Posted by: springsinthedesert | October 7, 2010

Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

          Genesis 6:22

We all have a picture of the Noah’s ark from our childhood Sunday school classes. I still remember the first time I heard the story of Noah.  I used to imagine the big ark, all the animals going to the ark two by two in a line, Noah just directing everything, the big flood and the rainbow as a promise from God. Though years have passed and I know the spiritual meaning of the ark and more details about it, every time I read it, it just gives me goose bumps and excitement like a child hearing it for the first time. I have searched through the internet several times to see different pictures of the ark and also found out so many information about the ark. The more I know about it, the more I understand God’s love for the righteous and admire the patience and obedience of Noah.

I would like to share with you some of the facts of Noah’s ark. Noah did not know anything about ship building. God was the designer and He gave Noah the instructions to build it, the type of wood to be used, measurements, number of compartments, coating to be applied on the ark, types of animals to be taken on the boat, everything was instructed to Noah. If you read Genesis, you can understand that Noah did not have any control over the boat. It was God who closed the ark’s only door and He was the one who controlled it. Depending on the measurements given in the bible (300 cubits * 50 cubits * 30 cubits), researchers say that a ship this size was not made not until late 19th century.The Ark had a ratio (length x width x height) of 30 x 5 x 3. According to ship-builders, this ratio represents an advanced knowledge of ship-building since it is the optimum design for stability in rough seas.

Another thing that amazed me was that when God said to Noah that He is going to destroy the world with a flood by opening the doors of heaven as rain, Noah just believed God. Till that time, He had never seen rain and the approximate calculations show that Noah took almost 100 years to build the ark. All these hundred years, he must have preached to his fellowmen what God told him and asked them to repent and they must have ridiculed him. Lets take a minute and imagine this old Noah, building a big boat. People must have mocked him saying where is the water to float this boat, when is the flood coming, how are you going to manage all these animals in the boat. Noah did not listen to all these, he just continued building the ark, just the way God asked him to. Though he had lot of questions, he just obeyed God.

I know very well that I’m writing something that you all are well familiar with. My point is, even though Noah didn’t know anything about rain or how God is going to execute His plans or what is going to happen inside the ark with all these animals, He just obeyed God and did everything that He commanded. How many of us have received a special mission from God. Some may have received a higher task and others smaller ones. No matter, big or small in our eyes, it is important for God. You may be asked to pray for someone until they come into the ark of salvation. Some may be given the task of preaching to millions about God’s plan of salvation. When we see all the impossibilities around us, we slow down in our missions. We don’t have to know everything to perform what He has asked us to do. He is the designer, we just have to build it according to His plans. How do you think that the animals came into the ark? God must have done something to lead even the wild animals to follow the instructions and go into the ark and stay there without causing any problems. Nothing is impossible for Him. Believe that and stop calculating and recalculating the possibility of someone’s salvation. It is God’s design and you are just His workman.

What is your mission in this earth? Are you ready to do what God asks you to do? If you and me are asked to leave all this comfortable life and go and preach the gospel in a remote place, what will be our reaction? Are we able to wait for God’s word to fulfill in our lives no matter how long it takes?

In Him,

Rani John



  1. Somehow Rani, when you revisit something we think we know, it is new again, through you and Jesus, working together. 🙂 This is no different. Time is a recurring theme in my life. So thank you for this encouragement to be obedient, no matter how long or what the ridicule. God bless you! love, deb

  2. I wrote about the story of Noah and the ark a few years ago from a very different perspective. The Essay is called “The Flood of Alcoholism” and focuses on what happened during and after The Flood. Noah, though obedient, knew those people who had to die in The Flood. At least some of them were his friends and neighbors. And I am certain that when the rain did come, many of them wanted to get into the ark. But, Noah had been given specific instruction from God as to who was allowed on board — and who was not. So imagine all those people mobbing the ark, clinging to that 18-inch opening around the ship. And then imagine the strength Noah had to have had to obey God — by not saving their lives and letting them on baord. Imagine how he felt, knowing that he couldn’t shelter them or share food with them. They were just as human as I am, but people just like me had to die. And then imagine Noah seeing all those dead bodies drifting in the seas, people he himself had known, neighbors who probably shared an ancient joke with Noah or had a drink with him at the end of a long day of building a ship. Much of this may seem like creative conjecture, but the selfish savagery of humanity certainly makes it all possible. And the Bible also tells us that Noah planted a vineyard after the ark had come to rest and the vegetation had returned. We know he got drunk at least once as well, though it probably was more than that because the man did have a whole vineyard and there were only seven people left on the whole planet. If we were to look at the story today from the eyes of contemporary psychology, Noah would probably be thought of us an obsessive-coompulsive alcoholic who was out of his mind. But we have the advantage of knowing how the story turned out — except humanity hasn’t changed all that much since the days of Noah. God gave humanity meat after The Flood because so much of the vegetation had been destroyed. But God also said, when He gave us meet, that He would demand an account for the blood shed, from people and from animals alike. Later we understand precisely what God meant when we read the brief blurb about Nimrod, a “mighty hunter and a great warrior”. A hunter who became a warrior because humanity had soon discovered that the same weapon that is used to kill for food is the same weapon that can, and has, been used to kill men, women, and children. So from hunting came war. And, later, we learn that God uses war to punish wicked nations, including His own people through Assyria and Babylon. The Hand of God still shapes the course of history, working out all things according to His purposes — including the most dreadful Babylonian invasion of Judah, which eventually led to King Nebachanezzer’s decree throughout the known world about worshipping The God of Daniel; millions upon millions of lives were saved because of that…

    …Fascinating, isn’t it?

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