The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal. . .and two of every kind of unclean animal. . .to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (NIV) Genesis 7:1-4
Can you imagine it? Here’s this man Noah, who found favor with God because he was a righteous man; blameless among the people of his time; and the one man who walked with God. He had obediently followed God’s instructions in building an ark which took approximately 120 years to build (commentators surmise that the ark was nearly equal in size to the Titanic!). Along with Noah and his family were the animals. . .7 of every kind of clean animal. . .2 of every unclean. Today there are approximately 18,000 different species of animals. This would mean that the ark may have had 75,000 animals on board!
The rains, rather intensely, came for some 40 days and nights. After that, the water rose continually for 150 days. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals, and all mankind. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. It took nearly 7 months for the water to subside.
Interestingly, God spoke to Noah before he went into the ark (Genesis 7:1-4) but did not do so again until it was time to come out of the ark (Genesis 8:16). For over a year, while the floods rose and then subsided, the Bible does not record that God communicated to Noah. Then God said to Noah: “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you– the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground– so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.” (Genesis 8: 16-17)
What do you think Noah was thinking during the year of God’s silence? Was he wondering if God knew what He was doing? Was he accusing God of being too slow in His timing? Was he complaining about all the work with the animals? Was he bickering with his wife and children as he waited confined within the ark? Was he wondering if he would see dry land again?
What do you do when you know you have been obedient to God, but in the midst of waiting for His plan to be fulfilled, He is silent? Do you complain? Do you question the validity of His plan? Do you tell God to hurry up? Do you get so caught up in the mundane that you miss His activity in your life? Do you wonder if His way is right?
If you are in the midst of waiting on God, go back to the security of who He is. . .stand firm in obedience to what He has asked you to do. . .and wait on His perfect timing. Perhaps your rainbow is right around the corner!