I am fascinated by the world before the flood. There’s even an amazing word for it: antediluvian. It summons up images of ancient creatures with leathery skin and alien landscapes. The antediluvian world actually was different from our world, and I love to think about what was actually going down before the rains came down.
If the flood is like a tiny funnel in history, then just eight wide-eyed, soaking-wet people link us to that pre-flood world. All the information we have about the flood and what came before it comes from these lonely eight folks.
This is why Noah’s wife is so interesting. She is the new Eve. She is the new mother of the world. God taught a whole new Eve how to “be still and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7), and she became God’s fresh start for womanhood.
Still, patience cannot have been easy for Noah’s wife. After all, no one had ever seen rain before the flood. The water on earth was in the oceans and the firmament, creating a canopy of water around the earth. When the flood began, the water poured down out of the sky and shot up from the ground—a sight I’ll bet was both amazing, and terrifying.
But before all the terror and excitement of the flood, there was a long, hard wait. It took 120 years to complete the ark and fill it with supplies. Noah’s project probably looked insane to the neighbors because Genesis tells us that he was the ONLY ONE who walked with God (Genesis 7:1). There must have been little external assurance that his work was on the right track.
It makes you wonder what kind of crazy debauchery the rest of the world was caught up in, but suffice it to say, they had really different priorities. So when God asked Noah to have faith in Him and prepare for a natural disaster no one could even imagine, Noah crossed over from different to downright loony.
Noah’s sweet wife must have wanted to scream when she heard her husband was building a “boat” because the “rain” was coming to “flood” the earth. I mean, honestly, it must have all sounded imaginary to her!
But God called her to wait patiently, even as the waters rose and the earth gave way (Psalm 46:2). He called her to believe the storm would clear and that His covenant was true (Genesis 6:18). Noah and his wife were in the middle of a storm they did not understand, but they waited for the Lord, trusting Him to be their refuge and strength. God invited them to simply obey, and He was faithful to deliver them.
It is easy to forget that God is in total control. Walking in faith might seem like a foolish gamble, but it is the walk He has called us to. His word may seem wilder than the antediluvian world, but His word is always true, always sure and reliable.
We serve a God who fulfills his promises, and it is His delight to reveal Himself amidst a swirl of troubles. He calls us to be still and wait patiently, and in His goodness, even gifts us with the faith to do so (Ephesians 2:8). Even before the floodwaters swell over our head, He has already prepared a safe passage.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”