Now he (Noah’s dad Lamech) called his name Noah, saying, “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.”  Gen 5:29

Our grandson Noah is due in a few weeks.  Providentially my daily bible reading has brought me back to the beginning, so that I am in Genesis these days.  It goes without saying: I have been keenly interested in the account of Noah.

We are introduced to him in the preparations Dad Lamech makes for his birth. The prophetic words recorded in verse 29 above are so full of hope.  We hear joy over the impending birth of this son.   There is no fear that he will turn out ‘wrong’.  There is a confidence that can come only from a father who knows God.  Lamech the Godly as I will call him (the other, Lamech the Vain and Violent, described in Chapter 4 is a descendant of Cain) knows his family origins.  He understands his original grandparents’ sin.  He acknowledges their punishment that has been passed down to all generations of mankind.  He does not sulk or complain or criticize God.  He realistically acknowledges how difficult working the land has become.  And he dreams of better days brought on by this son of his.

The power of a godly father is unparalleled.  A few verses later, in Chapter 6, we learn how wicked men and women have become.  But Noah, son of a father who has taught him properly to fear the Lord, finds favor in God’s sight.  In fact ONLY Noah is considered righteous enough to be saved as a blood line.  His brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews will perish in the flood.

What makes Noah a standout?  He obeys God’s commands when given, he uses common sense when appropriate and he waits for further instruction when the situation is beyond him.

In Genesis 6:14, God starts to give specific guidance about what to do.  Noah does not question God, but sets to carrying out the construction of the ark.  And he completes the task. In Genesis 6:22, we read, Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

I put myself in Mrs. Noah’s shoes.  My questions would have been the following:

  • How will we get the animals to come on board?
  • What about all the bodily wastes (ours and the animals)?  Do we have to haul them up to our floor and get rid of them out the window?
  • How will we feed the animals?
  • If there is only one window, we’re going to want it for our family.  And if there are 3 stories, then that means the animals will be in the dark.  Will they panic and fight each other?  Will they hibernate?   Will the ark be big enough if they start multiplying?
  • How long will we have to be in the ark?
  • What clothes, tools and supplies should we bring?
  • What about my prized heirlooms from Great-Grandma Eve?
  • Where will we land?
  • What are we going to do all day long and all night?
  • What will happen to us afterwards?

I can imagine Noah saying to his wife, sons and daughters-in-law, “Don’t worry, the Lord will guide us in all these areas.  Hasn’t he instructed us up until now? ”

When the rains do stop, we read how Noah’s common sense kicks in.  He thinks to send out first a raven and then a dove.  But he doesn’t open the door until God tells him.  Noah seems to exercise that perfect balance of waiting, acting, obeying.

The ‘take-aways’ for me in this chronicle of our ancestor Noah are in the area of decision making and parenting. God obviously trusts us to learn how to rely on him for what is beyond us and to do for ourselves what is within reach.  This lesson is important to me, for I know that I tend to fret over / angst about/ project scenarios that never come about.  I have to continuously remind myself that God is creative and capable.  After all, he did create the whole universe.  I can trust Him to provide.  I’m sure that most of what Mrs. Noah worried about never happened.

Finally, parenting has eternal consequences.  The power of godly parents can change the course of history.  Lamech and his wife taught Noah well.  Yet, I have to assume, if they taught Noah, they also taught all their children.  However, only oldest child Noah survived the deluge.  We parents are limited.  Children are accountable to God themselves and do make wrong choices for which they suffer consequences.  We do the best we can, guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  The final outcome is in God’s hands.

Noah will soon join his cousin Chloe, God willing.  I pray every day for these two children that God will, “Satisfy (them) in the morning with (his) unfailing love, that (they) may sing for joy and be glad all their days.” Psalm 90:14.   I want them to thirst and hunger for God early on to such a degree, that only God satisfies.  Furthermore, I pray that their being filled up with the joy of the Lord will spill over onto all whom they meet.