Boarding and Deboarding Noah's Ark
The Ride of Your Life!
(Episode 4: Our Response of Worship)

 

Blue ocean with mild waves againsst a clear sky

Floodwaters subdued the earth for months.

Before the Flood came, God gave Noah detailed instructions to build the ark. He told him when to board. He allowed his family to join him. He even closed the door. Then Noah waited…

No water. The ark didn’t move.

When would the water come? And how long would Noah and his family be on the ark? God didn’t tell them. He told them how long it would rain – for 40 days and 40 nights – but that’s all they knew.

Seven days after God shut the door, floodwaters finally came. 40 days later the storm ended. They floated. How long would it be before they would see land? The highest mountain top was 23 feet below the surface.  What did they do while they waited? Care for the animals? Certainly.

I think they also meditated on God’s words and prayed. And they must have worshiped, because that’s the first thing Noah did after deboarding the ark.

 

This post is Episode 4 of an 8-episode series about boarding and deboarding Noah’s Ark. If you’re visiting this series for the first time, you should start from Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives. Otherwise, sit back and experience Episode 4.

  

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

Episode 4: Our Response of Worship

Noah, his family, and all the animals were inside the ark for more than a year! They finally had the privilege of stepping off the ark onto dry ground. (Read how they discovered dry land in Genesis 8:1-14.)

So Noah came out with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives.
Every animal, crawling creature, and bird-everything that moves on the earth-
came out of the ship, one kind after another.

Genesis 8:18-19


God directed Noah to bring clean animals onto the ark but he couldn’t sacrifice any of them for more than a year! Imagine Noah’s responsibilities. He provided for and managed his family of 8. He cared for the animals, nurturing all of the male and female pairs and possibly 7 pairs of clean animals and 7 pairs of various types of birds (Genesis 7:2-3). How did he keep them all fed? How would we have fared in a dark ship with few resources, sharing a confined space with countless animals. I may have been fine for a couple weeks, but one month followed by another and another for a year?! I would’ve gone stir crazy!

Not Noah.

I surmise that Noah was obedient and methodical, being careful to allow God to direct him (Genesis 8:1, 6-18). He had a healthy relationship with Him, so it’s no surprise that, after deboarding, he built an altar to honor Him.

Noah built an altar to the LORD.
On it he made a burnt offering of each type of clean animal and clean bird.
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma...

Genesis 8:20-21a


If this was his first act outside the ark, worship must have been part of his life inside the ark as well. One of the best things about Noah’s story is that God was pleased with his worship. (We'll see more about why this matters in the next episode.) It was a “soothing aroma” to Him (Genesis 8:21a). Noah’s example of worship plainly demonstrates how we, too, can please God with our worship.


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


1.     Worship that pleases God is a normal part of life.

God gave Noah instructions to populate the earth (Genesis 8:17), but Noah naturally worshiped first. He built an altar and gave burnt offerings that pleased God. He didn’t pull out a guidebook. He knew exactly what to do. In fact, this is the first burnt offering recorded in the Bible and it signified acknowledgement of his sinfulness before the God who has the authority to judge him for his sins. He humbly confessed his sins and sinfulness and most likely those of his family members. When done in the right manner and with the right heart, this confession is a soothing aroma to God (Leviticus 1:1-17).

How often do you suppose Noah bowed before God aboard the ark, confessing his sins and pleading for favor and mercy? How often did he look around the ark and praise God for life? Didn’t he rely on God day after day to manage life within the walls of the ark? He was aboard the ark with more than the animals and his family. He was with God, too. 

Noah was aboard the ark with
more than the animals and his family.
He was with God, too.

***

I’m sure Noah’s daily life was spent in relationship with God, honoring Him. This means he prayed, he reflected, he walked in faith, he was obedient, he encouraged and exhorted others, …on land and in the ark. In short, he spent regular time in worship – humble reverence, adoration, and obedience to the almighty, sovereign God and Creator (Hebrews 12:28, Romans 1:25, Isaiah 29:13, John 4:24, John 14:15, 1 Corinthians 10:31). For Noah, life was about God and His plan, not about himself or his family’s comfort. Can we say the same about us whether inside our homes or outside our doors? Is our relationship with God characterized by worship? Is this kind of worship a normal part of our lives as it must have been for Noah?

Imagine the thoughts of the Flood and judgment twisting his heart when he stepped onto dry ground outside of the ark. Imagine his gratitude and unworthiness when he considered all the people who succumbed to floodwaters, especially those to whom he spoke about the Flood. Noah didn’t earn the privilege to step off the ark, just like we don’t earn the right to step into each new day. Is it no wonder he worshiped?

 

***
Click to tweet
Noah didn't earn the privilege to step off the ark
just like we don't earn the right
to step into each new day.
Is it no wonder he worshiped?

***

What gets in the way of our regular worship?

 

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

 

2.     Worship that pleases God involves sacrifice.

Noah spent decades of his life working on the ark in direct obedience to God. He possibly toiled some 70 years to build it, painstakingly following God’s blueprint. This took commitment, hard labor, and sacrifice. Then he spent over a year aboard the ark, giving of himself for the sake of his family and the animals as part of God’s design for his life. This was sacrificial worship.

