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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2002


Obeying God in a Wicked World

Have you ever thought about what Noah must have gone through when he built the ark? He and his family lived among people whose every thought was evil-all of the time! The people of his day were "corrupt before God...and the earth was filled with violence" (Genesis 6:5,11). Noah was surrounded on all sides by wickedness; people were constantly lying, cheating, stealing, and cursing.

It was in this kind of world that God instructed Noah to build a gigantic ark. Can you imagine what neighbors said to Noah when he and his three sons were constructing this huge vessel? Perhaps they said, ''Noah, what are you doing? You are crazy! There has never been a flood on the Earth and there never will be." Likely, they tried insulting him in front of his wife by saying, ''Your husband is a foolish old man!" Fathers probably took their sons to see Noah in order to mock him for doing something as "silly'' as building a huge boat on land. And when Noah preached about obeying God and living right (read 2 Peter 2:5), his audience did not listen to the truth, but continued living wickedly until they perished in the Flood.

Even though Noah was surrounded by those who constantly disobeyed God, twice the Bible says that he did "all that God commanded him" (Genesis 6:22; 7:5). God said to build an ark out of gopher wood, and Noah built an ark out of gopher wood. God said to make the ark 300 cubits long, and Noah made it 300 cubits long. God said to construct one door on the side of the ark, and Noah did just that. While surrounded by wickedness on every side, Noah and his family did everything God said to do-exactly the way God said to do it.

What a great example for us! We need to be like Noah and always do what is right, even when so-called "friends" make fun of us. Despite being teased for reading our Bibles, attending worship, and talking to people about Jesus, "we ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). We must be committed to doing everything God said to do-exactly the way He said to do it.



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