Genesis 6:5-6 reveals the state of the world before the flood: “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become … and His heart was filled with pain.”
A few verses later we read of all those living in the whole world there was one righteous man: Noah. He was blameless among the people, and he walked with God. He was the only one.
Noah walked like his great grandpa Enoch. No doubt he’d heard the story of his sudden disappearance when God had taken him (Gen. 5:24).
It was not recorded that Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, walked with God or had any thought toward Him. Living 969 years, he is known as the oldest man in the Bible.
Little is said of Noah’s father, Lamech. He was 182 years old when Noah was born and lived 595 more years before he died. Noah would have been 595 years old when his father died. Since Noah was 600 years old when he went into the ark, it’s realistic to think Lamech had seen the ark.
Noah had brothers and sisters who were not known to walk with the Lord.
In Genesis 6:13 God said to Noah: “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” That included his outside family-brothers, sisters, cousins. It included his neighbors and townspeople. Second Peter 2:5 tells us Noah was a preacher of righteousness. But no one listened. They saw the ark. They knew Noah walked with God, but they did not heed. Sad story. Noah kept moving forward.
Over and over, I read “Noah did everything just as God commanded.” Even when he had never seen a flood. Even when the task was overwhelming. Even when it was just him.
Noah had the courage and gumption to follow through with the gigantic and difficult task God had given him. When so many others did not follow God, it was vital that he press on. He had to listen and do exactly what God said or the boat would sink and his immediate family would die. It’s true today. We can’t cut corners when following God.
The only-ness of Noah has weighed heavy on my heart for days. I don’t ever want to forget that Scripture involves real people with real emotions – flesh and blood men and women who faithfully followed God when it was not comfortable.
One Sunday night in 1997, during the invitation, my beloved and I went to the altar. Together we prayed and surrendered to full-time ministry. At the altar, we submitted our lives, our futures to the Lord. Unsure where we would end up, we knew it was right.
Following God is wonderful and rewarding. It is not always easy. Still, God is enough. Walking and working in the center of God’s will can change the world. Noah did. Thousands of years later, we are still talking about him. Learning from him.
If you are following God like Noah, you press on. Without confetti, without streamers, without cheerleaders, keep going. God sees you. When it’s hard, He knows. When you’re tired, He gets it. When your kids or family don’t embrace it. Keeping walking. Even if you’re the only one.
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