Noah’s Ark: The original self-quarantine

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Of course, the world was not fighting the corona virus or any other major contagious medical disease back then. Rather, the pandemic was the uncontrolled and unabashed spread of corruption in the form of sin and evil thoughts (Genesis 6:5, 11). God had enough (6:6-7). It was time to cleanse the earth and wash His hands of everyone but righteous Noah and his family. “Noah walked with God” (6:9), and thus he had been spiritually distancing himself from others for a long time. Noah’s clan totaled 8, and with God there were 9 – just enough to still assemble under today’s social distancing limits. Though it must have seemed absurd to his neighbors, Noah prepared for this event decades in advance. Imagine the quantities of food they needed to store for a family of 8 and all the animals for over a year. Today, it seems most people can’t make it a week without a visit to the grocery store, though we all are now learning! Still, that is a lot of food with no big box stores to deliver more if the toilet paper ran out.

At the right moment, the Lord gave His “shelter-in-place” order: “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” (7:1). And then it rained for 40 days and 40 nights (7:12). I like a good rain. I’ll even take two days of it, but 40 straight? After the rain, it would take almost a year before the ground was dry enough to leave. The ark had only one window and one door (6:16), and no one was going to be stepping outside to walk the dog, kangaroo or elephant for a very long time. There was no television, internet, streaming movies, Facebook, Snapchat, online education, or cellphone connectivity. There were no reruns of sporting events, DVDs of childhood memories, photo albums, radios, letters, or packages from Amazon. There was just Noah’s family and thousands of animals in a large wooden ark. Could you handle it?

How did Noah and his family handle this ordeal? Several things stand out in Genesis chapters 6 to 8:

1. Noah walked, talked and obeyed God before, during and after the flood. Even when everyone else followed the evil intent of their hearts, Noah’s heart was loyal to the Lord. He did not leave the ark until God said to (8:15), and he immediately sacrificed to God upon disembarking (8:20). I personally find the days I struggle most right now are those when I am not consciously walking, praying and obeying God, but instead I am allowing the ways of the world fill my heart and mind.

2. Noah’s home was God’s home. Notice that the Lord said, “Come into the ark,” not “Go into the ark.” Why? Because the Lord was already there. Noah did not put his spiritual life on hold because God shut him in from the world. Noah now learned to walk with God with sea legs. He pressed on and taught his sons to do the same. Just imagine being one of 8 human beings left on the face of the earth with Almighty God as your shipmate! I need to ensure God is a welcomed and honored member of my home.

3. Noah’s family remained busy. They had been very busy for decades building the ark. With the ark built, animals loaded, and food stored, they just needed to rest and ride out the quarantine, right? Wrong! God gave them the animals for a purpose – to keep them alive that they might one day again “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 8:17). Noah’s clan basically had the 24/7 responsibility of an entire zoo. Hopefully, you are not managing a zoo in your home (please post on Facebook if you are!). There is work God has for us all to be doing for His and our benefit now and in whatever time the future holds. What things can you be doing for your family, others, yourself and God in this unique time?

Wendell Stevens

Christian, husband, dad, son, and brother

#pandemic, #coronavirus, #covid19, #selfisolation, #quarantine, #Noahsark, #greatdelugeflood

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