Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 6:5-8 (NKJV)
I have always loved maps as a kid. To be completely honest, I would not be upset if someone bought me a brand new Rand McNally road atlas (only $15 on Amazon!). Something about the roads, paths, directions, and populations struck a chord in me and still does. As we would take long road trips for vacation each summer, I would be the guide. Along the way, I would take note of the cities we would go through. In what quadrant are they located? How far away do we have left once we are in this or that city? What is the population?
Have you ever wondered about the population of the earth before God sent the flood? Because of this curiosity within me, I thought it would be fun to see. According to Google (where you go for all your information needs), if the growth rate were the same as it was in the year 2000, there would have been 750 million people living at that time! The number goes up to around 4 billion when you consider the age at which people died pre-flood.
That's it. One man found grace. Whether the number is 750 million (more than twice the population of the U.S.) or 4 billion, this idea is still staggering. And even more so when you see that Noah was righteous, but still needed grace.
We see a scenario similar to this one played out several times in scripture:
- Abraham pleading for Sodom in Genesis 18:32 "Would you destroy it for the sake of ten?"
- The Lord looking for someone who might stand in the gap in Ezekiel "...but I found no one."
With the passing of Billy Graham recently, I have stopped many times to think if there is a man or woman who might stand in the gap for the sake of America?
I wonder if we could be found righteous and shown grace to save a generation? And if that is the case, would we even be willing to build or do something? Or perhaps we would go the opposite direction as Jonah did when Nineveh needed him most.
So, what's your Ark?
What dream has God put inside you that could save a generation?