Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world

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[8] Are there some missing verses – we don’t read about Noah complaining

A pig.What about the smell within the Ark?
What about the noise and the lack of space?

But there are no verses that tell us of Noah reacting badly while he was on the Ark.

I used to share a granny flat, with a chap who worked on a pig farm.
All we had, was one 20ft by 10ft room, with a separate bathroom.

Have you ever been on a pig farm, or a chicken farm – the smell!!!

There was no porch, or hallway, to put smelly Wellington boots and overalls in!
Inevitably bits of straw got dropped onto the carpet, but it was an excellent time of relating and not holding on to grudges.

The point of this story, is to make you imagine the smell, and the cramped conditions within the Ark.
Both of us could go out every day to our jobs, but Noah couldn’t!
From the description of the Ark, it looks as if Noah and his family couldn’t even get up on deck for some fresh air and to get a bit further away from the noise!

But there is no record of any moaning while they were in the Ark, for all of the 375 days.
If Noah had had a different attitude, then that time would have been like a prison sentence.
Same surroundings, just a different outlook.

We need to learn, how to become content with the lot we have in this life.
Often, we just won’t have the answer to: “Why is this happening?”
Do you realise, that you could be in the centre of God’s will for your life, and yet you might not understand why all these things are happening to you.

A man’s (or woman’s) steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way.” Proverbs 20:24

I find that verse very refreshing.
Don’t feel depressed because you don’t understand your situation, and don’t let any super-spiritual friends make you feel guilty, because you haven’t had a ‘word from the Lord’ to solve your problem.
We may not understand our problems, but the important thing is to believe that it is the Lord who directs our steps.

So, Noah was in an unpleasant circumstance, and yet he did not moan!
We don’t have to moan, and it may seem surprising that we could actually be content in this trial we’re experiencing! Paul wrote:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16

But why did God’s plan involve putting Noah in such cramped conditions, along with that overpowering smell?
Why, the Lord could have had a different plan for judging the old world and a different way of saving Noah – something easier.

I expect it was for Noah’s proving.

At the start of Peter’s first letter, he writes that we are to rejoice in our salvation, even though we are distressed by various trials, which come, so that our faith may be proved genuine, and may result in praise, glory, and honour. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

We go through tough times for our proving and training, to create opportunities for the Holy Spirit to produce patience in us.
The Lord is not interested, in getting us from childhood to heaven in the most trouble free way!
He is concerned about our training.
Getting our motives correct, loving others – even our enemies, serving and honouring God Himself, and getting the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow in us.

All this may involve hardship, and heartache, but God is working on, and in us. Romans 8:28 tells us:

..that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

We can’t see what the Lord is doing, but we can believe that He is orchestrating situations for our good, and for our growth, and for His Glory.

Images: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published by The Educational Book Company, London

Peter Reason

January 2012

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