“Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.” Genesis 7:6
It was a whirlwind romance. My teenage sister met a handsome gentleman at the beach. His charisma charmed her. She fell in love. His feelings, he said, were reciprocal. He even gave her is army ring. The look of love glistened in her eyes. My parents however, carried looks of suspicion.
One night my sister and I stayed up late, discussing every detail of her romantic date. She fell silent and begged me to keep a secret. The new boyfriend was AWOL, Away Without Leave from the military. Fear encompassed me. My sister was holding secret information from the government and now I was an accessory to the news as well. What would happen to her lover, to my sister? Could I be held responsible too? Did they send fourteen year old girls to prison?
My suspicious dad did some investigative research. He uncovered my sister’s hidden secret. That night a war broke out in our home. My dad threatened to turn the young man in. My sister sobbed and screamed. The ring on her finger seemed to carry an aura of doom. My dad commanded it to be returned. It was proof of desertion and dishonesty. Within days the young man was gone. My sister recovered though she thought she never would.
What possesses a man to go AWOL? To enlist or be drafted in a special service to guard our country, and then forsake the call with no respectable reason, is considered a crime. Those who do so run for their lives. It’s a game of hide and seek looming with fear, not fun – a crash course in disaster for a foolish decision.
God called Noah to be the leader of a small army. This man walked upright, found favor in the midst of an evil generation. God’s assignment would make even the bravest soldier want to flee but Noah carried out every detail. He built an ark when there’d never been an ounce of rain. He warned his colleagues of God’s upcoming plans. Laughter and scoffing ensued.
At the ripe old age of six hundred, Noah and his family entered the ark and were spared from a flood that wiped out all lives, laugh-ers and scoffers included. His age, his fear, even possible skepticism never deterred Noah. His rewards for not going AWOL ensured his safety and security with his God and Commander.
Have you ever been tempted to drop out of the race of faithfulness? Does giving up or into temptation seem a better option?
As the flood waters ascended Noah’s neighbors couldn’t run, hide, or climb high enough to slough off the impending doom. “Be sure your sins will find you out…”
To be in God’s army requires faithfulness in the midst of opposition and hardship.
Let’s set our minds against going AWOL. Remain faithful and uncover the blessings of obedience!