In Noah's day, men increased in numbers. Women were beautiful and delightful to them (Gen. 6:1-2). Our mates should be beautiful and pleasant to us. We should enjoy them. God gives us freedom to choose who we should marry. However, we will suffer severe consequences if we become unequally yoked in marriage to someone who doesn't share a similar faith in God as ourselves.
God saw a great problem in Noah's world. He became fed up with humankind so limited their days to 120 years (Gen. 6:3). Previously, people were living greater than 900 years, like Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years.
The next verse explains why God was disturbed. Nephilim or men of renown living during this era were bullies, violent and disrepectful toward others (Gen. 6:4-7). Their wickedness, literally a negative attitude toward God or others, greatly concerned the Lord. Every inclination of their heart was evil. Their imagination to do evil filled the Lord with pain. He decided to wipe out the whole human race. The evil or sin we have starts with negative and false thoughts about God. It limits the length and quality of our lives.
But Noah found favor, kindness,and grace before God. He had three admirable qualities: righteous and honest, blameless with integrity and walked with God instead of following the ways of the world like those around him (Gen. 6:8-9).
What is the most outrageous thing that God could ask you to do? Well, let's look in on Noah. God told him to build a big ship or ark to hold his family and two of every kind of animal to save them from a worldwide flood. How would you respond to something so outrageous? Well, Noah obeyed God in every detail, even constructing the ark according to the dimensions the Lord laid out (Gen. 6:14-17,19-20). Do we follow God's directions even when they seem impractical or outrageous? Are we strong enough to stand up against people questioning our sanity when they hurl verbal abuse at us? Will we sacrifice our agenda and follow God's?
God established a covenant with Noah accompanied by signs, sacrifices and a solemn oath. He established a special relationship with Noah by revealing pomises for obedience and curses for disobedience to him and his family, which was the custom for agreements during that time (Gen. 6:18). Families will prosper and endure when they obey and seek a relationship with God over a lifetime. It takes work and sacrifice to provide for our families (Gen. 6:21).
Noah carried God's commands even in the midst of inconvenience (Gen. 6:22). God is not looking for external or superficial commitment, but obedience from our heart even when the going gets tough. For example, doing this blog involves great sacrifice in writing and learning the technology.
In summary, sin orginates from the heart and adversely affects relationships. In contrast, integrity and purity of heart allows one to experience the favor and grace of God to prepare for what God calls us to do.
Are you facing an uncomfortable choice today? How will you follow Noah's example?