Noah's Traveling Companion
(Genesis chapters 6 through 9)
Mrs. Noah has never been the focus of the story of the building of the ark and the flood and for good reason. God needed a man for this assignment. There is no doubt that it was Noah that God used to give mankind one last chance to repent before He destroyed the earth. But without the kind of woman she was, I believe it would have been more difficult for Noah to achieve what he did. Let me explain why I say that.
God obviously was Noah's only source of direction in the "ark project." It was from God that Noah got the plans for the ark and it was from God that Noah got his calling to preach repentance.
Mrs. Noah's part was that of a true helpmeet. Her husband was given an unusual assignment by God, to say the least. She had to have as much faith as Noah did. Only her faith had to be in two people, in God and in her husband.
- Mrs. Noah loved her husband.
She became the wife of a preacher. For one hundred and twenty years while Noah and her sons were building the ark her husband warned the people of God's coming judgment. The Bible records that he had no converts in all that time. Being the wife of a preacher I know the heartache the man of God feels when his preaching falls on deaf ears. Noah's wife shared his grief.
Many of the people that Noah preached to were friends and family. Behind his back they probably told her she was married to a "fruitcake" and she needed to leave him and live a normal life. Yet she didn't laugh at him. She didn't mock him. She didn't criticize him. She didn't scold him. At the end of each day her husband came home tired from his labors and seeking rest. She probably sent him off for a hot shower while she fixed his favorite meal. Then she sat down with him and listened as he recounted the day's events. He was looking for support and she was right there to give it to him.
Mrs. Noah was not like Mrs. Job who blamed her husband for their circumstances. Mrs. Noah encouraged her husband to go on and do the Lord's work during those long years of hardship and disappointment. Other than the Lord, if he couldn't find encouragment with his wife, he wasn't going to find it anywhere.
(Ephesians 5:33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. The right man for the job will always need the right woman to back him up and encourage him in his labors.
- Mrs. Noah labored with her husband.
I imagine that Noah had a work crew who helped with the building of the ark. I don't think that one man and three boys could build such a tremendous structure by themselves even if they did have one hundred and twenty years in which to complete it. So assuming they had a crew who worked with them somebody had to feed all those hungry men. Mrs. Noah stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) and took charge of the kitchen and, along with her daughters-in-law, made some delicious home-cooked meals for all the workers.
There was probably canning to be done as they would be at sea for a long time and not have access to the local market. Maybe she felt the need to make extra clothes and blankets to occupy her time. Who knows what they would need. Her contributions were not obvious, they were "behind the scenes", like any good wive's should be, but they were necessary. She would be in charge of the "galley" on the ark and I imagine she took the necessary steps to prepare for the unexpected once the voyage was underway.
Over the years she had raised three boys who, were loyal to their father and, stood shoulder to shoulder with him in his important work on the ark. Now she was busy training her three daughters-in-law to be good helpmeets, wives, and future mothers in the new world.
After the flood there would be a brand new world to replenish. She would also be a part of this. Her daily tasks may have not changed much but they took on a whole new meaning for her. And in laboring with her husband on the "ark project" she was also laboring for the Lord.
(Colossians 3:23) And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
- Mrs. Noah suffered loss with her husband.
No doubt many neighbors, friends and family helped Noah over the years in the constuction of the ark; yet not one of them believed his story about rain and a flood or God's punishment for man's sinful ways. In all those years of building and preaching, building and preaching, building and preaching, not one person believed her husband or trusted their God.
Neighbors, friends, and other family members, people they had known literally for hundreds of years, were all lost in the flood because of their stubborness, their unbelief and their pride. Mrs. Noah shared her husband's grief as they both suffered the loss of loved ones.
They may not have fully understood what God had in store for them in the future but one thing they did know was that the world they lived in was so wicked God wanted to destroy it. They knew that God was good and God was just in His punishment on the world. They also knew that He would provide for them and make the new world habitable for them.
Therefore, they didn't want to take anything with them that would defile it. They left behind land, a home, material possessions. I imagine they only took with them what they needed to survive. Everything else that tied them to the world that God now hated was left behind. But they were trading it all in for something much better and more lasting. What they lost in the pre-flood world would be multiplied in the new world and God would bless it.
(Mark 10:29-30) And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
- Mrs. Noah left with her husband.
She left behind one world for another on the voyage of her life. She had no idea where she was going. How many times do we require, or even demand, to know from God our destination before we will even consider "packing" for the journey? (Every head bowed; every eye closed; nobody looking around!!!)
She didn't know how long she would be on the ark? Should she take her winter clothes or just the summer ones? What about a new hat? Surely she deserved one. After all she was giving up she should have some kind of "martyr's" crown!
She could have decided she didn't want to go. What was the sense of it all anyway? What was so wrong with the world? Why did God pick her husband to be the bearer of bad news? Everyone hated him and because of what he was saying they hated her too. She used to have a lot more friends. After about the first 50 years people had had enough of Noah and his gloom and doom forecast and they eventually all disappeared. She could have stayed behind and "blended" back into the environment like Mrs. Lot did.
Where does this kind of wicked thinking come from? The devil, obviously. And don't think he didn't try and get her to change her mind. If he could make her doubt God's plans, like he did with Eve, he could get Noah off-track too. Ladies, if the devil can't get your husband he will come after you. Don't ever forget that. (Go back and study the mistakes of Eve.)
Mrs. Noah was given no guarantees by either her husband or God. All she had was a warning (Genesis 6:17 - And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.) and a promise (Genesis 6:18 - But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.). That was all she needed. She left, with her husband, not knowing what the future would hold for her.
Did she have fears? Probably. Did she have doubts? Maybe. She did have a choice though. And she chose to follow her husband. She trusted him. She believed in him. She loved him. Why? Because Noah trusted God. Noah believed in God and Noah loved God. He was her example.
(Mark 10:21) Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
- Mrs. Noah lived (survived) with her husband.
She was one of only eight people who were saved. (1 Peter 3:20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
When she stepped off that ark after nearly a year's time the world was a different place. She didn't recognize it anymore. No doubt she was a different woman, too. She had been through a unique experience and I imagine it brought her closer to God and to her husband. God had proved Himself. He did what He said He would do. Her husband had proved himself. He did what God told him to do and his family was saved just like God had promised. And Mrs. Noah proved herself. All her doubts and fears and questions were washed away in the waters of the flood. She stood by her husband and she was safe in God's will for her.
(John 10:9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The next order of business was obeying God's command of replenishing the earth. The Bible does not record that Mrs. Noah gave birth to any other children in the new world. It's not improbable since Noah lived for another three hundred odd years after the flood. But even if she didn't there was plenty to do in the line of gardening and also helping to raise the next generations. (Genesis 9:1) And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Mrs. Noah was the ideal wife for a man with an such an unusual commission. She stood by her husband in the time of his greatest trial. She endured the ridicule directed at him and she encouraged him to continue. She believed in him when no one else would. She was a woman that was right with God and with her husband. In my opinion she was a Proverbs 31 woman.