Advent, Advent Devotional, Christmas, Promised Hope

Hope Floats

NARRATIVE

GENESIS 6-8

Beyond the garden, life was hard, just as God said it would be. This new knowledge of good and evil made life messy. Six chapters into this story and nearly sixteen hundred years have passed. All of that messiness had become an evil epidemic. Every intention. Every thought. Only evil all the time. God’s heart grieved. Heartbroken over the depth of sin, He regretted having made His humans.

That line cuts right through me. Every time.

But God found Noah.

Noah was the great-grandson of Enoch, a man who had walked closely with Him for three hundred years. And due in part or whole to this Godly inheritance, Noah was granted favor. Grace. And in that gift of grace, Noah stood firm and obeyed all the Lord commanded.

Noah, build a boat, for I shall flood the earth and all that lives upon it.

With the strength of five hundred years, Noah began. Day after day, his splintered, and bloody hands cut timber. The weight of the task heavier than the beams he cut and carried. Every step of obedience brought sweat to his brow. His faith prodded him forward year after year. Believing and building, he obeyed.

Years of obedience gave way to a boat. Finally, a boat. After one hundred and twenty years of believing God, Noah and his family entered the ark, and God himself sealed them safely inside.

The LORD had not exaggerated. Raindrops battered the boat for forty days and forty nights while waters sprang from the earth. For one hundred and fifty days, they floated, tossed about at first, then giving way to drift, no one steering but the LORD Himself.

Three hundred and seventy days later, the LORD called Noah and his family out of the boat and onto dry land. Still believing and obeying, Noah built an altar for a sacrifice. And the LORD found it pleasing.

Hope renewed.

Because this freshly dried earth needed new life, Noah broke the ground and covered some seeds. Those buried seeds gave way to a fruit-laden vine. And taking the fruit, Noah pressed it. (I mean. A year on a boat with your family!) Noah enjoyed the fruit of his labor. But the effects of its excess opened the door to sin once again. Yes. Sin lingered still.

But God’s plan was in motion.

Hope was still in motion.

REFLECTION

Can you imagine? Noah’s deep faith and long obedience? His perseverance an absolute gift of the grace given by the Lord.

I can’t help but wonder about the Godly inheritance passed on by his great-grandfather Enoch, who, having walked with God, did not see death. A faith that found the hearts of his son Methuselah, and grandson, Lamech. Both lived while Noah built the ark.

I can hear old Methuselah saying something like, “C’mon, son. We gotta’ cut a few more logs today. Yep, we have to keep going. That day’s gonna come soon. You gotta be ready. We’ll get you ready.”

Both Methuselah and Lamech died before the waters fell.

Yes. Noah’s faith and obedience were a family heirloom. What a treasure!

My great-grandfather Levi left me a rich inheritance through my beautiful grandmother, Caroline. Her heart was always turned toward the Lord, and her knees bent in prayer. I am forever grateful.

Were you the blessed recipient of a Godly inheritance from your parents or grandparents? Are you a lone believer in a long line of scoffers? Perhaps a cynic yourself? Good news.

Hope is still in motion.

PRAYER

Father, how I want faith as bold as Noah’s. Lord, to trust You when it seems ridiculous. Lord, I’m pretty sure You’re not going to ask me to build a literal boat, but let my answer be yes, just the same.

Lord, may I walk in obedience and persevere even when the weight is heavy. May I say yes even when I can’t see the importance of Your ask. Let me live in Your gift of grace. Let me speak your truth to others, even if they laugh at me and dismiss You.

 I pray that my life’s work is pleasing to You. Amen.

WORSHIP

Tell God yes. Build your boat.

He might ask you to do something crazy, like build a big boat. Do that. He might ask you to walk across the room to say hi to someone who needs a kind word. Do that.

Whether He asks you to do something audacious or show a simple kindness, say yes. You’d be surprised at where those small yeses lead you. But more importantly, what they accomplish for His glory.

Saying yes might seem like nothing. But it might just be everything.

Oh, I hear some of you sighing. The tone is too familiar. You feel you’ve grieved God’s heart. You think He’s disappointed in you. Too disappointed to use you.

Friend, the Hope renewed on freshly dried land, is available to you. There is nothing beyond His redemption. Nope. Not even that.

If you don’t consider yourself a believer in this story, please keep coming back. Your first yes just might be around the corner because Hope is still in motion!

Here’s a link to a great song for today!

I Will Build a Boat

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