Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's Too Late, Part 3

     A woman walks out of a tent pitched near the ark and shouts, “The meal is ready!”  She knows there will be no stopping to eat – her husband and sons will simply run over and grab something to take back with them.  It has been that way since the beginning of the actual construction of the ark.  She cannot remember the last time her whole family sat down to eat together.  The only time the men stopped was on the Seventh Day, and they were often so tired on this day that they simply slept.  If they weren’t sleeping, her boys were making up for lost time with their wives.  She smiles as she looks over at her daughters-in-law in tents nearby, working on food and clothes, supporting the men in their venture.  She thanks the Lord again for giving her such blessings for daughters.  It was so hard to find pure and holy women these days – and yet the Lord had brought just such women for her sons. 
            Shem’s wife walks over to talk with Noah’s wife.  Both ignore the jeers and insults being shouted from the nearby mob.  They were used to it by now.  They know there is no fighting the mob – the best they can do is ignore them and trust in the Lord.
            “Hello, Mother.  Is the noon meal ready, then?”
            “Yes, my dear, although we will be hard put to get any of them to stop and eat anything.  Sometimes I worry they will work themselves to death over this ark.”
            “Don’t worry, Mother.  They will stop when they cannot go any longer…Mother, how much longer do you think this will take?  The ark, I mean.  Has the Lord given Father any sort of indication as to when the destruction will come?”
            “No, Daughter, not yet.  I believe nothing will happen until the ark is complete.  The Lord has promised to protect us in the coming judgment.  He will not allow anything to happen until it is finished.”
            “I must confess something, Mother.  I am afraid of the destruction.  I am afraid of what will happen when the floodwaters come.  I mean, will we really be the last of mankind to survive?  What happens to all the others?  And how are we to rebuild, with only eight of us?”
            “Have faith, my Daughter.  Remember, the world began with only two – and their second son was killed before he could start his line.  The Lord can rebuild entire civilizations with only the eight of us – or even the six of you, as I am past childbearing years.  As for what happens to everyone else…we only know what the Lord told Noah.  Every creature will be destroyed except for those we bring into the ark.  That includes all of mankind except the eight of us.  We must trust that the Lord knows what He is doing.  Perhaps this destruction is actually his mercy.  If mankind was allowed to continue the way it is going, it would surely kill itself in the process.  There is no righteousness left in the world.  These floodwaters may be the last hope of Adam’s race.” 
            “I know, Mother.  I just hurt for all those others.”
            “You have a kind, compassionate heart.  It will hurt to see them go.  Keep praying for them.  It may be that some can still turn back to the Lord and come under His mercy before the end.  And trust in the Lord above all other things.  Look, here comes your husband.  Go to him with food.  He needs your support right now.”
            The women had not always been so supportive of the ark project.  When Noah first came home and told his wife what the Lord had told him, she burst into to tears and fled the house for two days.  Once she had come back, the two had argued incessantly about the matter for weeks. 
            “Noah, this is insane.  What do you mean, a flood?  Water stays in one place.  That is what water does.  God is a God of order.  He’s not going to disrupt the natural order of things just to teach a few degenerates a lesson.”
            “It’s not a lesson, my love. It’s a major shift in the course of mankind.  Everyone but the eight of us will die.  And who are we to say what the Lord will do?  It is also the natural order of things for men to die, but you know as well as I do that my ancestor Enoch never did.”
            “But total destruction of every creature on earth…Noah…”
            “I know, I know.  But we must trust the Lord in what He says.  I have no doubts about what He told me.  And I must gather the boys and start on this ark right away.”
            “That’s another thing, Noah.  This ark.  How on earth are we to build anything so big?  No one had ever seen anything as big as you are saying.  What can you be thinking?”
            “These thoughts are not mine, my dear.  They are the Lord’s.  If He says to build an ark 450 feet long, then that’s what we will do.  He will provide for us, I know that for sure.”
            “But Noah, the village already hates us.  We are the most hated family on the face of the earth. Our line has been at odds with the world for generations.  This will only make things worse. How will this make us look?  How will we be treated?”
            “Does it truly matter?  In the end, it is only what God thinks of us that matters.  Everything else will fade away.  These people will be dead in a few years while we will still be alive – what on earth does it matter what they think?”
            “Noah, I just don’t think…”
            “Nowhere in the instructions did the Lord say this would be easy.  He has not promised us anything but that we will be saved.  I have no doubt that this will be the hardest task of our lives.  If you leave, I understand that.  That is your choice.  But as for me, the choice is made.  I will serve the Lord.  I will do what He says to do.”
            “But Noah, a flood…”
            Around and around they went, Noah’s wife coming up with more reasons why this was a ridiculous plan, Noah standing firm on what the Lord had told him.  It had been the greatest test of their marriage.  Noah’s wife had almost left him more than once, one time going so far as to pack a bag and start walking.  However, in her heart she knew Noah was right.  In her heart, she knew she must trust her husband’s leadership and his relationship with the Lord.  Over time, God softened her heart, and in the end, she accepted Noah at his word and the Lord at His. 
            Noah’s sons had each had similar encounters with their wives.  The women cried, screamed, refused to cooperate, sulked, and fought what was happening in every way they could.  Ham’s wife had taken it the hardest.  While she was a pure and righteous woman, she was the most social of the three wives, and the thought that her friends were going to die was more than she could stand.  She had actually gone to live with her sister for a month, fully intending to stay as long as Ham persisted in what she called “this madness.”  But God worked on her heart, and eventually, she saw the truth in what Noah was saying.  She had finally come into an acceptance of what was to happen, and with a tearstained face, she had returned to her husband’s family and taken her place by her husband’s side.  In the end, each woman had to choose: who would they follow?  Their own fears or the God that had never forsaken them?  And in the end, it was the Lord they each chose.

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