He wasn’t first like Adam. His story didn’t have nearly as many twists and turns as Joseph’s. Though all too familiar with water, he did not part the Red Sea like Moses. There was no fantastic fish story and radical revival as was the case with Jonah. He was not a shepherd, turned giant killer, turned king like David. Unlike Jesus, he was not capable of providing salvation to the world, although he was instrumental in sparing many pairs of animals. Yet, if you ask the average person around the globe who the guy was who built an ark with a bunch of animals on it during a worldwide flood, no doubt Noah’s name would be known by most.
There are things about Noah and his times that we cannot understand or relate to. The atmospheric conditions were much different, and people lived for centuries. There was limited history to learn from and no Bible to read. We can, however, relate to the fact that Noah lived in an evil culture. The hearts of the people were “only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Still, Noah knew God and that was reflected in his active faith. The Bible says: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).
Walking closely with the God he loved would lead him to an assignment that he probably did not want. God’s project would take faith as big as an ark. It meant taking on an enormous building project while being a preacher of righteousness along the way (2 Peter 2:5). He had about 120 years to appeal to people, but Noah was arguably the most unsuccessful preacher of all time. However, his steps were taken in faithful, enduring obedience.
When God leads us to serve Him in unique ways, we should see it as a privilege and get to work as Noah did. We sometimes must endure the dark clouds and rain, knowing that brighter days are ahead—if not in this life, then in the next. Just as the beautiful rainbow had Noah looking up and hearing God’s promise, we know that the promised return of Jesus is near. We worship the Lord like Noah did, though we will also have failures along the way. The Lord forgives. God blesses (Genesis 9:1). Perhaps knowing Noah will encourage us to walk with God in righteousness and accomplish great things, even in a dark world.