Then he built an altar and offered sacrifices to God upon it (Genesis8:20). Even the process of these burnt offerings were actions most of us would not perform (Leviticus 1:4-9). It was very involved, and Noah's worship pleased God and reminded Him of His compassion for His creation and His plan of mercy in sparing all who would put their trust in His Son for eternal life.

Noah sacrificed and God was pleased. What about us? What do we give up to honor God? Do we give Him our loose change, or do we intentionally pay ourselves less to give Him more? Do we show up to be served, or do we give of our time for the sake of those whom God loves? Do we keep things at a strolling pace or do we work up a sweat? Cain went through the motions but Abel made a sacrifice that pleased God (Genesis 4:3-7). Abel gave choice parts of firstborn animals.

God, in His mercy, gave up His Son for our sake and gave us the faith to trust Him for eternal life. Our reasonable response is to give ourselves to Him as living sacrifices. This is what Noah did. This is worship: to do things differently than we used to in an effort to honor God, and to do so without a chip on our shoulders – to remain down to earth because we’re no different than anyone else when we stand before God (Romans 12:1-3). God was merciful to Noah and He is merciful to us…every day. Do our lives mirror a burnt offering that produces a soothing aroma to God.

 

***
Click to tweet
God was merciful to Noah
and He is merciful to us.
Do our lives mirror a burnt offering
that produces a soothing aroma to God?

***

 

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


Worship that pleases God is both sacrificial and a normal part of life. Maybe we need to make some adjustments. Maybe we need to consider how we can offer more to God. Listen to this song by Tommy Walker called Living Sacrifice. It’s a pleasingly simple song written with burnt offerings in mind, knowing that our equivalent today is to give ourselves to God. After listening, spend time in honest prayer with God.

(14) Song of the Week - #16 - "Living Sacrifice" - Tommy Walker - YouTube

 

Stay tuned. More episodes to come:

 

Episode 5: God’s Compassion

Episode 6: The Value of Life

Episode 7: Victory Over Death

Episode 8: Jesus’ Return

 

 

If you want to dialog more on worship and sacrifice, feel free to email me at authordlv@att.net. God gave His only Son to pay the penalty of our sings and reunite us with Himself. He did this because out of compassion and mercy. It makes sense for us to live for Him.

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. I can only imagine what it must have been like on that ark. It is an amazing story. I love how you used it to highlight the way it relates to worship Stephen. Great message and encouragement. I look forward to the rest of the series

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is so much to imagine about life on the ark, Yvonne. Noah's family was in it for over a year! But I'm sure life included worship, a very natural part of life for someone as obedient and grateful as Noah.

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  2. Great message. I pray I will worship God in every word and action. Have a blessed weekend! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I pray the same for myself, Melissa. Thank you for visiting and you have a great weekend as well.

      Delete
  3. What a thought-provoking piece!! I especially love your questions: “ What do we give up to honor God? Do we give Him our loose change, or do we intentionally pay ourselves less to give Him more?” I’m certain Noah didn’t give God his loose change. I pray I don’t, either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I look back over the decades, I think I give a lot then give a little in phases. I pray I can give a lot much more consistently. And I especially pray I can finish strong because life gets weary and I don't want to lose my appreciation for our never-changing God.

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  4. Worship that pleases God involves sacrifice. Words to live by. Thanks, Stephen. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Nancy. Worship is much more than Sunday morning congregational singing. It's in the way we live.

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  5. Stephen, I like how your two points not only show how important worship was to Noah, but also how you give us these powerful truths about worship for our lives today. Sacrificial worship and to worship with our lives and on a daily basis is often foreign to even the church. So many times, even believers think worship only happens on Sundays and at church. But I want to become a living sacrifice as I worship the Lord with my life. Thanks for this great article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Karen. And I appreciate Tommy Walker's song that I linked at the end of this article because true worship is giving of ourselves on an ongoing basis, putting God's priorities at the forefront. The concept is simple, yet the practice is so hard because it means our own interests are not the driving factors in how we live and what we do. Thank you for sharing.

      Delete
  6. Good insights, Stephen. I imagine seeing the results of judgment was sobering at the least, a clear view of God's judgement

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine what Noah must've felt when the Flood came and whenever he thought about all the people that ignored God and His judgment. And when Noah stepped off the ark with only his family to begin a new human race, how heart-wrenching that must've been.

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  7. Yes! I've been reading your posts all along, never finding time to comment, but I love the message here and the song. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Linda. I'm glad you've been reading and I appreciate your note here. What better way to give back to God that with a life characterized by sacrificial worship.

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    2. You’ve presented this so well, Stephen. The detail of what it would have been like in the ark coupled with all of the required efforts to keep all the animal cargo alive and healthy, plus Noah’s own family. Very impressive.

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    3. Melinda Viergever Inman— comments above.

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    4. Hi Melinda. Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. Noah and his family were on the ark for over a year! How hard that must've been, yet he had the faith to remain committed to God's unknown plan for him and he gave an honorable burnt sacrifice the first chance he got.

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  8. When I try to put myself in Noah's place, I cannot imagine the utter dependence He had on God. His worship must have been pure. He lived it with every fiber of his being. I pray to grow a heart of humble, dependence and a lifestyle of worship before the LORD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Melissa. Noah must have had exceptional dependence on God through the 100+ years to build the ark, then the 1 year + aboard the ark. Everything worked out for him and his family because he remained committed to God's plan and promises. And he worshiped.

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