Back in the day, it was Survivalist; today it is a Prepper. The word isn’t yet in the dictionary, but that doesn’t stop about 7,490,000 results (in 0.34 seconds) in a search on Google. While once a fringe in society, like, ah yes, environmentalists, preppers are popping up all over, like Georgia wildflowers after a gentle rain. Now the popular media, television, has a show called Doomsday Preppers. Whether one is a Survivalist or a Prepper, or just hoping to survive a local natural calamity, like a hurricane, the idea of preparedness isn’t new; it goes way, way, way back—to at least Noah.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Did you watch the movie 2012? There were three arks depicted. It took a lot of engineers to develop a system in which those arks would survive what was to come in the movie. So here’s Noah, perhaps a farmer and hunter who may never have seen a boat in his life (I don’t know, but just guessing). Perhaps the most water he may have seen was a river swollen after a sudden desert rain. So G-d, Who is an excellent Engineer, gives Noah detailed plans. Noah follows along, just like build-by-the-numbers- construction sets, and gives birth to a pretty cool boat. Well, maybe it was a ship. It was big.
Noah is often shown as being laughed at by those around him. Hum, a lot like the Survivalists of the late 70s, the Preppers of today. I can’t recall where it came from, perhaps from some Sunday school lesson a long time ago, but somehow I got the notion of Noah not really having a clue to what he was doing. It’s like he might say, “Hey, I don’t know what it’s for, I’m just following orders.” This can’t be a true representation of Noah, which is why I find suspect some of the way kids are taught the Bible. Even if Noah didn’t totally know what was going on at first, one can’t think ill of him if it were, for at least he followed orders. (And it was nice of him to do so, as it sounded like G-d didn’t have a lot of good folks to choose from back then, and he’d already “repented” of his creation, giving up on the whole “Let’s create man in our image” thing.)
Matthew Henry commented that “Noah [was] distinguished from the rest of the world, and a peculiar mark of honor put upon him. When God was displeased with the rest of the world, he favored Noah. Being a good man, He found him out, and smiled upon him. He was made a vessel of God’s mercy. God makes Noah the man of His counsel, communicating to him His purpose to destroy this wicked world by water, as afterwards, He told Abraham His resolution concerning Sodom (Genesis 18:17). The secret o f the Lord was with His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7) by a spirit of revelation, informing them particularly of His purpose.”
Noah had to have seen the corruptness in the world that he knew. He had to have been removed from that evil, too. Maybe he wasn’t perfect, just like us, but at least he caught G-d’s attention. He also must have seen some natural signs that made all the work and harassment he received from people around him, worth continuing until the ark was complete. Once it was done, how long did Noah have to wait until G-d decided it was time? Could have been a while. And once it was time to start loading, how long did that take? That could have taken a while, too. It’s hard enough sometimes to get my daughter’s dog to return to the house when she’s licking her lips at the scent of rabbit; she just wants to sit still, like a hunter in a stand, waiting for dinner to appear on four legs. I can’t imagine gathering up a whole bunch of animals, trying to care for the first few while gathering more. I’m sure the whole process has been expounded upon by a witty preacher trying to make a point about something or other.
The series continues Wednesday, in the meantime take a look at Genesis and think about parallels between the days of Noah and these days.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .