Gen. 8:20-21 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the LORD was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, "I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood."
Why was the Lord pleased with Noah’s offering? He offered up as a sacrifice those animals that the Lord had approved of for that purpose. Noah knew what pleased the Lord and he did it. He could have chosen any of the multitudes of animals on the ark for his sacrifice, but he didn’t. He chose to obey the Lord all the way. Why do you suppose his heart was so set on total obedience to the Lord?
God had taken notice of Noah’s heart before the flood. Of all the people on earth He was pleased with Noah’s faithfulness. God spared Noah’s life because his life was right with God. Not only did God save Noah’s life, He spared the lives of his family. Can you imagine how much gratitude Noah must have had at that time of his life? God protected him from certain destruction. And not only that, He spared the lives of those who were most dear to his heart.
God enabled Noah to do that which was seemingly impossible. He built the ark. Scripture doesn’t tell us how much help he had, if any. The ark was an imposing and impressive project. It was larger than anything else ever built at the time. It was built with much great sacrifice. Think about the massive amount of lumber and materials it took. Consider the amount of time and effort which were put into this project.
The ark was built at the expense of much mockery. I am sure that no one could ever figure out what the ark was going to be used for. It had to be built on land and because of its size it could not be moved. So here was this massive boat being built sitting on land. What good was it except to look at? Why would anyone build such a thing? What a waste of time, money, and energy! Had Noah gone mad?
With the help God provided, Noah built the ark. He had done what seemed like the impossible to do. How it must have blessed Noah’s heart to know that with God all things are truly possible! And when the ark was done, the animals ushered in, the door was shut, and the rains came, the ark floated without any leaks. Noah had plenty of time on the ark to think about these things and how the Lord had shown kindness to him. Is it any wonder that Noah did what was pleasing to the Lord in the offering he offered up to Him? The Lord was pleased with Noah and promised to never again purge the world of its population with the rains, even though he knew the heart of man and how it was prone to wander from Him.
May we too reflect on God’s goodness and kindness towards us and offer up to Him sacrifices that are pleasing to Him. The sacrifice that pleases God is the sacrifice of a heart totally yielded to Him, a heart that obeys God completely whether it makes sense at the time or not, a heart that trusts God to know what is best in all He gives us to do.