Sunday, July 19, 2009

Noah's Wife Day 5: Home Away from Home

When God entered into a covenant relationship with Noah, his wife, their sons, and their wives, He promised to give the family protection from the coming flood. Thus, we see God's character in providing a godly remnant of committed followers...God is more than willing to give each of us a new beginning. Don't wait for a flood of judgment or a vast calamity in order to cry out for God's help.

Today's scripture focus is Genesis 7:1-7.

1. What instruction did God give Noah and his household and why?

He instructed Noah and his family to board the ship.

2. What was Noah told to do with the animals and why?

Noah was instructed to take 7 pairs of every clean animal, one pair of every unclean animal, and seven pairs of every kind of bird to ensure their survival on the earth.

3.a. After how many days would the rain begin?

The rain would start in 7 days.

b. Why do you think God chose to wait?

I think He did this not only to give Noah and his family time to board and get settled on the boat, but also to give those who could observe the ark to turn from their sinful ways.

4. Describe what would happen as a result of the floodwaters.

God said that He would destroy the earth and make a clean slate of everything He had created. It would rain for 40 days and 40 nights.

5. What do you learn about Noah in this passage?

Noah follows God's commands even when he might think they don't make much sense!

6. What do you learn about Noah's wife in this passage?

She trusted her husband's judgment and his understanding of what the Lord has instructed Him to do!

7. Noah and his family were invited to come into the ark for safety. Read the following verses, and describe some of the blessings of answering the invitation to "come." Talk about whether you have personally experienced these blessings.

Matthew 11:28: God will give us real rest when we are tired, burned out, and fed up. He will help us recharge and recover our life. YES I've experienced this promise from God!

Matthew 16:24:
If we want to come with Jesus, we must let Him be the leader. We must give Him the change to lead and follow Him. If we embrace the chance to suffer for him, He will show us our true selves.
YES, I've experienced this as well...and forget to do it too often!

Matthew 25:34-36:The Lord has prepared His kingdom for us because we have cared for Jesus when we cared for others in need.
YES, I've experienced these blessings of Jesus when I have been in need1

Revelation 22:17:Jesus tells us to come, all who hear and thirst, who are hungry, who have needs.
YES, I have answered this call and felt this blessing!

8. We know God instructed Noah to bring clean animals on the ark, looking toward the time he would make sacrificial offerings. We can make an offering of prayer. With this in mind, rewrite Psalm 51:10-11 into a personal prayer asking God to cleanse you of sin.

Lord, please cleanse me of my sins and keep them far from me. Please forgive me, and stay with me even though I have sinned against you! Know that I am contrite and sorry, and stay with me through Your Spirit!

9.a. There is no record of Mrs. Noah's response to Noah's encounters with God or the journey to new life on the ark. Try to put yourself in her place. How do you think she might have felt as her husband spent 120 years building a boat based on instructions from God?

Part of her HAD to wonder if he'd lost his mind! But she was committed to him, and she has to be commended for that. While everyone around her must be whispering or laughing aloud at Noah, she stuck by him through it all! It had to have made her a bit nervous and anxious at times.

b. How do you suppose the world treated her family during this time?

Like I said above, they probably laughed and thought Noah had totally lost it, or at the very least whispered behind their backs. They had to wonder about Mrs. Noah's sanity for sticking beside him, too.

c. What do you think she might have thought, felt, or done as she sat on the boat with her family seven extra days, waiting for the rain to come?

I can imagine her wondering if the rain really was going to come, and praying to the Lord to calm her fears and wonderings. She had to feel at least a bit angry and resentful because I'm sure the animals were starting to smell and be noisy!

d. What feelings might she have endured as she watched the floods devastate the world she knew?

I would think it would have brought on mixed emotions. She probably felt relieved that what her husband had said was going to happen was taking place, so he hadn't totally lost his mind! But it had to sadden her that it had come to this. She was watching the devastation of her home and the death of everyone she had known except for her immediate family.

e. How do you relate to Mrs. Noah? (Perhaps you've followed a husband who was called by God, been mocked by the world for your faith, waited for a promise that was late in coming, or watched as others faced the consequences for sin.)

Other than growing up in a parsonage, I don't think I've had to deal with things such as this. As I grow older and see the wisdom that my husband possesses for education, I wonder if he is going to start to have a wanderlust to lead elsewhere. If he does, I will follow him, because I know it will be through God's leading. I also know that it was not his original intention to feel such, so that gives me another indication that it might be of the Lord. If so, I will gladly go with him, though it would mean leaving my home and loved ones, because it would be following God's plan and also going with my best friend!

Though we don't know her name, we do know the person (Mrs. Noah)...She was a woman of faith who was saved from judgment. She steadfastly continued the work God gave her. She was probably kind. After all, her sons and daughters-in-law consented to being cooped up in the ark with her. She must have been a hard worker. Think about caring for all of those animals! And she must have been humble. She didn't say,"Make sure you spell my name right when you put this in the Bible." Though we don't know her name, Jesus may have had Noah's wife in mind when he said,"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).

The study ends with this great quote from Alexander Maclaren:

Meek endurance and meek obedience, the acceptance of his dealings, of whatever complexion they are and however they may tear and desolate our hearts, without murmuring, without sulking, without rebellion or resistance, is the deepest conception of the meekness which Christ pronounced blessed.