Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WALKING BUDDIES: Part 5 - Natalie's Journal Continued - July 26, 2008

In my previous column, I began to share with you the thoughts of Natalie (whose husband is Noah), as recorded in her journal of life on the ark. Natalie continues:

Day 68: I don’t think I can go on another day. Even Noah’s faith is waning. It’s hard to feel God’s presence in this God-forsaken place. The worry etched in Noah’s wrinkled brow troubles me. The rain stopped ages ago. The stillness outside is creepy. Inside, we’re all getting irritable, especially the vultures, buzzards, and hyenas, who haven’t eaten in weeks. (Poetic license: people and animals were actually herbivorous prior to the flood - Genesis 9:2-3)

What is God waiting for?

Where are you, God?

Day 91: One thing you can depend on with animals is reproduction. We can no longer contain the birds to the upper deck. It’s hard to walk a few feet without stepping on a rabbit’s foot. And Jenny has been throwing up every morning…

July 17th Landing (Poetic license: Bible states, “seventeenth day of the seventh month”): Land! For the last several weeks, the ark has been bumping against something. Noah thought that it must be mountain peaks. But today, the rocking stopped and we are resting on solid ground. I can’t wait to get out of this stink hole!

August: Still waiting. Critter population growing exponentially.

September: Waiting, still. Eggs hatching everywhere.

October: Mountain tops are finally visible. Now we’re getting somewhere!

October 21st: Celebrated Noah’s 601st birthday. Not really sure what day it is, but we needed to do something to perk up our waning spirits.

January 1st: Water is all dried up. Surely we can get out of this pig sty now!

February: STILL waiting…

February 17th: “Celebrated” one full year on the ark by pigging out on chocolate and sleeping the day away.

February 18th: Could not accomplish anything today, due to chocolate stupor.

February 27th: Hallelujah! God has opened the door. FINALLY! Critters have been making a mad dash for the door all day. I’m keeping a low profile.

March 3rd: It took forever to get all the animals off the ark, but we did it! I’m standing on dry ground. DRY GROUND! No, I’m dancing for joy on dry ground! We gathered up rocks and built an altar today and sacrificed burnt offerings to God.


The author of Genesis takes up the story from here: The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21)

Then God said to Noah and to his [family]: "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. …Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:8-11)

And God provided a sign of his covenant, visible to us, even now: “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.” (Genesis 9:12-15)


I can’t imagine how those few survivors felt when they left the ark. I wish that there was a book of Noah—like the book of Job—that fills in the details. Job and his wife lost their family and prosperity; Noah and family lost everyone and everything. How did they feel toward their God, who destroyed all living things? What happened next?

They worshipped their God with burnt offerings.

And this same God who destroyed his creation, responded with a covenant of love marked by the most famous sign in all of history: the rainbow.

No comments: