I always thought of Noah as a ship builder. After all, his most famous act was that of building the ark. And it wasn’t just any, old ship (especially for those days). It was large enough to hold two of every living species of animal. Quite a feat!
But if we read along far enough in the story of Noah, we find out that he was a farmer. Not only that, he seemed to specialize in grapes. On top of it all, he was at least an amateur vintner and maybe a drunkard. I won’t bore you with the entirety of his story (you can read it for yourself in Genesis 6 through 9), but he appears to be somewhat less than a model of righteousness. This is the guy who “walked faithfully with God.” (I guess that should give us all some hope.)
This is also the guy who had seen the rainbow. If you will recall, the Lord made a covenant with the human race at that time saying He would not destroy the earth with water ever again (although He’s flooded my basement a few times). The rainbow is the sign or symbol of that covenant. When we see the rainbow, we should be reminded of God’s graciousness.
But we’re not. Not usually, anyway. And the great thing about this sign is that it’s public. There’s nothing secret about it. It’s up there in the sky for all to see. Yet we ignore why it’s there or simply explain it away as some scientific phenomenon (like that makes any difference). And did I mention it’s public?
I emphasize that because this particular covenant was, and is, for everyone. Yet sometimes we in the church think we’ve got the market cornered on the ark of safety. I’m sorry, but the secret is out. God’s grace can extend far beyond the church. It’s not our choice…it’s His. If I have received the grace of God, it’s because He was gracious to me. I didn’t do anything special to get it.
We sometimes imprison ourselves in the belief that we’ve got what everyone else wants and they should come and get it. Really. Really? We need to learn that we are not the gatekeepers. The Holy Spirit handles that job rather nicely already. We are more like Noah. We’re farmers spreading seed, growing fruit, and yes, sometimes getting a bit tipsy.