“Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God…he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:9, 22)
I have moved from the hospital to a rehab facility to continue my therapy after knee surgery. Having moved over twenty times in my adult life, to different countries, states, and cities, I was surprised at the difficulty of this one. But the adjustment to a new environment with new people has been radically different with a body that is starting to heal from major surgery. Recovery from natural disasters, the sudden death of a parent or child, major medical emergencies, the birth of a severely disabled child, loss of employment and income, and psychological break-downs are all extremely demanding. But none of these can compare with the situation that God ordained for Noah, his family, and the world. How did he do it? “Noah walked with God through all the years of preparing for, enduring, and recovering from the flood that changed the world.
This week we will study the lives of faithful Old Testament stewards. Our perspective will be on the way they responded to their circumstances, God’s expectations of them, and their management of their gifts and resources. Noah, Joseph, Moses, Hannah, and Nehemiah had this in common: they believed in God’s authority, sovereignty, and providential work with God’s people for God’s glory. The broad application for us is that the greater our understanding and appreciation of God’s sovereignty and his generous provisions as the Creator and Sustainer of life, the more we will desire to glorify Him in our circumstances, and the management of his provisions. These five managed different kinds of resources including material provisions, people, time, and the Lord’s commands. We are also called to manage these, with the addition of the Holy Spirit’s guidance for conformity to Jesus Christ.
Noah’s stewardship began before he started building the ark. He believed and walked with God. Our stewardship also begins by believing in Christ, the Messiah of the Bible, and the doctrines of Scripture, God’s Word and our highest authority. Noah built spiritually as he built materially, which was his sanctification. He found enough wood to build the ark with the help of his sons, and he embraced faith in God through his continued, open relationship with the Lord. Noah’s family undertook their life’s work of building the ark to
God’s specifications even though it had never rained before and they submitted to the Lord as he shut them up in the ark during the great deluge. Noah’s faith endured, and he was confident that God would provide for his family in time, seen in his sending out the birds to assess God’s timing (Genesis 8:6-12) Sometimes our greatest challenge is waiting on God for his provisions or relief. A wise steward will treat time as a resource that is best used by attentiveness to God’s work and plan. Noah and his family managed their resources to be in the ark for over a year, with a wide range of animal life. They succeeded in beginning a new life, albeit imperfect, with the Lord by vulnerably yielding to his process.
How do you manage your life in your circumstances, with faith in God’s plans or as an independent agent, with your own goals? Would you consider yourself a wise steward of your faith, time, material possessions, the Holy Spirit’s work in you, your sanctification, and relationships? What should you change to see yourself as a faithful steward of Christ?