If you’re anything like me, you may not like reading instruction manuals. As and excitable guy, I just want to make it happen and figure it out as quick as I can - and a manual only seems intimidating, annoying, and daunting. But after failed attempted assemblies, I have come to realize that instruction manuals - although may seem daunting - are good things. Last week we looked at part one to the question: how do we stay spiritually lit in a spiritually dark place, and we looked to Noah for our Biblical role model. Where last week, we read about something Noah didn’t do (he avoided making compromises) to stay faithful to God, let’s see how we can take from something he did do this week as we continue to answer this question.
Last week, we established that God created everything perfectly and created us uniquely. We are made in HIS image, made to be in a loving relationship with Him, made to understand and relate to the things and characteristics of the Creator. God gave us the most loving thing He could in the Garden of Eden, something called free will - the decision to love or not. After Adam and Eve messed it up, the world was introduced to death, and things only got worse. By the time we reach Noah in Genesis 6, the spiritual darkness of the world were the likes that we may not be able to fully grasp.
In Genesis 6:11-13, we read that God had seen enough of the pure evil, wickedness, and sin that was found in every heart - it was time for a reset. This is the famous flood story of Genesis. Now before we continue, the flood may be uncomfortable - if you really think through it - and we should address it. We love talking about the God that loves no matter what, forgives when we asks, and quick to extend grace and mercy. But the same God that loves us and gives us grace is the same God that sent a flood to wipe out all creation. Many people would look at this and say what an angry, wrathful, unjust God - but, let’s take a moment to think this through. First of all, God is completely and truly just. Psalm 92:5 says “The Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there no wickedness in Him.” Whether it effects us personally or not, we all deep down agree with the fact that crimes deserve punishment. Romans 6:23 reminds us that everyone is a sinner, and everyone technically deserves death for their sin. People are shocked that God could send a flood to wipe out creation, but in all reality, shouldn’t we be shocked that He doesn’t do something similar with us? How quickly and frequently do we radically take God’s mercy for granted… lastly on this, each time God (in all His perfect justice) extends judgement, there is also powerful grace. Even with the flood: He didn’t need to save humanity through Noah, and the ark took at least 100 years to build, giving 100 years worth of second chances! I hope that helps with your thoughts on flood vs. God’s character - I’d love to continue, but we must continue with understanding how we can be spiritual lights in dark places…
Genesis 6:14-21 is an instruction manual for Noah. If you take the time to read it, you’ll quickly find that God didn’t just tell Noah, “Hey, Noah, go build a big boat, get some animals, and I’ll do the rest…” No, God gave Noah very specific instructions - what wood to use, the size of the boat, how many decks, doors, openings, etc. And after giving Noah this specific instruction manual, Genesis 6:22 says,
Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Noah followed God’s instruction. He didn’t throw out the instruction manual, he didn’t cut corners, or ignore God’s commands - he did everything that God had commanded to the best of his abilities, which is an important takeaway for us. How can we maintain faithfulness and be spiritual lights in spiritually dark places? Follow God’s instruction manual. We should read God’s Word for a variety of reasons - to be encouraged, to understand Him better, receive wisdom, out of worship, etc. But one reason we should spend time in God’s Word is we know what we should and shouldn’t be doing in this life. God gave Noah specific instructions, and He does the exact same for us. He doesn’t just broadly say - “Hey, be a good person and love me the best you can…” God gives us specific instructions, for example: love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44), make disciples and share Jesus with others (Matt 28), place God first, don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t store treasures on Earth, give to please God not to be seen (all from Matt 6).
If we don’t spend time in God’s Word, how could we know these specific instructions for our lives? Noah followed commands and God blessed Him tremendously as He shone brightly in a dark place. These instructions aren’t a list of do’s and don’ts, but a way for us to best honor and glorify God with our lives out of respect and love we have for Him. Want to be a spiritual light? Following Noah’s lead by avoiding compromises and listening to God’s instruction is a great place to start and you will be sure to shine bright.