The story of Noah and his ark is one that is well known. The bible is literally chock full of stories and each one is an open invitation to enter in. So join me for a moment at the scene where God is telling Noah what he wants.
Genesis 6 verses 13-15 reads:
“God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence … So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high…”
The episode ends: “Noah did everything just as God had commanded him.” Clearly we have a lesson in obedience, and a secondary lesson in paying attention to detail as Noah did everything God asked. However, put yourself in Noah’s shoes, what might he have been thinking? Understand that the ark was going to be longer than a football pitch and three storeys high! God wasn’t merely giving him a command he was giving him a career.
So now ask yourself: How could Noah and his family work year after year in this labour of love without running out of steam? Well the answer is salvation at two levels. First off, their physical salvation depended on that boat. But secondly and much more importantly, Noah had prior personal salvation, that knowledge of the true grace of God, and because of this he displayed that tell-tale signature of truly saved people – they are the ones who can and really do operate a “long obedience in the same direction.”