I'll admit. Initially, I was guilty of apathy due to familiarity in regards to this passage. I've read it in the KJV a million times, and I've read several children's versions to my kids many times. I didn't think I was going to take away much that was new. Ah, pride does come before a fall.
This week, I saw a lengthy report on the coming demise of the dollar. Gas prices have been rising, unemployment is getting worse, and our government is printing dollars like monopoly money. I was filled with dread as I realized that we probably are on the edge of a second depression and that my children will likely grow up in a very different world than I did. I lost sleep over it several nights in a row. Then on Sunday, upon returning to my Bible study, I was struck between the eyes with what I had been missing.
Genesis 7 finds 500 year old Noah doing right and blessed by God, but suddenly faced with the apocalypse. God gives him instructions to prepare for the disasters. He tells Noah what to build and how and who to take along, but that's all he knew for 100 years. For 100 years he obeyed by faith, knowing the disaster would come, but not when exactly--knowing that he and his family would survive, but not exactly knowing what life would hold for them after that.
Seven days before the flood, God gave Noah warning and told him how many days and nights the flood would last, but not how long it would take for the waters to abate. Still there was an unknown future and a need to just trust God.
Now I don't pretend to compare my family's current experience to Noah's, but what I can understand from Noah's story is that God has always, and will always, prepare and care for His children. When disaster looms, and when disasters comes, we can trust God to take care of us and carry us into the future!