Malankara World

Great Lent

God Shut Noah and Family in before the Flooding began

by Jacob Muringayil, London

We read in the Book of Genesis that just before opening the sources of flood water from the earth, "God shut the door of the Ark" with "Noah and his family in" along with all other creatures as commanded by HIM. God could have asked Noah to shut the door from inside. But, HE did not do so.

God commanded Noah to build an Ark and gave him the measurements to which the Ark was to be built and Noah did it. Therefore, naturally, we can believe that the Ark could have been built, if God wanted, in such a way that Noah could have shut it himself before flooding began. But God chose to shut it HIMSELF. Neither did God want Noah to close it, nor did Noah try to do it.

There is a clear message of God's Will and Noah's obedience. Noah could have thought that it was the question of safety of his life as well as his family's and hence he needed to make sure that the door was shut properly to avoid all associated risks, for his own satisfaction. But, he did not do so, instead, he left it for God to do, because, he had full faith in God and he knew that it was God who was standing outside and HE would not put him with family into risk.

Or, even he might have gone to the extent of thinking that the right person to close the door is God otherwise, the door might not shut properly or even if shut, it would not stand the pressure of the water outside as human efforts are weak and incomplete without God and it cannot stand the pressure of the world. That Ark was to float on the water for many months until dry land was seen again with the water receded at the right time set by God. This knowledge may have made Noah more reliant on God's might rather than relying on his own might.

It was a total reliance on God's care and protection which Noah displayed. On the part of God, HE shut the door HIMSELF standing outside as a watchful Guard to protect HIS beloved inside, making sure they are safe and secure from the impending destruction. God wanted to shut it and HE did not want Noah to do it in HIS place. This means, God does expect HIS creations to give HIM due importance and place in their life and not to trespass into HIS territory. He wants humans to admit HIS authority and rights.

Since Noah walked with God during his life before the Great Flood, he certainly knew about this key point which made him leave God's job for God. There, we see an equilibrium between God's will and Noah's obedience or submission. In fact, God always wants to see this equilibrium taking place in human life irrespective of business, field or subject. The harsh fact is that unfortunately, that equilibrium does not take place now in the present world and that causes all problems in the Universe. Man gives preference and importance to his will or wish and ignore God's Will, breaking the equilibrium inviting totally devastating calamities and other fatal phenomena.

Inside the Ark, it was a new world for Noah and his family along with the creatures which were saved. It meant the end of Noah's previous world and beginning of a new one. Therefore, Noah actually lived in two different eras on the earth. But, in between those two periods, he lived in a closed shelter for a short time which was the transition period between the former and latter periods. He was flowing away from the evil world and rowing towards the blessed one.

Even though God made this earth as the primary shelter for HIS creations, HE made another new shelter on top of the first one for Noah and family (HIS most beloved then), in order to save their life and I believe, that new shelter in the New Testament terms is the Holy Church in which there is promise of eternal life, which is safe from the evils of the filthy world as it is supposed to be a complete separation from the first shelter, which is full of sins, and full of hope for a blessed life with God. The process of shutting the door of the Ark by God was the separating point of those two worlds as far as Noah is concerned.

For Christians, Holy Baptism is the door which shuts between the first shelter and the new shelter. All the creatures on the earth saw the end of their world during the Great Flood but, could not see the dawn of the new one whereas Noah and his companions were able to see the dawn of a new world which God envisaged to be like the one in the very beginning when HE created Adam and Eve, without signs of sin. Successful Christian life will see the end of this life and the beginning of the new one as St. John has said in the Book of Revelations whereas unsuccessful Christians will not see that new world unless God's love vouch for them.

Before creating Adam and Eve, God had separated the water which covered the face of the earth to form dry land but, for the end of that very same world, HE kept that water and called it back to come upon it like a blanket and drown it so that all creatures and creations be destroyed. Before enjoying the new life and new world, Noah and family were called to be with God in the new shelter HE prepared for them to escape the end of the first shelter.

So are Christians, they are called to live within the Holy Church with God as a preparation to escape the final destruction on the day of judgement. Since God had informed Noah and his family about the disaster HE was about to bring upon the world, the days they spent inside the Ark must have served as days of introspection. They must have realized the love and grace God showered on to them which, in turn, must have caused them to dedicate themselves to God more than before. Exactly that is what is expected of each Christian.

Also, each Lent and Fast must serve in Christian life as a closed shelter separating from the filthy world outside for a renewal of Christian Spiitual life opening doors into a new and reformed world living with God in sinless state. The period of Lent should hence serve as a period of transition for us so that we too go on to the second era of life like Noah and family - from one of sin to the other of holiness. When we submit ourselves to God's will completely, HE will shut us in from all the dangers and also sins of the world.

When Noah and family were inside the Ark, for forty days and nights water was pouring out and pouring down but, they did not feel or suffer it whereas those outside - the ones away from the Creator - were suffering it to the most and finally losing their lives and wealth. In Great Lent, equal amount of days followed by the Passion of our Lord has been separated for us to live inside that shelter which will serve as a real protection from calamities and fatal mishaps to those who take it seriously and live under instructions from God.

We need to let God shut the doors of the Ark of our life so that we will be guarded by God who does not sleep, standing outside our shelters protecting us from all dangers and devastating calamities even if they are part of HIS plan.

See Also:

Great Lent - A Time for Spiritual Renewal in Jesus Christ
The Church gives us Great Lent to be renewed, to escape the dreariness and weariness of life, and enter into the bright joy of life in Jesus Christ.

Great Lent: A Season of Renewal for All
Prophet Isaiah was emphatic in arguing that lent and fasting are not just pious "obligatory Observances" for the people of God, but a tremendous transforming force. Being mortal and feeble, humans need periodic renewal of body, mind and soul. How is this possible?

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