The first time I learned about the scientific process that could have lead to a world wide flood, my hand hurt from scribbling notes, and my brain hurt from the fire hydrant of information. I think these are important things to spend time with in scripture and study under Godly wisdom. I am still nowhere near a scholar, nor am I a scientific girl, so I'll tiptoe right out of this can of worms. I'll let you research that on your own, and I'll get back to pondering
Noah's ark is one of the first bible stories kids learn. Probably those of you who don't attend church regularly could tell me the story without much trouble. Because of this, I think it’s easy to picture cartoon Noah, cute animals, a wooden ark, and a lot of rain, as a story that was all tied up with a nice (rain)bow and take away that if we're good enough, God will give us a boat and some awesome pets.
Let's commit to not being what Paul warned about in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, baby Christians, not ready to move to the solid food stage of faith development. Let's be willing to think deeper. Let's really imagine what it was like to walk in the sandals of the last righteous man on earth. The process leading up to the ark was insane enough, but what did it feel like to be Noah and his family when they finally stepped off of the ark? Were their sea legs confused by solid ground? If you do the calculations, they were on the ark a year and 10 days. We know that before the flood people were doing horrendous things. However, the earth itself was probably still luscious and amazing—maybe even still somewhat Eden-like, although tarnished by the weeds that sprung up as the consequence for Adam's sin (Genesis 3:17-19). There were probably juicy fruit trees, massive veggies, delicious options everywhere. There would have been sprawling shade trees, streams of water, beautiful wide open fields for animals to graze in. But after the wrath of God destroyed the earth with water, what did Noah's family see when they finally were able to leave the ark that had saved the only remaining living things on the planet?
We know from the dove's flight that some things had begun to regrow, but it had to be absolutely devastating. We have all seen the damage of local floods. It rushes through, destroying everything in its path. Only after the waters recede do we see the vastness of the damage--then decay sets in.
When they left the ark, there would have been so many dead things. What did it smell like? Did they have to bury bodies? Did they decide to try and put all the dead people and dead animals over there so they could try and plant the crops they would need for food over here? How do you even start to navigate that?
What did the task of repopulating everything they once knew feel like? How much longer would it take to grow and produce a harvest now that the atmosphere had changed? If the waters above were now gone, was it suddenly painfully hot as the sun once deflected, now beat down mercilessly?
God was practical. He told them that their foods source would now change. They would have to eat the animals. There was no other way. They would die before they could produce enough crops for everything to live on. My heart breaks for these few humans. The righteous few had survived, but their reward was daunting. The longer I imagine their situation, the more I have to concede that our earthly calling may feel NOTHING like a reward when we're living in the details. Imagine the moment when they accepted that the animals they had cared for (possibly even named?) for over a year would have to give their life to sustain others. They were no longer under the care of humans. They would be given an innate fear because of the shift in the order of things. (Genesis 9:1-3)
How did these survivors feel?
Bless them. The first thing they did was build an alter and make a sacrifice to God. Faithful Noah. Overcomer Noah. THAT is the aroma—a faithful sacrifice in spite of circumstances that pleased God’s heart. And out of that, God made a decision. He wouldn’t be resetting the earth again. He would let the consequences of sin nature play out until His final wrath falls. He made a covenant with Noah, that never again would a righteous believer have to ride out the wrath of God. And to confirm it, he put a rainbow in the sky. For Noah specifically and for us as well.
Today as I looked at a beautiful rainbow in the sky I dreamed about why. I don’t believe God does things without deeper meaning. So I wonder...
What if the rainbow was a slice of what the whole sky looked like before the waters above fell? What if before the flood, the sky was a beautiful prism of lights and colors? What if God put the rainbow in place to give Noah a sweet reminder of “home”. The reminder that one day it won’t be either broken humans or broken earth. One day He will make ALL the things right. Joel prophesies, when God’s offer of mercy expires, and the earth as we know it is destroyed by fire, “before them, the land is like the Garden of Eden”. (Joel 2:3). What if the rainbow is part of God drawing us to dream about that?
The Lord doesn’t put signs in the sky and reminders around us for no reason. He is faithful and true. Even though it seems like He isn’t always active, we can be sure that He is, and His timing is right. I had a wise friend once point out: if THIS is what He created in 7 days, imagine what He is creating in the waiting for us all to be together....
Click here to order a reproduction of this painting. I hope it reminds you to be so excited to practice the art of pondering.
This is a lot of information. I will link one of the studies I have done that helped me understand so many of these hard things. Find you a group to study it with! Talk it out. Pray about it. Look up scripture and be sure everything you read is truth according to God’s word. But don’t be afraid of the hard things. He is willing to give us wisdom if we will only ask! And never ever shy away from dreaming about Gods creativity and His greatness. We will never even scratch the surface. And if we’re wrong? I don’t think we’ll be sad about it.