God speaks to us in many ways e.g. through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and providence. Distinguishing God’s will from either my own thoughts, or plain coincidence, has been one of the things I’ve found most challenging in my spiritual walk. However, knowing God’s will is only half of the story. Doing it is the other (equally important) part. Studying the story of Noah has reminded me to prepare for doing, as well as knowing.

[All scriptures are from Genesis hence the omission of a book]

The Prerequisite for the Revelation

There are many who say that God (especially in the Old Testament) is cruel, cold, and unloving. However, you can’t help but share in the sorrow of a God who knows the people He creates will eventually have thoughts that are “evil continually” (6:5), but still feels “grieved” (6:6) when what He knew would come, arrives.

Knowing the future doesn’t make it any easier for Him to experience the present.

The world that Noah lived in at that time was far from God’s ideal. Therefore, it’s remarkable that God is able to call him a “just” and “perfect” man (6:9). Somehow, he managed to separate himself from the evil that surrounded him; which I’m sure is in no small part due to the fact he walked with God (6:9). It’s important to note that walking is a leisurely activity. God is never in a rush; He knows your destination, and how long it takes to get there. If God doesn’t need to run, why do you?

Can you imagine what it would have been like to maintain godly standards in the presence of such wickedness? Noah isn’t part of a community of godly people. It was literally just him and his immediate family living in a corrupt world. However, it is precisely because Noah was walking with God that he was privy to God’s intentions regarding the Flood.

The Reality of the Revelation

Whilst I’m sure you’re familiar with the story, I’d like to draw your attention to what the Flood cost Noah, personally:

  1. Unrequested labour – although the antediluvians had superior bodies to ours, I’m sure Noah wasn’t expecting to be building an ark to exact specifications at the ripe old age of approximately 500 (and then sustaining the lifeforms on it for a year)
  2. Emotional burden – God spoke to Noah. Not his family. He was the sole hearer of God’s intentions, and thus would have had to encourage his family to believe what God had said. If he doubted, then so would they. If he threw in the towel then they would, too.
  3. Losing extended family – although His immediate family accompanied him onto the ark, Genesis 5:30 states that he had brothers and sisters (who presumably had children). Therefore, he knew that as he stepped on to the ark, he would never see those people again.

Having the desire to know God’s will is great. But are you ready to execute it no matter how ‘undesirable’ His will seems to become over time?

There are probably times when Noah wanted to give up, but there’s comfort in knowing you are doing exactly what God wants you to do. It’s worth noting two further points:

  1. Noah didn’t know when the flood would come. He was told to get on the ark after it was built (7:1)
  2. He also didn’t know how long he would be on the ark. God told him the rain would last for 40 days and 40 nights (7:4), but He conveniently didn’t mention that a whole year would pass before he saw land again (7:6 cf 8:13)

In summary, Noah was probably happy for God to reveal His will to him. Initially. But when he counted the cost, and reflected on what he didn’t know, it would have been easy for him to give up. My point is that you should prepare your mind for doing God’s will, as you pray about knowing His will. Sometimes the journey will seem so long, tiring, and costly, that you abandon the very thing you prayed for: knowing His will.


Don’t be so preoccupied with the blanks that you forget to be faithful to what you do know. As challenging as the journey might be, the destination is worth it. Remember: you wouldn’t need faith if God told you absolutely everything.


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