God’s Purposes in God’s Time

Today’s Reading: Genesis 5-8

But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you (Genesis 4:7b). Unfortunately, like Cain, most of Adam’s descendants refused to do what was right.

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord. – Genesis 6:5-8

There are 2 men in the account of Adam’s descendants in chapter 5 of Genesis who were described as “walking in close fellowship with God” – Enoch and Noah. But what God did with each of their faithfulness was very different.

Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had many other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. – Genesis 5:22b-24

In comparison to the life span of the other descendants of Adam in this account, Enoch lived a very short life. If we put it in our terms today, it would be like someone dying around age 40. Enoch was faithful to God and lived in close relationship with Him, but God chose to take Enoch from earth early in his life to go and be with God.

Noah was also a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he also walked in close fellowship with God (6:9). God had a 950-year plan for Noah (9:29) – a plan to keep him on earth for God’s purposes.

This difference stands out to me this morning as I consider the many times I have wondered why God took one of His faithful followers to be with Him instead of healing them or sparing them physical harm. God has different plans for different people and it is not always easy to understand His reasons, but we can always trust His heart. Both Enoch and Noah found favor with God, but His loving response differed from one situation to another – yet God remains the same faithful and loving God. God was ready to bring Enoch home but He simply wasn’t done with Noah.

Is there a loss in your life that you are still grieving? Perhaps this would be a good time to stop and give your pain and grief to God, trusting HIS plan and HIS love regardless of your inability to understand HIS reasons. Trust God’s heart, even when you don’t understand His plan. Know that God remains the same faithful and loving God no matter how difficult life becomes.

God chose to wipe all living creatures from the earth because of the violence that was everywhere. But, because of the faithfulness of one man, God created a plan to spare Noah and his family.

God told Noah that he was going to cover the earth with a flood.
Noah had never experienced a flood but he trusted God.
God told Noah to build a boat.
Noah had never seen a boat but he trusted God.

Everything God told Noah to do, he did exactly as God commanded him (6:22; 7:5). And everything God said He was going to do, He did – in His time.

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith, Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith. – Hebrews 11:7

It rained for 40 days and the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days. After 5 months, Noah released a bird to see if the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. But the bird came back because there was no place for it to land. It was not God’s time. Noah sent out a dove, but again the bird came back. It was not God’s time. Seven days later, Noah released another dove and it came back with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. It was still not God’s time but a sign from God that the time was drawing near. Seven days later, Noah released a third dove and it did not come back. Still Noah waited patiently for God’s instructions (Genesis 8).

Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat…” So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat (Genesis 8:15,18).

God told Noah before the flood that He would confirm His covenant with Noah (6:18). The first thing Noah did after emptying the animals from the boat was to build an altar to the Lord and sacrifice burnt offerings to Him. God then spoke His covenant or promise to Noah:

“I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” – Genesis 8:21-22

Just as He promised, God confirmed His covenant with Noah. He also gave him a sign of his covenant, a promise for all future generations to see and be reminded that God keeps His promises. God sent a rainbow – an image of peace after the storm and a reminder of God’s eternal covenant with us.

For God’s purposes…

in His time…

because I choose to believe He is a God who keeps His promises.