Boarding and Deboarding Noah's Ark
The Ride of Your Life!
(Episode 3: Islands & Lifelines)

 

A field of dried up brown sunflowers against a blue sky

Floodwaters came in two ways. They rose from the ground, creeping through every crack and crevice as water filled the earth; they also fell just like rain does, but they never let up. They fell from the sky continuously more than anyone might imagine. Floodwaters rose and fell for 40 days.

When this phenomenon visited the earth, everybody and everything got wet and eventually fully submerged. Floodwaters didn't recede for 150 days. 

Like the Fall threatens every sunflower (pictured above), no one found shelter. Nothing was spared.

 

This post is Episode 3 of an 8-episode series about boarding and deboarding Noah’s Ark. If you missed it, please read Episode 1: The Story ofOur Lives and Episode 2: A Desperate Situation. Otherwise, sit back and experience Episode 3.

 

Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

Episode 3: Islands & Lifelines 

Episode 2 was about the desperate situation of all humankind. There is nothing we can do to gain God’s approval. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). But it doesn’t stop there. Our unrighteousness affects other people and maybe other things. We are not islands unto ourselves. There are far-reaching effects of sin – a trail of inadvertent casualties that we probably won’t ever fully comprehend.


The way we live
affects others,
particularly our generations

 Do we hurt them or are we lifelines?


We visit the Garden of Eden again as we did in Episode 2 because that’s where sin began for us. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and there were longstanding effects. Adam, Eve, and Satan were cursed, of course, but there was more. Because of Adam’s sin, the ground was cursed, too (Genesis 3:14-19). And worst of all, through Adam, the entire human race was cursed with sin and death (Romans 5:12). This is also why it’s increasingly difficult to manage life today.

The sin of one person (Adam) led to the downfall of the entire human race. God judged the sin of humanity with the Flood. Everyone was guilty due to the indiscretion of one person. Unfortunately, the same is true today.

…just as sin entered the world through one man,
and death through sin,
and in this way death came to all people,
because all sinned
 

Romans 5:12

 

(Read Romans 5:12-21 for the bigger picture of God’s grace and the life-giving side of this Noah’s Ark story.)


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water


In the days preceding the Flood, God was heartbroken with the human race. He was so heartbroken He also regretted creating the animals which were made for mankind. Every animal that couldn’t survive the floodwaters had to die along with the humans (
Genesis 6:5-7). The human race not only failed God, they disgusted Him. Even the things they used disgusted Him. How far mankind has strayed from the single infraction of one man!


How far mankind has strayed
from the single infraction of one man!

***

This is an extreme example of the effects of sin upon others, but it illustrates the point. We are not islands. Our sin touches others in ways we probably don’t intend or imagine. When we engage in sin, whether we’re alone or not, we bring others down with us. We’re not just hurting ourselves. We are hurting others and very likely our immediate family members.

Our children and those we nurture spiritually watch us as role models. They may not even realize how they mimic our inflections and nuances: the chip on our shoulder, our harsh feelings toward some people, our tendency to socialize or stand at a distance instead of helping, the way we sneak a stare at the pretty woman or strapping man who just walked into the room…

Our spouses and close friends need our friendship and care. Can we sense a heart sink when we’re preoccupied? How often do we have the opportunity to pray and come alongside but we shirk the sacrifice? Maybe there’s a secret relationship drawing our affection and attention away from deep and tender moments that should be focused elsewhere...


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water


When sin chips away at our relationship with God, other people become casualties of a spiritual war. It may not be apparent, but our sins have repurcussions. Fortunately, our faith has a positive effect. Faith leads to righteousness and we can be lifelines to those around us. The casualties of sin can be mitigated because God responds to our faith.

Noah “walked faithfully with God” and God favored him (Genesis 6:8-9). God invited his entire family to enter the ark: Noah, his wife, his 3 sons, and his son’s wives. All of them were welcome to board the ark because of Noah’s faithfulness and righteous living (Genesis 6:17-18, 7:1). How blessed it is to see the favor of God on our families because of our faith and righteousness!

