Holy Fools: Noah

Holy Fools: Noah

Holy Fools: Noah.

WANT AD: World-wide release. Wanted, a person willing to be foolish for 120 years. Carpentry skills and physical strength a plus. Must be able to accept specific instructions from Project Supervisor at all times. Long-term project will be construction of gigantic boat on dry land. Builder will not need to transport boat to water; water will come to boat. Builder must be blameless, righteous, and full of integrity. Occasional preaching required. Must be able to deflect taunts, ridicule and criticism for extended period of time. Would be helpful if family assisted in project. Must embrace living in house boat for over a year. Getting along well with a wide variety of animals a requirement. Applications being accepted. Divine reference mandatory. 

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd.” (Flannery O’Connor).

Noah is perhaps the first monumental holy fool in all of Scripture. He was flourishing in his relationship with God while all around him humanity had descended to the worst of human behavior. The entire world was depraved, violent, cruel, and even the imaginations of the people were evil. We’re not sure how Noah managed to be blameless in a wicked generation, but he did. The Amplified Bible put it that Noah “walked in habitual fellowship with God.” (Genesis 6:9). He found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Peter stated that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), that he “warned the world of God’s righteous judgment.” (NLT). When literally everyone else was going in one direction, Noah was going in the opposite direction. He was going upstream in a downstream world. Certainly he must have looked like a foolish holy-roller missing out on all the fun. To be sure, Noah received a few jeers and taunts for his righteousness. It wasn’t long before Noah found himself floating happily on that stream.

Noah’s main claim to foolish fame was his unquestioning obedience to the Lord’s instructions to build a huge boat on dry land, distant from all water, with not a cloud in sight. Noah was miles away from any navigable water, and yet he complied with everything God asked of him. There is no doubt Noah was ridiculed and laughed at. Certainly many if not most questioned his sanity while he worked at building this boat with his three sons. Why are you building this monstrosity, people would jeer? It sure is a funny-looking house! But Noah kept plugging away on this long-term project that was assigned by God. Scholars claim that it took Noah and his family 120 years to build the ark. That was the length of the grace period that God mentioned in Genesis 6:3. Peter confirmed that in 1 Peter 3:20, “God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat.” God wanted to give the people plenty of time to repent, to turn their lives around from their wicked ways. Noah preached righteousness, but we aren’t sure if it was in words or deeds. His life during those construction years would have been a powerful example for sure. Maybe he was letting his obedience do the talking. Maybe he didn’t need to say much. Noah’s life was prophetic, if not his words.

After 120 years, Noah ended up with a giant boat constructed exactly to God’s specifications:

  1. 450′ long, which is the length of one and a half football fields;
  2. 75′ wide, which made the boat exactly six times longer than it was wide, the same ratio used for modern shipbuilding;
  3. 45′ feet high, which is equal to a four-story building;
  4. three interior decks, which is large enough to contain 45,000 animals according to experts;
  5. the overall size of the ark was the same as an average battleship of World War I.

Noah and his family remained in the boat for over a year in all, taking care of the animals and offering sacrifices to the Lord. Is there any wonder Noah was included in the Hebrew Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11? Noah was a hero of the Faith, all because he wasn’t afraid to be a fool for God.

AMY HELM – “Didn’t it Rain” (Live at Telluride Blues & Brews 2014) #JAMINTHEVAN – YouTube