Tuesday evening I saw a new musical called Noah’s Ark. It was very well-done, with a powerful message.

Two things hit me as I watched: With the appearance of the animals at the ark I realized that God drew them there, Noah did not go looking. An I realized the reality of the flood. This is not a fairy tale or a nice story with a happy ending. It is the truth. The flood really happened. Jesus, when he taught, referred to the days of Noah as an actuality, and gave a solemn warning to us… but more on that in a moment.

The production inspired me to write the following poem:

Instinct

A whisper, a nudge, a thought, and a step
tremulous at first.
Not the way for these creatures of habit.
Yet…
Curiosity tugs,
and a leaf, a branch, an odd odor.
Strange camaraderie
as former enemies join
majestic procession.
Small and great,
some lend a back
others a proverbial paw
with trumpeting, roar and song
thrum and plodding steps.
answering a call and moving
forward as a rushing wind.

Others watch.
They did not hear
or were not called,
no sense of urgency
(how like me.)
How could they be so united
in such a purpose?
Too different, too…

All approach in pride of step
no humility in their response:
“I am called.”
No looking back,
no questioning as forward
two by two
elephant and lady bug,
bumble bee and wolf,
snake (!) and lamb
march onward, inward
safeward.

Hesitance fled along the way
at journey’s end, haste pushes forward
trembling hands guide
one pair here, another there.
A door slams shut
and all lay down to rest
safe from the storm.

And I?
Wish I had such ears to hear
like they.

By the end of the musical it was clear to me why so many try to negate the flood. There are too many voices insisting it didn’t, couldn’t have happened. I realized, if we do not believe the flood, then we will not believe the words of Jesus:

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man… Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:37-39, 42 ESV)

If I don’t believe the flood really happened, it is easy to take the last judgment as figurative language, and to deny the holiness of God. If I reject the flood because a loving God would not destroy all those people, then I have not come to terms with how repulsive my sin really is to God, how much I need saved, and what a great salvation is offered in Jesus.