One Hundred Years!

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth … 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. 13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. (Genesis 5:32 & 7:11-16)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12)
Question: How long did it take Noah and his family to build the Ark? Answer: It took them almost hundred years! Genesis 5:32 introduces us to Noah in the year that he turned 500, the implication being that this wasn’t just the year he first became a dad, but that it was also the year that he received his calling to become a shipbuilder for the Lord. The Flood came once the Ark was finished, by which time Noah was aged 600. That’s a long time building!

This shouldn’t surprise us, since the dimensions of Noah’s Ark make it the largest ship ever built in history until Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the SS Great Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria. What’s more, Noah had to build his Ark without the benefit of any power tools! His children knew nothing for the early decades of their lives other than Ark-building, Ark-building, constant Ark-building. When God calls his people to build something of eternal significance, he calls them to hard work and perseverance. God’s Spirit and human sweat work together!

You don’t have to be very astute to spot that the Church in the Western world has been devastated by Covid-19. The Lord has stripped churches back to their foundations so that they can be rebuilt according to his own instructions, instead of according to our own preferences. This offers us an amazing opportunity as believers to work with God to see the great revival that many of us have been praying for. But we do need to work with God. The Church will not arise again after Covid-19, looking different, simply because we have prayed for a resurrection miracle. Our moment in history cries out for many men and women to work hard in partnership with God.

Because Noah and his family were hardworking and because they persevered in their partnership with God, we are told in Genesis 7:16 that “The Lord shut them in.” It is the Lord who makes his Church fruitful, but he asks us to work with him. Let’s commit ourselves afresh to God today, as willing rebuilders of his glorious Ark of salvation.
1)   Which areas of church do you think have been devastated most by Covid-19? What now needs rebuilding?

2)   Looking at your own giftings and passions, which particular areas of this “Ark of salvation” do you think God is calling you partner with him in rebuilding?

3)  How do you feel about the rebuilding work that lies ahead of us? Do you feel excited and raring to go, or do you feel intimidated by the size of the task? Take some time to be honest with the Lord about how you feel.
Father God, thank you that you are sovereign over all the events of this year. Thank you that you have stripped your Church back to its foundations for a reason, and that you have called me to play my own part in the rebuilding of your Ark of salvation. Give me courage, vision and strength to partner with you in the days that lie ahead. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.

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