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.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. Genesis 6:5-8
God told Noah to build an ark at a time when no one had ever even heard of rain. If you remember, in the beginning the Earth was watered from mist that came up from the ground (Genesis 2:5-6). Can you imagine it now? Everyone, including his family members, must have thought he was absolutely crazy. How could he explain rain when at that moment in time rain didn't exist?
The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” Genesis 7:1-4
Imagine if God told you to do something this farfetched. If you sprung into action and took on a massive project like this what would happen? Something this grand would attract attention. Newspaper and television reporters would have a field day. They'd paint you as a lunatic and all but ensure that you were locked up in an insane asylum. This is probably what happened with Noah. People probably laughed at him. No doubt he got insults and derogatory words hurled at him. But he was obedient and faithful. Even though Noah didn't know what rain was, He trusted God and did what he was told to do. He may not have completely understood how devastating a flood could be, but he didn't question God or His intentions. Noah certainly knew that God had the power eradicate the entire human race.
For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. Genesis 7:17-23
I guarantee that once the rain began to fall, the people stopped laughing. At first, they were probably curious about the wet substance falling from the sky. Maybe they were even grateful for it because they saw utility in it. However, like most humans, they probably quickly grew weary of being soggy all the time. Then when they realized that there was no end in sight they probably began to panic. I can imagine once the flood waters started wiping out crops and washing away homes, the people were totally beside themselves. Think about the damage done by Hurricane Katrina. These people quickly realized that water can do severe damage. I bet they were lined up outside the ark banging on the door and demanding admittance.
Noah's faith allowed him to act on something that he did not see. He was able to protect his family and ensure the repopulation of the Earth. His faith allowed him to trust God and go into action. Even when others thought he was crazy, it didn't deter him or take him away from what God called him to do.
What does Noah's faith teach us?
It teaches us to take action when God speaks even when we have limited information. I believe that God has something for each of us to do. Sometimes, we don't see any evidence that what He has told us is true or real. We don't see the rain but we still have to build the ark. If God has placed a vision in your heart and it seems like the manifestation is taking too long, then keep building the ark. God will send the rain in due season. And when it begins to pour, you'll be ready.