Genesis 7 is a great chapter about the Lord’s timing, instruction, and our obedience. It starts out by saying, “When everything was ready.” (Genesis 7:1). To provide some context to that statement, I want to go back to Genesis 6 for a moment. In Genesis 6, the Lord kept warning that there would be a flood, and in the warnings, He told the people that they had 120 years before they perished in the flood.
Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” – Genesis 6:3 (NIV)
However, the people didn’t turn from their wicked ways. Therefore, when the time was up (120-years), the flood came. This is why it is so important to listen to God because when God tells us to do something, He also provides a window of time in which to do it. God told Noah to build the boat. Then, at the right time, He told Noah and his family to get into the boat.
“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation”. – Genesis 7:1 (NIV)
Just imagine if Noah would have wanted to finish up something or hang out outside of the confines of the boat just a little longer because he didn’t want to be in a cramped space with a bunch of animals (just think about the fact that animals poop in place). Imagine if he questioned whether or not he should have built the boat because there was no water nearby and he was afraid of what other people thought about him. If you received this instruction, how many of us would have blocked our blessing (the ability to be saved) because:
- We pulled a Kanye and said something like, “Lord, I’m gonna let you finish in a minute but…(insert our own opinion of the instruction here).”
- We said, “I hear you Lord, but I’m going to come back to your instructions to build the ark because I’m too busy and I have (fill in the blank) going on.”
- We question the instructions, and then we say something like, “Why didn’t you say do it this way? I know a short cut.”
- We question whether or not this is the right path or if we are even qualified to do the work. This may sound something like, “I don’t know about that. I don’t know if this will work, if I’m the right person, or if it is worth my time. So and so said this, so maybe they are right and this is a waste of time. My friends aren’t talking to me anymore because this project is strange, etc. I guess I will go back to doing what I was doing before.”
So what does all of this mean? This post is going to show you 3 lessons that we can learn from the flood.
Think about the implications of disobedience. The stakes were high. If Noah didn’t obey and move when the Lord told him to move, his entire family and the animals would have perished. I really want you to understand the importance of the decision to obey God and the cost of disobedience. How many of you are struggling more than you have to because you aren’t being obedient? How many of your family members or loved ones are suffering too because you are failing to be obedient to God? I’m not trying to make you feel bad, but rather open your mind and your eyes to the importance of faith, loving the Lord, and obeying His commands. The flood is coming, we can choose to get on the boat or get swept away in the floodwaters. Many of us can create different outcomes for our families and ourselves if we walked more closely with God. As parents we need to make sure that we are in tune with the word of God because it not just impacts us, it impacts our children as well.
Respect the Process
One of the other key lessons from this chapter is that we must respect the process. There had been time between the Lord telling him to build the boat, the boat being complete, and to get into the boat. In fact, 7 days before the flood, the Lord told Noah to get into the boat. That was a process that took time: building the boat, waiting for the instruction, getting in the boat, loading the animals, and waiting for the flood. How many of you would have quit building, delayed getting on, or got off when it didn’t rain immediately? Just think about the stakes! Noah had to build the boat (without the tools that we have now) and then he waited to hear the Lord say get in. However, too often we want to shortcut the process of building and waiting. Because Noah obeyed all of the Lord’s commands (not some) of the Lord’s commands he was spared.
“And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.” – Genesis 7:5 (NIV)
Once the boat was filled with Noah’s family and the animals, the Lord closed the door behind them. When the Lord tells us to move, He will close the door behind us so we won’t go back through it. This is for our protection so we can start a new chapter. If Noah walked back out of the door, he would have drowned. If the Lord didn’t close the door and instead left it open, everyone would have drowned.
Leave closed doors closed
Understanding the power of closed doors is a huge lesson for us because we must stop trying to open doors that the Lord closes! You probably don’t want what is on the other side. As what we see from Noah, the other side of the door was not good. Flood waters…no way! That closed door allowed the boat to float safely on the surface of the floodwaters and it spared Noah’s life and the animals’ lives. If Noah or someone else on the boat opened the door, the boat would have taken on water and sank which would have led to everyone and everything’s destruction. This is why we need to be grateful for closed doors, stop trying to pry closed doors open, and celebrate that some doors were closed. What close doors do you need to celebrate and stop trying to open? Remember that Noah, his family, and the animals were spared because of closed doors and Noah’s obedience to obey God and leave closed doors alone. Aren’t you glad for closed doors?
Ask the right questions
When we are faced with a major decision, we can find ourselves asking the wrong question. One of the questions that I had when I read the chapter, and other people asked the same question was, “how did the animals get in the boat?” The Bible never says that Noah and his sons found them, chased them, gathered them, and then loaded them into the boat. In fact, the animals came from all over the world, because the Lord wanted pairs every animal (both male and female in the entire world) to get on the boat. Instead of asking extra questions and worrying about the details of every part of God’s plan, Noah focused on the task that the Lord gave him – building the boat. God took care of the rest. The Lord sent the animals to the ark and loaded them in the boat 2 by 2. Too often, when we get instructions about what to do, and instead of doing our part, we ask a ton of questions or worry about the part of the plan that God didn’t tell us to do. Like Noah, we need to walk in obedience (build the ark according to God’s very specific instructions) and let God send the animals. God didn’t provide instructions on how to gather the animals because that was not Noah’s job, but rather it was the Lord’s.
Because of this obedience, and the mercy of God, what happened to other people, didn’t happen to Noah, his family, and the animals. Instead, the Lord protected them and provided for them. Noah and his family’s faith saved them and provided a means to save the animals.
“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.” – Genesis 7:23 (NIV)
This is why it is so important to believe, have faith, practice righteous living, and obey the Lord. God talks to us. He pulls us close to himself. We just need to submit to Him. When we do this, even when the flood comes, like Noah, we will be spared. Don’t take this as the flood will never come. In Noah’s case, he didn’t escape the flood, but his obedience to and love for the Lord allowed him to avoid the flood’s destruction. He sure did ride those waves though!
When I think about daily life, there are so many storms that pop up, but as a believer, I can see just how much God was covering me during the storm and even in the storm He met all my needs. Just as the Lord provided for and protected Noah, his family, and the animals during the flood, He does the same for us. Remember that, God never changes. He is the same yesterday as He is today, and is the same as He ever will be. God is so good!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)
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Aisha Taylor is a single mom of twins, personal financial coach, work from home entrepreneur, and #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle.” Aisha has been featured in ESSENCE, Jet Magazine, and Black Enterprise. She is also the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), a movement designed to help single moms create a vision for their lives, craft a financial strategy to support that vision, and show them that phenomenal living is possible. It’s time for you to be Financially Phenomenal!