Evangelist, Chouteau Hills Church of Christ
How many windows were in Noah’s ark? I asked this question on Facebook a while back, and over half of the responders did not know the answer. Is it important? Why, or why not? There are important lessons we can learn from Noah’s obedience. Man had become so corrupt that every thought he had was only evil continually, so God decided to destroy man from the face of the earth. But thankfully, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Even among so much corruption, Noah was righteous.
God told Noah His plan to send a great flood, and He instructed Noah to build an ark of gopherwood. He told Noah to make rooms in the ark, and He gave him detailed instructions and specific dimensions for the ark. It was to have one window and one door, and it was to have three decks. Noah was commanded to bring two of every kind of animal, a male and a female, into the ark. But he was to take seven each of every clean animal and seven each of birds of the air. Noah realized that God meant exactly what He said. This is a much-needed lesson for us today.
Noah paid very close attention to God’s specific commands. Genesis 6:22 says, “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” How I wish people today would realize the importance of following God’s instructions exactly. Noah did not decide that he could use a different kind of wood to build the ark. He did not change the size or shape of the ark, nor did he build a different number of decks. He did not add more windows or doors, but he built the ark exactly as God had commanded him. And he was also careful to take in the specific number of each animal according to God’s instructions. Noah was a wonderful example of what true obedience is.
Why was Noah so careful to do exactly what God commanded him? It was because of his faith. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” It was Noah’s faith that led him to obey God. We need that kind of faith today. Noah trusted God, and that faith led him to obey God’s specific commands explicitly.
God is revealed to us through the Bible. Do we really have faith in God? Do we really know Him? How can we tell if we truly know God? I John 2:3-4 says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
When King Saul did not obey God’s specific commands, Samuel said to him, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams,” (I Samuel 15:22). Samuel then told Saul that God had rejected him from being king because of his rebellion. Saul didn’t really believe that God meant what He said. He thought it would be better to offer the best animals as additional sacrifices to God than to destroy them, as God had instructed him to do. But God was not pleased. God preferred obedience rather than sacrifice. We should learn from Saul’s mistake.
Those who truly know God today will do according to all that He commands, just as Noah did. An obedient faith saved Noah, and the same kind of faith will save us today. James 1:22 warns, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Noah was a man of great faith. His faith led him to do exactly what God told him to do. He put one window in the ark. Do you have that kind of faith?