 

How blessed it is to see
the favor of God on our families
because of our faith and righteousness!

***

The floodwaters came. But when the land was finally dry, it wasn’t devoid of life. Noah and his family didn’t simply deboard the ark into a barren earth. Scores of life-propagating animals deboarded as well. And God’s natural laws that support and promote life were again set in motion (Genesis 7-8). This was truly a glorious new beginning thanks to God’s favor toward a man who was faithful and righteous. He was a lifeline for his family and all the animals that accompanied him in the ark. This is a common story throughout the Bible for God's faithful people: Job, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Esther, Mary, the mother of Jesus…

We can be lifelines, too. God’s favor toward us can radiate across the lives of those we encounter each day, especially our families. I am not a great example of this, but with God’s help, my selfish heart is melting toward more sacrifice and meaningful service. I pray it is similar for everyone who reads this post. 

A final important note: While our faith and righteous living serve as lifelines, they are not sufficient to secure a place in Heaven for our loved ones. God rewards our faithfulness with His favor toward our families, but we are individually responsible to Him. Throughout this series, it rings true that each person needs to come to terms with his/her sin and respond to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We must individually trust Jesus as the one and only Savior. Through one man, sin entered the world and through one man, life is available to each of us individually (1 Corinthians 15:22-23). We will see this clearly in Episode 7, but visit my Good News page for now for further explanation.

 

Jesus is our ultimate lifeline and when we believe He paid the penalty for our sins and trust Him as our Savior and Lord, we rest securely in the arms of His Father who accepts us as His righteous children. Then we can be lifelines to our families who will see a true and living Savior by the way we live.

 

I close with a song by CityAlight called Your Will Be Done (listen on YouTube). It’s a song about the battle between living for God and living for ourselves. Reflect on everything you just read while you listen. 

 

Next episode

Episode 4: OurResponse of Worship

Start over from Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives 

 


If the gospel – the good news of Jesus – is new to you and you want to learn more about it, please email me at authordlv@att.net or visit the Good News page on my blog. Jesus is alive and preparing a place for us in Heaven while we serve Him until He comes back for us.

 

Read more blog posts here.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Comments

  1. Amen to this! You are so right. Sometimes we think what we do or think goes nowhere. But as you say, "We are not islands. Our sin touches others in ways we probably don’t intend or imagine." And it hurts God, too, causing a wall to form between us. I'm so thankful we have the opportunity to continually repent and be transformed anew, even when we as Christians veer astray. God bless you, my brother!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jessica. I didn't mention it, but our sin definitely hurts God. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness. We so need that to bolster our faithful living for a positive effect on our families and others we may influence each day. Thank you and God bless you, too.

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  2. Amazing to ponder how it was all accomplished in the ark. We do need to be aware of our sins and how that impacts those around us. Thanks Stephen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The story of Noah's Ark is truly amazing and it matters to our lives today. May we learn more from this story each time we read it and may we live more faithfully to God as a result.

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  3. I love how you captured this, Stephen. It's like we're right there with Noah and his family and all the animals. You've made this scenario feel so real, as if we're with him, smelling the offal of all the animals, realizing what's happening outside in the rising water, etc. There would be so many realities that would remind them of their sins and how they, too, have failed the Lord in one way or another. And yet, God had spared them. Incredible! God showed His mercy and lovingkindness to Noah and his family.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Melinda. This whole event was very real for Noah and his family, and the others who didn't board the ark. I'm thankful for God's mercy and lovingkindness. They are reminders that He is still finishing His perfect work in us while we continue to fall short. What a gracious God we serve who holds back His power because of His compassion and Jesus' sacrifice.

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  4. Great piece, Stephen. I love this thought, "We can be lifelines, too. God’s favor toward us can radiate across the lives of those we encounter each day, especially our families." I've often reflected on how we can do kingdom work but our family is overlooked.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen. I get occasional glimpses of how I affect my children when I see myself in them, for better and worse. My youngest tells me often that he's going to end up just like me because we're so alike right now. Oh, how I hope the good rubs off far greater than the bad. But how we can trust God for His personal care and grace in each of our children. Thank God for that.

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