No holding back: Pt 4 How will you respond?

No holding back: Pt 4 How will you respond?

Noah’s Ark is one of the most famous Bible stories there is.  So much so, it has inspired innumerable baby toys, accessories, and children’s clothing.

 

The idea of a floating zoo is novel and child friendly.  But the whole story is actually quite a sobering tale of wickedness, hard work, and salvation.

 

God became so distressed by the way the people of the world were treating one another, that he decided to start over .  He sent a huge flood, the likes of which had never been seen before, to destroy all life.  Only one man, Noah, his family, and two of each kind of animal were saved.

 

This might seem like a strong reaction.  However, perhaps the last few weeks have taught us something of the distress God might have felt.  

 

Recently, I had an email from the International Justice Mission (IJM).  They said they are currently working hard at the border between Ukraine and Romania, protecting vulnerable women and children.  Some of whom are travelling on foot and desperate for refuge.  One of IJM’s biggest worries is the danger to these people posed by human traffickers, who are likely to try and take advantage of their vulnerability.

 

Given how much these women and children are already suffering because of the war, it is very distressing to think that others are trying to exploit the situation, by kidnapping and enslaving such vulnerable people .  Imagine that was how everyone was treating each other, all the time.

 

  This is how the Bible describes it in Genesis 6:5-6:

 

“The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

 

But God still, somehow, loved humanity.  So, he found one man, Noah, who is described as having found favour in God’s eyes.  God  spoke to Noah and told him he wanted to save him and his family.  However, Noah had to do something to be saved.  He had to build a huge boat, the “ark”.

 

This was no easy task.  Most of the boats people made at that time were simple structures designed for hunting.  They were normally around three metres in length and made from skin or reeds.

 

Noah’s ark was nearly 140 metres long, 23 metres wide and 14 metres deep.* It was made from wood and covered with pitch (i.e. tar).

 

Noah had to source huge amounts of material to get the job done.  He would have had to invest massive amounts of his own money and time into the project, neglecting other work to do so.

 

How did Noah respond to God’s request?

 

The Bible says:

 

‘Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.’ (Genesis 6:22)

 

We are not told about all the things that must have gone through Noah’s head.  The fears; the doubts.  Nor are we told about any of the struggles he must have faced during the build.

 

Some Christian traditions suggest the neighbouring people would have made fun of Noah for making the boat.  But the Bible doesn’t say anything about how other people responded either.  Did they get angry?  Jealous?  Was there panic?  Ridicule?  – We simply don’t know.

 

What about Noah’s own family?  Did they trust him and help out, or did they try to stop him?

 

Again, the Bible is silent.

 

The Bible only tells us one response (and repeats it twice) because that is the response that matters most:

 

‘Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.’ (Genesis. 7:5)

 

The question that faces all of us is this. Will we do what God commands or won’t we? Will we put Jesus words into action or not?  (Matthew 7:24).

 

Everything Noah did must have felt worth it,  once God had shut the ark door and the rain began to fall.  God saved Noah and his family from certain destruction.

 

Whatever doubts might go through your head – however anyone else responds – will you trust and obey like Noah did?

 

As with Noah, our salvation hangs in the balance.

 

*John Walton, Genesis: The NIV Application Commentary: from biblical text to contact temporary life, Pg 312

 

Theme Thursday Diary

 

The end of lockdown saw the end of ‘Theme Thursdays’ for us.  At least for now.  They weren’t quite akin to building a giant ark, but they were a lot of work, which we currently don’t have the time for.

 

However, they have inspired a change in our home educating approach. We try to do a lot more unit studies now. Instead of cramming it all in one day though, we look at topics over a week or two. 

 

This diary is from a year ago now!

 

​Our theme was space…

I started the day by laying out geoboards with laminated star constellations for the children to copy using rubber bands…

Then breakfast was wholemeal pancakes (the sun!) with fruit planets…

The children enjoyed using the geoboards so much they started designing planets and rockets too…

Next it was time to build our spaceship for blasting into space. We made sure to include all the tools we’d need for repairs and plastic wrapped food for the journey…

 

The ship was ready, but we couldn’t fly anywhere without spacesuits. I don’t think I’m going to win any awards for my bin bag costumes though!

We then did some space cadet training, using a print out from twinkl. 

The kids had a go at designing moon rovers with paper, cotton wool and cups that would land lego men safely on the moon. They each tested their design to see if it worked. 

Then we started to explore the moon together.

We made an oreo cheesecake (you can find the recipe here) but with a twist. The oreos on top showed the faces of the moon.

And after all that hard work it was time for lunch…

After lunch we continued to explore the moon by looking at how craters on the moon are formed. We dropped size rocks, from different heights, into a tin of moon sand (a mix of sand, cornflour and water) to see what impact they had.

Meanwhile our toddler played with space rock playdough. This stuff was so satisfying to squish!

Then time for another snack. Fruit kebab rockets.

And finally we made our own solar system by painting polystyrene balls and skewering them into our space rock playdough. 

Another successful theme day, but as I mentioned, the last for some time now. 

The past year has gone by in a bit of a blur. Adapting to the needs of all 5 children and trying to provide educationally for them all, has been challenging. However, I am hoping to keep the blog better updated over the coming year. So (fingers crossed) see you again soon! 

 

 

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