Forty Days And Forty Nights
Genesis 7:17-18, 23
For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water… Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
It’s difficult to understand why horrible things happen in this life. This is an account of one of those times. We read in scripture that violence and wickedness had overrun the planet. God’s solution was to start over with one righteous family. We read that Noah was the only righteous man left in those days. So with very little explanation as to the why of what God was doing, Noah obeyed God and built an ark. There are many speculations involving why God had decided to destroy everything. But I’m not going to get into all of that. There is also speculation as to whether or not it was a worldwide flood or if it were a localized flood. Either way we know that it destroyed everything it touched and for Noah and his family that must have been a horrifying experience. We know, as christians, that horrible things happen in this world because of sin and the free will to act on sinful desires. Therefore, we understand that bad things happen because people make bad choices with their free will.
I decided to go the route of focusing on what Noah must have felt during his time on that ark in the pouring rain. With no real end in sight after over a month of flooding, he must’ve wondered what the end game was for him. He must have wondered if there would ever be life again outside of this enormous vessel he had built. I believe that he must have ultimately leaned on his decision to trust God in the first place. If he had not listened to God’s warning about the coming flood he would have been swept away with the rest of humanity. It’s on that simple fact that he was able to make it through the days he spent on that boat waiting for the waters to reside. It’s a pretty daunting feeling to look out over the side of a ship and see nothing but water. Imagine how hopeless it must’ve felt to know that there is no land anywhere for them to even reach. However, God had saved and provided for them to this point. All that was left for him to do is to trust that He would not forget them.