While Noah is gathering steam in theaters, I’ll make a few passing remarks, but not about the movie. Bloggers have reviewed it to death by now, anyway. Instead, here are a couple of insights from Noah, the true story.
First, you have to appreciate the inconvenience of a major life purpose suddenly landing in your lap—on top of the stuff you were already planning to do. I’m sure before the whole flood thing, Noah had hopes of his own. They weren’t about the Ivy League or the NBA, a 401K, or any of a million dreams we’re familiar with now. But at some level it’s safe to say he probably wanted all the basic things we want such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (to frame it in America-speak). Then like a falling blacksmith’s anvil, came the interruption of a lifetime. God announced, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Gen. 6:13). Talk about stopping the party.
In light of a revelation that large, all other agendas wilt. Sometimes we tell God our plans and then He tells us His. And we can’t ignore His. What He’s holding always trumps everyone else.
Human beings bristle with self-designed purposes of every size and shape:
- “I’m going to start a business!”
- “I’m going to school!”
- “I’m going on vacation!”
- “I’m going to fix a peanut butter sandwich!”
God says, “I’m going to destroy the world.”
At that point it’s hard to politely nod and move on to the next topic. Maybe it would have been good to let Him speak first. At least that would have brought some sobriety to our own hopes and dreams.
Recall the Nickelback song, If Today Was Your Last Day. The lyrics suggest that with less than 24 hours left, you might suddenly develop a sharpened approach to life. Real priorities march to the front. Refocus occurs with brilliant clarity. Suddenly everything has meaning and color. Life (or what is left of it) becomes incredibly purposeful. Noah must have felt this in an even more dramatic way. Where he was concerned, The End was not his own, but that of the whole world. For Him, eating, drinking, working, resting, and relationships would probably have been transformed in view of God’s determination to “make an end of all flesh.” Through an apocalyptic lens, there is no such thing as being dominated by the ordinary, much less the trivial.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved,
and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
I was going to brag about the great weather here, but after those verses, it looks like I’ve been…well…trumped.