To listen to Nancy’s answer recorded from Moody radio, click below.
Social media, the internet, youtube, and television fuel our anxiety with loud voices of impending disaster. Mass shootings, floods, earthquakes, viruses, wars, and threats of war have thrown the world into a frenzy. Anxiety and suicides are at all-time highs. We are all looking for answers that will give us hope and a sense of peace. From where does our hope come?
In 1912, the White Star company finished building the Titanic, a British luxury passenger liner that went beyond anything that people of that day could imagine. It was a masterpiece of human luxury. It mirrored a floating palace filled with the finest of hand-crafted wooden winding stairs, original artwork on the walls, and dining facilities that served the finest food and flowed with the best alcoholic drinks. Today’s cost for this vessel is $200 million.
The Titanic was built with a “safety first” mentality. Unlike what is portrayed in movies about this vessel, there were more than enough lifeboats for passengers. Also, the ship’s designers built 16 water-tight compartments, making it “unsinkable.” On April 15, 1912, 2,200 passengers boarded the boat, including the most wealthy and immigrants, and set sail from South Hampton, England, to New York City. Off of Cape Race, Newfoundland, it collided with an iceberg and ruptured 5 of the water-tight compartments that filled with water causing the ship to sink to a depth of 13,000 feet in the Atlantic Ocean. The number of deaths was 1,517.
There is a risk that we knowingly assume when we travel. Any mode of transportation built with human hands is not airtight. Cars have flaws; planes can crash, and trains can derail. When God makes a vessel, there are no flaws. There are no risks. When Jesus is the ship’s captain, it will reach His desired end.
Jesus said, “Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man, and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” (Genesis 6:5-9).
How did Noah find favor from the Lord? It was not because he made great sacrifices or was a great leader. Noah gained favor because he walked with, not ahead, of God. He was righteous because He completely trusted and relied on God for everything. He was utterly obedient even when God asked him to do things that Noah did not understand. God asked him to build a boat, the Ark. He did not consult with engineers of his day nor seek opinions from people around him, Noah received directions only from God, and he followed them.
“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the Ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it…Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:11-15,22).
Noah and his wife and three sons, plus others who wanted to help in the project, built the Ark precisely as instructed by God, the architect. It took 55 to 75 years to build. The obedient heart of Noah was evident because he had never experienced rain until after the Ark was built. His lack of understanding did not slow down Noah a bit. He knew God and that God was the only One worthy of trust. God is always good, honest, and trustworthy.
Unlike the Titanic, the Ark only held Noah, his wife, and their sons and wives. Nine people in all. Others were invited, but no one wanted to come with them. In a sense, it was an invitation for salvation with no one responding. The boat was not filled with the wealthy, nor with gold or silver, but with every kind of animal on the face of the earth. Can you imagine how it smelled? When the mission was complete, the Ark safely landed on dry ground at Mount Arafat with no deaths reported on their journey.
Today’s culture is much like the culture during Noah’s day. Our destination, when we journey with God, is Heaven! Our invitation from God is to come to Him and trust Him for our salvation; believe that Jesus died for our sins. When we rely entirely on Him, He will, through the Holy Spirit in us, guide us through these hard times.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2).
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)