(17) And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth….(24) And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:17; 24 KJV)
The famous scripture of Noah and the ark! I’m not going to lie. I always thought that it would be fascinating to have been on that ark with Noah and his family. I mean what better place to have been then safe and secure on the ark!!! No matter what was going on around you, you had the confidence of knowing that your in the will of God! Right… Maybe not.
Verse 17 says And the flood was forty days upon the earth. The number forty in the Bible means trials and testing; it means tribulations. So any time we see the number forty we know that it was a time of testing and trials. Looking at it like this maybe it wasn’t so exciting being on that ark! God had just drowned out every living thing that was not on the ark. So here’s where I think the testing comes in. God had already told Noah when he told him to build the ark that the rains were coming. He not only told Noah how to build the ark, but he told him who was allowed on the ark. His wife, their sons and their son’s wives, two of each animals and insects both male and female, as well as animals for sacrificing. God even told Noah in Genesis 7:4 how long it would rain and the purpose for the rain. Here is where I think that the testing came. God did not reveal everything to Noah and he revealed nothing to Noah’s family. Can you imagine how stressful that had to have been for Noah who had his family on the ark who by the way was safe but drifting and having no idea where they were going. Noah had no idea because God never reveals his whole plan to us, but God had them in a situation where they have no choice but to trust. That’s not always easy, it’s easy to trust God when he gives us step by step instructions or when he reveals just part of his plan. It’s when God becomes silent and others are looking to you for answers on where are you leading us that it can become trying.
Personally for me I can deal with the storm. It’s when the rain stops falling and nothing happens is what I can’t handle if I’m to be honest. Verse 24 says And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. Now the forty days have passed meaning that the trials is over, yet because there was water all around them they were still stuck on the ark. What do you do when the storm has passed and the rain has stopped but you still can’t move? A lot of the time we assume that just because the storm is over. The rainbow immediately follows. Sometimes God will allow the rain to cease but the waters to remain. How many of you have been in that place? That place where it’s no longer raining but if you venture out on your own you drown, because you would no longer have the protection of the ark. It’s only one thing that you can do and that’s wait. Job said it perfectly If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. (Job 14:14).
The word wait means to stay where one is or to delay action until a particular time until something else happens; to stay in place in expectation. When Noah and his family were on the ark during those 150 days. They waited in expectation. It might have felt as though they were drifting but God was leading them somewhere. I know that some of you feel as though you have been in your ark for a long time now. It was okay when it was raining but now you feel as if your just waiting. God says to wait but this time wait with expectancy. God knows that he can’t reveal everything to us because if he was to tell us how long we would have to wait on the ark, some of us would never have built it in the first place. Sometimes its not the storm that kills us. It’s the wait do you know that most people give up right before they reach the shore. I like how Job put it when he said all the days of my appointed time. Appointed is something that is decided on beforehand; something that is designated. So we can take comfort in the fact that you already have a designated destination that no storm and definitely no wait can keep you from.
If we’re not careful we can begin to despise the storm, the waters, the wait and even the ark. God uses all of these things he uses the ark to keep you sheltered and safe, he uses the storm to pull things out of you, he uses the water to drown out the things around you that don’t belong, and he uses the wait to prepare you for the promise.