Welcome to A Scarlet Cord of Hope, the 2021 advent series of University Fellowship Church Women written and read by Jaime Sherman, who penned our Christmastime narratives from biblical, Jewish, and historical sources to tell how God wove hope from creation to the creche and who continues to point us to the final fulfillment of hope in the one-day-soon second coming of Jesus Christ. Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.
today’s suggested reading
Next along the cord of hope stretching between Adam and Jesus Christ, we meet Seth, the son God gave Adam and Eve after their firstborn Cain killed his younger brother, Abel.
Then came Enosh, not to be mistaken for Cain’s son or the Enoch further down the family tree.
Enoch, who “walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).
Methuselah, whose life spanned an incredible 969 years.
And Lamech, the father of Noah.
An estimated 1,656 years after God breathed life into His magnum opus, we meet this man Noah, a righteous man surrounded by a people spurred on by violence and continually set on rebelling against God’s best. They were corrupt to their core, and God looked upon His creation — men and women created to reflect His image — and was disgusted. He chose to bring an end to life on earth in order to redeem His creation.
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD, for he was blameless and walked and talked with God, a statement of an intimate, personal relationship with his Creator. In His great love for an obedient, faithful man and his immediate family, God told Noah his life would be spared. We read in Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
An ark. A hope for a better tomorrow.
It’s easy to imagine that doubt crept into Noah’s life at times as he built an enormous seafaring vessel likely miles from any body of water. It was as tall as a four-story building, six times as long as it was wide, and would today cover one and half football fields. It had three decks, multiple rooms, and a door built into the side. It was designed to hold an estimated 45,000 animals, Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives, and food for all aboard.
Throughout the long building process, Noah remained faithful and obedient to God’s command, holding onto hope even when the people around him taunted him. Noah and his man-made, God-inspired handiwork must have been a tourist stop and the object of many brutal jokes, but Noah and his sons labored on year after long year. They took God at His word, knowing He would surely fulfill His promise for destruction and for rescue.
When water came in sheets from the sky and rose up from the deep, day after long day, all life not enclosed in the ark perished according to God’s plan. Only Noah and his family along with the animals on the ark survived because God remembered them and His promise to them.
Nearly a year after entering the ark, Noah’s family and all the animals left the flood-weary vessel. Noah built an altar to the LORD, sacrificing some of every clean animal and bird reserved inside the ark for this moment of praise. Smelling the pleasing aroma, the LORD established an everlasting, unconditional covenant with Noah to never again send a worldwide flood to destroy all life, and He caused a bow to appear in the clouds as a visual reminder for countless generations of His enduring promise.
As He did with Adam and Eve, God instructed Noah and his family to “be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it” (Genesis 9:7), but because sin hadn’t been erased with the flood, their efforts wouldn’t be perfect. As we will see, a Rescuer was still needed to crush the serpent.
As you read or listen to Genesis 5-9 today, place yourself within the story as one of the women — either Noah’s wife or one of the wives of Shem, Ham, or Japheth. How would you have felt if your husband was spending years of his life building a giant ark? How might your faith in God have wavered during those years but then have been encouraged as God kept you safe inside the ark as it bobbed along atop the flood waters? Like the women of this story, we have been given an ark — Jesus Christ — to rescue us. Spend a few minutes praising God as Noah and his family did as they left the ark.
Jaime Sherman is a writer and editor for ufcwomen.blog but most importantly a child of the King of kings, the wife of one amazing man for nearly 20 years, and mama of five girls and one boy. Learn more about her adventure in writing and enjoy some free resources on our main page for this series.