10 January 2011

God's Enabling Grace

Picked up a practical application my last time through the timeless account of Noah, the ark, and the worldwide flood. 

In Genesis 6, when God told Noah He was going to send a flood and gave Noah instruction as to how to build the ark, He commanded Noah to BRING two of every sort of every living them onto the ark, to keep them alive (vv. 19-20).

In Genesis 7, once the ark was completed, God told Noah to come into the ark and TAKE seven pair of every clean beast, to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth (vv. 1-3).

When I was young, my cousin had this really cool Nintendo game where you were Noah, and you had to go out and collect all the animals of the forest, and bring them back to the ark. 

That’s a lot better than most video game concepts out there, but I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly how it went.  Genesis 7:9 records the narrative this way, “There WENT IN two and two UNTO NOAH into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.”

So God commanded Noah to bring the animals (6:19) and to take the animals (7:2) and Noah did what the Lord had commanded (7:9).  But the Bible never says he had to bring or take any of them; it says they went in unto him.

Now, I’m not sure how exactly it all happened, but the application I took from it is one that’s important and that’s consistent throughout the scripture.  God never gives anybody a command that He does not enable them to carry out. 

I remember teaching a Vacation Bible School class one year, where the lesson had something to do with Noah and the ark and the flood.  And one boy had a very legitimate question.  He wanted to know how Noah got some of those animals – the scary one with teeth and claws and stuff – onto the ark. 

Part of the answer to that question might lie in Genesis 9:2.  But I believe the greater part of the answer lies in this principle. 

It’s a blessing to know that whatever God tells you to do, that commandment comes along with the strength and the power and the ability to do it – which kicks in when you step out by faith in obedience.

Look, if God tells you to gather two of every kind of animal on a great, big boat (hypothetically speaking now), then He’ll make sure that somehow it can be done – so long as you’re like Noah, and you’re obedient to what He has commanded (Genesis 6:22; 7:5).

What command is it that we have failed to obey for fear of inability?  Let’s look at that thing in light of 2 Peter 1:3, and the example of Noah; and let’s walk by faith into the realm of obedience, for the glory of God.