Noah in Jail
Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. Genesis 6:22
As I am always working on tomorrow’s passage, I took this verse with me to jail bible study yesterday, where we discussed Noah and his ark. We read that for Noah, following God radically set him apart from the world. Believing in God made him weird, but building an ark, probably made him an outcast as well. Following God radically defined Noah’s life.
The guys in jail identified with this estrangement from the world and the life of self. For them, following God, means radical change. This often makes them stand out as a little odd amongst those still living the life of gangs and drugs.
I realized that for me, perhaps being a Christian has been a little too easy. I have, at times, sterilized my faith to the point where it didn’t make me that much different from those who don’t believe. At one time in my life, faith was just one more hobby and thus, it had little impact on my daily decisions.
The guys in jail though, spoke of how God has invaded every aspect of their lives. In stunning maturity, they talked about how they must live differently today, denying self and following Christ, if they want to live differently when they get out. This means doing what it takes to abandon pride, conflict, resentments, habits and addictive behaviors. This is painful, radical change.
This is very much like Noah, getting up every day and obeying God, no matter how uncomfortable or weird it is. They all agreed though, that the joy, purpose and meaning that God was teaching them to enjoy was profoundly better than the fleeting pleasure they found in the gratification of their destructive desires.
We would do well to learn from Noah and from these inmates. Following God should make us different and should consume every aspect of our lives. We absolutely should learn to find our joy, purpose and meaning, not in the destructive pursuits of self, but in following God, no matter what.