Friday, March 14, 2008

Forty Days and Forty Nights

I thought I'd share some jokes I found recently about Noah and the Ark. I did not make these up, so please, no boos or hisses from the audience.

Q: Which animal on Noah's Ark had the highest level of intelligence?
A: The giraffe.

Q: Why did Noah have to punish the chickens?
A: Because they were using fowl language.

Q: On the Ark, Noah probably got milk from the cows. What did he get from the ducks?
A: Quackers.

Q: What kind of lights were on the Ark?
A: Floodlights.

Q: What animal could Noah not trust?
A: The Cheetah.

Q: Why were the horses aboard the Ark pessimistic?
A: They were always saying neigh.

Q: What did Noah say as he was loading the Ark?
A: Now I herd everything.

Q: Where did Noah keep the bees?
A: In the ark-hives.

Q: Who ran the first canning factory?
A: Noah - he had a boat full of preserved pairs.

Q: Which animal took the most baggage into the Ark?
A: The elephant. He took his trunk.

Q: Which animal took the least with it into the Ark?
A: The rooster. He only brought a comb.

Q: Was Noah the first one out of the Ark?
A: No, he came forth out of the Ark.

Q: When is paper money first mentioned in the Bible?
A: When the dove brought the green back to the Ark.

In thinking about the Ark, though, can you imagine the stench? I'm sure Noah and his family all worked tirelessly to keep the place reasonably sanitary, so they were certainly not idly enjoying a six week cruise on their yacht. And remember, it was only six weeks of rain; it was another 10+ months until they stepped out on dry land! (See Genesis 7:6; 8:13.) Consider also how tired they must have become of one another. All those days cooped up with the same snores, the same complaints, the same annoying habits, the same daily routines, the same old jokes. We're probably fortunate to have seen them all come out alive, and not because of animal attacks!

I can only imagine the thrill that ran through the ship the day the dove brought back the olive leaf. It was so much more than greenery. It represented freshness, new life, renewed hope and something different for the days to come.

I have a new friend who's looking for that very thing. She's felt for the past 10+ years that she's been in a holding pattern of sorts, keeping afloat, with her head above water,but stuck in the mire and muck of the same old thing. I'm so excited for her, because her world may soon broaden and expand with the advent of some new decisions being made. I wish I personally could hold out an olive leaf to assure her of what Noah and his family received the day the dove brought one back for them to see. In this case, God alone can provide that for her, but I hope I get to see the results, and that they are "immeasurably more than all [she] can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20).

All of us have times of life that just plain stink. And sometimes, shoveling the droppings out the window is all we can do to survive! But like Noah, when we come through the storm, genuine worship and celebration are the most appropriate responses. Presumably, according to Genesis 8:20-21, some of the animals were able to reproduce while caged in the big boat, because when Noah and the group finally disembarked, he "built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it." But I love the next sentence most of all: "The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma...." I guess even God gets tired of the stench of life, sometimes!

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