In Noah, we see one of the first amazing miracles in the Bible: the rescue of Noah and his family from the destruction of the flood. Noah lived in difficult times (Gen 6:5-10) but was able to remain blameless and upright and to find favour with God even in these times of great sinfulness. He is a reminder to us that we don’t have to go along with the crowd, be moved by peer pressure or conform to the world; we can influence others for God and swim against the tide!
God communicated His heart and His plans to Noah, and the fact that God does this consistently with people is a great miracle (see also Ps 103;7, Ps 25:8-9, 14). Jesus said that He was the good shepherd and we, His sheep, know His voice (John 10:2-4). It is a miracle that God communicates with us and has removed all barriers created by sin through the sacrifice of His Son. God spoke with Noah and gave Him the exact plans for the ark (see Gen 6:13-21). Noah had to do more than listen to God, however; he had to mix what he heard with faith and act in obedience. The secret to his success was ‘Noah did everything just as God commanded him.’ (Gen 6:22, see also Gen 7:5) If we want to see God do miracles in our lives, in our church, in our community, then we must be people who hear God speaking to us and who obey Him when He tells us to do something. The church is a God-led community. It’s not about our good ideas or our good works in themselves. It’s about God speaking His life into us and sharing His plans with us and about our response to God.
But of course, Noah had to do his part, and much of that must have seemed ordinary and hard work. Phil 2:12-13 says, ‘continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.’ On the one hand, there is nothing we can do to earn God’s favour and we are saved by God’s grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10), but we also see that there can be a human element to the miracles of God (the boy offering the disciples his picnic lunch and the disciples distributing and collecting food in the Feeding of the Five Thousand, for example.) Noah is an example to us of persevering faith. He worked hard to build the ark and then waited patiently for over a year till all the flood waters finally receded. Much of that time must have seemed dull and mundane, but his ongoing obedience resulted in a new covenant with God and new blessings (see Gen 8:22, Gen 9:8-16). Blessing will always follow perseverance and obedience (see also James 5:11, Gal 6:9)