In a couple of weeks, students will enter back into school - a place where we all know can be a spiritually dark environment. As Christians, we need to, should be, and should want to be a light in this dark world. How do we expect to keep our faith strong in a spiritually dark place? How can we stay faithful and righteous towards God, once we get back into school mode? Over the next couple weeks, we’ll look at Noah and his pursuit of righteousness in the midst of total (global) spiritual darkness. What did Noah do to stay righteous and faithful to the Lord in such a spiritually dark place, and what can we learn from him?
The story of Noah is found very early in God’s Word. In the beginning, God created everything perfect with man in His image, but once Adam and Eve chose to disobey God - sin and death enter the world with a fierceness. By the time we get to Noah in chapter 6 of Genesis, the sin problem had grown absolutely out of control. We read just how bad it got in Genesis 6:5-7,
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”
God was clearly brought to tremendous sorrow, that humans had decided to choose sin and death over a loving relationship with Him. He was not admitting any sort of mistake, that He shouldn’t have created — this is intense disappointment that everyone had turned from Him, and to the point where all inclinations in every human heart was purely evil. That must’ve been a pretty dark place. But we read about one man’s righteousness in Genesis 6:8-9,
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
When the entire world chose darkness, sin, self-pursuit, and evil - Noah stood his ground. When that meant people cheating him out of his own gain, Noah stood his ground and didn’t cave in to the darkness around him. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been? In Noah’s pursuit of righteousness, we learn something super important for our own personal faith. How do we stay spiritually lit and close to God when the world around us is so dark? Avoid making compromises.
Noah didn’t make excuses to fall into sin, he didn’t tip-toe and dabble into the waters of temptation - he stood for what was righteous. He didn’t compromise his faith in God when the world was dark, and neither should we! When everyone around you uses language you know is inappropriate, whether that be cussing, gossip, or just putting others down — are you going to compromise your faith to fit in and get some laughs, or will you stand for what is righteous? When all of your friends are watching a tv show that you know is littered with sinful garbage, will you compromise your faith because “everyone’s watching it,” or will you stand your ground? When school is back and when homework is due, if you have the opportunity to “do homework with friends” (AKA sharing answers AKA cheating), will you compromise your faith because it doesn’t seem like a big deal, or will you stand for what is right?
What are the toughest areas of darkness for you? Be alert, be aware, be ready that that will come back at you when school starts back up. Write down and focus on those things, and make a stand now for what you believe in. But, just to clarify because I think this is important: Noah was not perfect. He was considered blameless and faithful, but the Bible records some sins he struggled with. But he wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God to the absolute best of his abilities. Noah stood his ground and didn’t compromise his faith when everyone around him did — will you stand your ground when we get back to school?