where exactly they are traveling to and he believes that this so called rain is going to bring so much water it just picks up this boat from right here and they are going to float away.
Now we look back at our lives and do we see the same thing going on today. Are people trying to profit or make financial gains off of the word of the Lord today? Are you being persecuted and made fun of like Noah was today? If you say no, then let me ask you why not? Jesus said blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you for my names sake. Paul said in 2 timothy 3:12 Indeed all who desire to live Godly will be persecuted. If you are not being persecuted then you are most likely not living Godly. Maybe you are still more concerned about your reputation than the reputation of Jesus. As a matter of fact you wont even bring up the name of Jesus at your work because they strictly forbid you to talk about religion in the work place so as to not offend any other persons beliefs or freedoms to worship as they please. Let’s see Jesus said you can not serve God and money. So if you choose to keep quiet about the gospel of Jesus in the workplace, it would seem pretty apparent who your god of choice is. Maybe, just maybe that is why God is allowing this world financial crisis because God has sent a plague to destroy the gods of money, and if you are putting you faith and trust in your financial security instead of Jesus then God is going to give you one more shot to repent by destroying everyone’s financial security. It is just a thought here. Okay now how about all of you who place your faith and trust in government. How about all of you who place your faith and trust in religious freedom. I mean I don’t have to get to serious about serving God today because there is always tomorrow. You willing to take that chance? Sounds like Russian roulette to me.
I wonder how Noah’s ark is coming along. My goodness it has been nearly a hundred and twenty years now and Noah’s been preaching his heart out to the entire world, and only a few have listened. The original eight. That’s it! Noah has eight church members. Guys I almost hate to relate this back to today because now we have ten thousand member churches here and thousand member churches there and everybody is eating and drinking and giving themselves in marriage. I would dare to say that most people who are currently faithful in church attendance could not be discerned from the people of the world. I would also go so far as to say that when Jesus said straight is the way and narrow is the path that leads to life and few there be that find. Last I checked a few meant not very many. In the days of Noah a few meant 8 people and Jesus as just told us that the coming of the Son of man is gong to be just like the days of Noah. Brothers and sisters that ought to make you want to examine yourself to see that you are in the faith. Because I have no earthly idea how you can cram all of these mega churches into the number few. I am afraid those churches are not going to fit on the narrow path. Guys I am not trying to be a gloom and doom person but come on guys. Start reading your Bible and quit listening to the peace and prosperity message, or the once saved always saved message, or the God did not mean that, you surely don’t think you can become like Jesus now do you? Guys regardless of the decision you make Jesus said that in the last days the people will not understand until the flood comes and carries them away. Away from what? Might He be talking about the faith.
Wow guys look at that, Noah has just loaded the last animal on the ark and God has shut the door. Did you hear that sound? Was that the sound of the door shutting or was it thunder. Oh my goodness it is starting to rain. Too late.