according to all that God commanded him,
so he did.” (Genesis 6:22)
There are several things amazing about the story of Noah. His righteousness and blamelessness in the midst of the dark culture he lived, was certainly noteworthy. But, true righteousness and blamelessness are inseparable from perhaps what might be the most amazing thing about Noah’s account. Scripture says, “so he did.” The word used for “did” here is the Hebrew word ‘asah. It means, “to make, accomplish, administer, to bring forth, to establish, to execute, and to carry on to completion.” This word is the equivalent of what Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished!” Noah, didn’t just have a faith in God, a righteousness before God, but he had a persistent character to carry out to the finish all that God instructed.
When I was growing up, there was a man down the street from me, who was endeavoring to build a boat. At least that’s what I was told. The first time I saw it, it was a huge structure in the back of his yard with a canvas covering over it to protect it from the rain. Week by week as I would ride my bike by, the canvas lay weathered, but unmoved and the ship….we’ll less than finished.
Near my grandparents was a similar situation, a man who was building his own dream house. In my mind, I can still see the massive white columns reaching from the concrete foundation to nearly 30 feet upward to the top of the house. I remember the first time seeing this house and thinking, “that’s the biggest house around here!” I inquired of my dad who’s it was. He told me the man’s name and how he was building it himself….(he paused). “When is it going to be finished?” I asked. My dad paused a little longer and said, “He was all excited about building this house. It’s everything he’s ever wanted. He started with a bang, everything you see here he did in just a couple of months. But he hasn’t done anything in the last several years….” It is now some twenty years later, and the house? Still not finished.
We’ve all began a “project” that didn’t quite make it to completion. This is what’s so amazing to me about Noah, “He finished it.” Imagine this boat… It was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, with a capacity exceeding that of 500 railroad stock cars. It was the length of one and half football fields. And, Noah finished! Did Noah build this ark all by himself. We’re not told of any contractors coming in and placing bids. And I doubt none would’ve even taken him serious if he had tried… a boat! It had never even rained. How long would it take one man to build a ship the size of this one?
This was perhaps the longest sermon every preached. And, it was preached without words. Noah may have called for repentance, we don’t know for sure. But, with every blow of the hammer resounded the message of God’s impending judgment. And, with each blow of the hammer, I imagine, echoed another cynics verbal outcry against the ridiculousness of such an act, yet in the midst of such circumstances “Noah did all that God had commanded." I think of all the things God has spoken to me over the years, that upon inception evoked such excitement within me. Yet, many of those “seeds” still remain in the cup, for they were never planted, cultivated, tended to, nor saw to completion.
God…remind me of things you’ve instructed me to do, the things that You wanted to do in me, that I’ve yet to finish. May it be said of me, that I did according to all that God commanded him, so he did.”