Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:8-12
Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Whack, whack, whack. The sound of hammers echoes across the valley. An old man’s neighbors watch him with amusement. They’ve seen him do strange stuff over the years, but this is the weirdest. They can’t help but laugh at him.
The old man and his grown sons ignore the laughter. Instead, they keep on working. A nail here, a board there. Piece by piece they see the creation take shape.
“That crazy old fool!” somebody hoots. “Why is he filling his house with hay? Hasn’t he heard of furniture?”
“That’s no house,” says another observer. “It’s a boat! But why would someone need a boat out here? There’s no water for miles!”
“Hey! Anyone seen my two elephants?” someone interrupts. “I had a male and female right in my backyard, but they’ve vanished.”
Like the elephants, the other animals come two by two. When the ark is full, God shuts the door. The people outside laugh and point—until the rain starts.
Get the picture? Everyone thought Noah was nuts for obeying God.
Talk about it: Has God ever given you a command you didn’t understand? Or has anyone thought you were nuts for obeying God?
God’s instructions won’t always make sense to us. God gave Noah an assignment: Build an ark. But he was teased as the town idiot because no one had ever seen rain before, let alone a flood. Even so, Noah followed through on God’s awesome plan even when he had plenty of reasons to doubt. He did exactly what God told him to do, and only as a flood washed away the ground under the ark did he start to understand God’s plan.
Sometimes God sticks us in situations that don’t seem to make sense, and we wonder if God has gone nuts. He commands us to love people we think are unlovable and to make friends with people who make us crazy. So why should we do the loving thing when it doesn’t make sense? That’s when we can remember Noah.
Our assignment is clear. God wants us to 1) love him, and 2) love people—even when they don’t love us back. It’s how Noah loved, and his neighbors laughed at him. It’s the way Jesus loved, and his enemies crucified him. But God wants us to love anyway. Someday it will become totally clear to us. In the meantime, let’s keep loving as God directs. It’s the only way to live.
TALK: How do you manage to obey God when his commands don’t seem to make sense?
PRAY: God, we trust you enough that we want to follow you always—even when we don’t understand your commands.
ACT: When you’re tempted to ignore one of God’s commands today, remember Noah and dare to believe that God knows what he’s doing!