Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
– Genesis 6:22
Noah had already lived much of his life when God called him to build the ark.
He was not a young man when the fate of humanity was placed upon his shoulders. It was a fearful assignment, an overwhelming duty. What God had told him in secret, he spent decades building in obedience to His word.
We don’t know how much help, if any, Noah had building the massive ship. He certainly didn’t have power tools or a Home Depot nearby stocked with precut gopher wood and nails. There would be no hamburger drive-thru for him to pick up a quick lunch on a long day. There wasn’t even a hot tub in which to soak his old bones each evening.
How impossible the task must have been, this thing that lay so heavily on Noah’s heart. How crazy he must have appeared to his neighbors and friends. How very alone he must have felt.
There must have been many dark days when doubt raged, and he questioned his own ability to go on. The temptation to quit must have been very strong.
But Noah knew one thing. He knew what God had told him to do. He knew he had to expend every fiber of his being in obedience, trusting God would give him the strength to finish. Nothing else mattered except that the last nail was pounded into the wood, humanity’s preservation complete.
Thousands of years later, another carpenter walked the earth.
His directive from God was much the same. Like Noah, His job would be a lonely one. There would be no relief from the duty, no release from the burden, no call from heaven to stop the judgment about to fall.
When the last nail was in place, humanity’s salvation complete, He cried, “It is finished.”
This is the greater ark, a permanent rescue and safe landing in a new heaven and earth. It is the one-way ride to eternal life through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the storm clouds gather around us, as the forces of destruction assemble before us, the door to deliverance stands open to anyone who wants to enter.
But this door will not remain open forever.
Noah’s friends and neighbors must have mocked him as he and his family made the last step of obedience and entered the ark. For a week, the little group waited inside, while God allowed one more chance for others to join them. As the door stood open, the world danced and ate and drank and caroused and wasted their chance to live. Then God closed the door behind Noah and his family, and judgment fell.
A greater judgment is coming soon, more fearsome than anything we have ever known. Society laughs at Christ as she dances on her own grave. Her world is about to fall, but she seems not to care salvation awaits with its door wide open, a door God will close suddenly, in an hour of His choosing.
As followers of Christ, we can’t know the hour or day of His return.
But we can show others the door.