An Interview With Noah’s Neighbor

Photo 19156858 / Noah Ark © Hayk Harutyunyan | Dreamstime.com

Crrreak. SLAM!

Did you see that? The door closed. All by itself. 

It’s strangely quiet today. Quite a change from the racket of last week. Last week? Who am I kidding? The noise from Noah’s property has been going on for a hundred years now. 

Well, we could use some peace and quiet around here. The jerk. The hammering, the building, that eyesore all started when Noah received a message from God. Seriously? I know. I laughed too.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Simeon. Next-door neighbor to Noah. You’ve heard of Noah: ark builder, recent zookeeper, and now apparently, ship’s captain. Also freakish, God-loving, obnoxious, intolerant, and just plain weird.

God told Noah He was grieved that He had made man. Aww. Poor God. Why would God concern Himself with me? He should mind His own business. Noah said man’s violence made God sick, and He planned to put an end to it. Eeek! I’m scared. God told Noah, or so Noah says, to build this ark so Noah and his family could survive the flood. 

Whatever that is.

Seriously? I supposed to be afraid? Good luck with that. It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Big dogs survive, know what I mean? And this big dog plans on going out on top. 

But Noah says a lot of water’s coming. Okaayy. I tell ya, the guy’s got a screw loose. 

Talking crazy is one thing, but then, he went and built this monstrosity, right in the middle of the neighborhood. He calls it an ark. Three levels, almost five stories high and long enough to take up some very valuable real estate.

He gave me the grand tour last week. Rooms everywhere. Up, down, all over the place. And enough food for an army. 

I asked him, “Noah, who’s all this stuff for? Did you talk the entire town into going with you?” God knows, he’s tried. Enough already. 

He frowned and shook his head. He said he wished he had. He’d prepared the stalls for the animals, but there was plenty of room if we wanted to join him. In fact, he begged me. Pleaded. Ugh! Turned my stomach.

I said, “Animals? Like your flocks? They wouldn’t fill a tenth of the space you’ve got here.” 

He said God told him to take two of each kind of animal, birds, and creatures that move along the ground into the ark, one male, one female, to keep them alive during the flood. 

Yeah, that flood again. I can’t tell you how sick to death I am of hearing about the flood. 

Then, about seven days ago, creatures I’ve never seen before just started showing up. Bugs and bats. Horses and hyenas. Lions and lizards. Birds. Flapping and squawking. Feathers everywhere. What a mess. 

Took Noah a full week to get them in there. Shoot, we set up lawn chairs and watched. The event drew quite the crowd. I provided a running commentary, of course. Sarcasm is my gift. Placed bets too. I really didn’t think that tiger was going in. Lost money on that one. 

Then Noah started preaching. Again. That broke up the crowd. My friends and I headed back into town for some fun of our own making. We’ve heard enough of his doom and gloom. 

Got me to thinking, though, I wonder if Noah would be willing to sell the ark once he’s finished with it.  It would make a great pleasure palace. I could really trick it up. It’ll make me a fortune. I could even keep some of the animals for a side show. 

I should have talked to Noah about it yesterday. Of course, the door was open then. 

But today, it closed. And they’re all inside. 

What? Did I think about going with them? No, not really. I mean, what a weirdo. Cooped up with the freak and his freak show for who knows how long? I’ll take my chances. 

And this crazy talk about rain? Why, no one’s ever heard of it before. You’d think if God was going to destroy the whole world, He’d give us a sign or something, you know?

I know. This post is a little different. But I want you to consider a few things.

God is often viewed as a God of judgment in the Old Testament. While God’s holiness requires justice, even the Old Testament reveals His heart desires redemption. Ezekiel 33:11 NIV says, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’” 

In the account of Noah in Genesis 6:5-6 NKJV reads, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

Truth is, I’m quicker to judge than He is. God’s heart grieves over sin. Does mine? Sometimes. 

As hostility toward Christianity increases, I think stories like Noah’s bear some study. What was it like for him and for other godly people like Lot who lived smack dab in the middle of people who not only didn’t know God, but were over their head in sin? 

No church friends for support. Just outright, in-your-face condemnation—or worse. Was Noah ever beaten? Roughed up a little because of his faith? Paul was. 

Are we prepared today to handle some serious pushback—with grace? 

Or will we be like James and John calling for God to get them (Luke 9:51-56)?

Do we grieve?

Activities:

1. What sin has become normal or even accepted? Which sins grieve you? Which don’t?

2. What signs has God given us to know what’s coming? Have any come to pass? 

3. Authors Jerry Jenkins and John Perrodin wrote the Young Adult Renegade Spirit series about a Godless society. Here’s a quote from the first novel, The Tattooed Rats, “Christianity, and indeed all religion, has been declared intolerant, hate filled, and the root of all war . . . every Christian must deny his or her allegiance to Christ or face penalties that may include imprisonment and death . . . Huge rewards are offered to those who will turn in Christians for ‘reeducation.’”

This book gave me chills. 

Are we prepared? 

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