My 3-year-old can tell you the story of Noah and the Ark. Most of us know the story, whether we are Christians or not. Even Hollywood has heard of this one (reference Evan Almighty and Noah). And, The Bible miniseries from Mark Burnett was a huge success. But, what do we really know about Noah? Truth is, not much.
This colossal Bible hero only gets a couple chapters in the book of Genesis. He actually lived 500 years before even getting a mention. It’s amazing to see all of the children’s stories and books featuring the account of the flood and how much is actually subjective. I was reading one such book to my daughter the other night. It featured commentary on what the townspeople thought of Noah while he built a giant boat in the desert. It included dialogue between Noah and his wife (I can’t recall if they made up a name for her in this particular book). It gave an inside look of the ark and how the animals interacted with each other. A fascinating read, really. But, none of this finds its home in the actual account.
It’s interesting to think about all those details of the story, but they aren’t crucial to the plot. It would be great to know more about Noah. We learn a lot about Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, David, Solomon, Peter, John, Paul, etc. We can learn a considerable amount about their character, strengths and weaknesses, their families and more. With Noah we know this: “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:8-9)
And, that’s all we really need to know. He was righteous, walking faithfully with God. Enough so that he stood out like a sore thumb. It certainly seems Noah was by definition a “radical” – an extreme person, especially as compared to accepted or traditional forms. He apparently walked so closely with God that when God told him to do something crazy like build a giant boat in the middle of the desert, it was not an absurd request at all. “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” (v. 22)
Talking about sticking out like a sore thumb…pretty sure a 500-year-old man building a giant boat in the desert is not something you would see everyday. God did something radical through a person living radically for Him. A person who stuck out like a sore thumb – a radical follower of God – became the basis for all future mankind.
Now, imagine what our world would be like if Christ-followers today would actually become as radical as the One they supposedly follow. Let’s face it – Jesus was pretty radical.
With that in mind, may we all strive to stick out like a sore thumb a little more often.