In Genesis chapter 6 we read about Noah building the ark according to God's commandment. We can estimate the length of time it took Noah to build the ark from a few verses. Genesis 5:32 and Genesis 6:10 mention that Noah was 500 years old. Genesis 7:6 reads "Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth." This tell us that the ark took about 100 years to build.
A question that comes to mind is why did it take that long? Obviously it's a very large vessel built by a 500 year old man, but why did God allow this to take 100 years to build? Remember at that time the earth was filled with corruption and unrighteousness but God didn't destroy it yet. The Bible reads "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth." (Genesis 6:11-12) Yet God tolerated man's atrocities for over 100 years while the ark was being built! How can God let evil flourish for that long? Even today we might find ourselves asking the same question. We're living in a time where innocent people are being murdered, Churches being burnt, Christians' homes and shops being destroyed, and yet God is letting it all happen. It might seem to us that God is looking the other way while evil does its work. By human standards, this does not seem right. There are some laws called "Abandonment of Persons" where one could be imprisoned for abandoning a person that must be cared for. Yet God seems to abandon His own. According to our human laws, God could get Himself imprisoned!
But God says "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways..." (Isaiah 55:8) God knows and sees all this evil, but because of His great mercy He waits on the evil doers to give them a chance to repent. God mercifully waited 100 years for Noah's generation to repent. Some say the ark took 120 years to build, the same time He granted mankind to repent as mentioned in Genesis 6:3. The building of the ark was right before the eyes of everyone serving as a warning that destruction is coming if they don't consider their ways. It was out of God's mercy that the ark took that long to build. Even today, God is mercifully waiting for the people to offer repentance and God would gladly and happily accept them (Luke 10:15).
If God gave us authority today over all the evil that is happening around us in the world, we would say "ENOUGH! This ends NOW! No more chances to repent from your sins." But then God would look at our sins and tell us the very same words "ENOUGH! This ends NOW! No more chances to repent from your sins" reminding us that "...with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you" (Matthew 7:2)
We thank you Lord God for being a just and merciful judge. We gladly surrender all judgment to You. We pray that you delay your judgment even more that they may get another chance to repent, and we ask You O Lord to deal the same way with us. Let it be according to Your mercy O Lord, and not according to our sins.
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