Noah: A Remarkable Keeping
By Rachel Carper
As believers, we experience a special thrill of joy whenever we see a rainbow’s beautiful colors arch across the sky. God gave a stunningly luminous representation of hope on that long-ago day to the family He kept through the storm, and its testimony has endured to every succeeding generation. But even before the rainbow, before the flood, there was another remarkable keeping—a testimony of blessing—that also promised hope for believing families today.
Scientists calculate that the world population today has just about reached what it was before the great flood. No wonder Genesis 6:11 uses the word “filled” when it speaks of the level of violence on the earth in those days. And Noah faced these circumstances for 600 years, according to Genesis 7:6. Yet even surrounded by hardened criminals, Noah and his family seem to survive virtually unscathed. Under God’s umbrella of remarkable grace, this man and his wife proceeded according to God’s schedule, going about their daily lives—working, rearing a family, and worshipping their God.
Aside from Noah’s work and witness being regarded as kooky by his neighbors (and probably incurring their mockery), it is fascinating to note that it was never sabotaged beyond repair. He was one against many; one man living in the midst of what Genesis 6:4 calls the “mighty men … of renown.” That Noah was able to keep the tools he used and assemble the materials he needed testifies of the Creator’s protection and provision. Among neighbors of unbridled covetousness and violence—men who would have injured for sport—Noah remained fit and furnished for the task.
Noah also reared his offspring in this world gone mad. The head of the home was under grace, and his family experienced the security of God’s continued favor. Equally miraculous, Noah’s wife and his sons’ wives were preserved in purity from the wanton immorality around them. Genesis 6:5 says that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” yet these four women, from families in which no others were spared, were protected. By God’s grace, they were preserved as fit companions, willing to leave all to be identified with these men who feared the Lord.
Finally, we see the preserving of Noah’s faith. God’s promised judgment must have seemed questionable to Noah as decade after decade he watched mankind revel unchecked in its wickedness. And yet he still continued to obey the Lord’s commands and to do His work. This righteous man was the sole example of what it meant to walk with God (Genesis 6:9), but the world didn’t care. Noah, however, didn’t need the approval of his fellow men. Staking everything precious on the character of God, Noah and his household became the sole heirs of God’s rescuing grace.
Is there grace and protection for the Lord’s dear ones when they are surrounded by violence and enmity? Is there grace to keep believing, keep working, and keep witnessing, when nothing seems to change? Even before the flood, Noah’s testimony answers a resounding, “Yes!” The same grace that promised hope and life to one righteous man and his family in the midst of a world abandoned to wickedness, guards our footsteps today as we seek the Lord’s face. And it is that same grace that will lead us home to gather around our Savior’s rainbow-encircled throne, giving Him the glory for keeping us to that day.