Welcome back friends! Today we are going to finish our 4-part mini-series called 2020 Olympic Games: A Microcosm of the Days of Noah. So far, we have covered:
- Were the 2020 Olympics a Microcosm of the Days of Noah?
- What were the Days of Noah Like?
- The Days of Noah Through the Lens of Romans 1
Day 1 included a spoiler alert that hinted not everything about the Olympics was evil. True, we used the Games as a microcosm of society, to highlight evil that is seen everywhere. But today is going to be fun! To begin with, be reminded of these passages regarding the days of Noah:
Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.~Genesis 6:9
…Noah, a preacher of righteousness…~2 Peter 2:5
Yes, in the midst of an evil and perverse generation, God took notice of a righteous man and used him to perpetuate life on earth once again after the flood destroyed the earth and all those outside the ark. What does that tell us?
First, regardless of how evil the world becomes, there will be those who God uses for His purposes. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth, so that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. Who among us has a heart completely His? That is my desire…how about you?
Secondly, Noah was a normal guy who happened to have the skills necessary to oversee the building of a vessel never before imagined. He fully followed the Lord’s instructions and accomplished one of the greatest building feats ever. What skills do you possess that the Lord may choose to use in these last days?
Thirdly, Noah was faithful to his calling. He was a preacher of righteousness who carried out his mission. 2 Timothy 4:2 exhorts us to preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. Are we faithfully sharing the Word and the grace of God in season and out?
Fourthly, Noah was faithful, despite the fact no one heeded his warnings. Despite his attempts to save mankind from the coming judgment, only Noah and his family survived. Have you heeded the Lord’s warnings, and are you safely inside the ark of salvation? If not, now is the day!
So, let’s harken back to the Olympics, where some “Noah’s” emerged! There were those who, in the shadow of evil, used the skills and talents God gave them as a platform to speak boldly, giving glory to God and sharing the gospel in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. They were faithful to their calling! Not every human on earth during Noah’s day was evil…and not every athlete at the Olympics was evil. In fact, these modern-day “Noah’s” took their charge seriously! Let’s meet some of them!
“Let me start off by saying, what an honor it is to be able to represent not only my country, but also the kingdom of God. What I have in Christ is far greater than what I have or don’t have in life…My faith was being tested all week…I just kept hearing God say, “Just focus on me”. It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled. I no longer run for self recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is already set in stone. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus has given me everything. Records come and go. The glory of God is eternal. Thank you Father.~Sydney McLaughlin – American multiple gold medal winner, including a world record in the women’s 400 meter hurdles.
“Father God may your will be done, may your peace fill us up, may we praise you no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by your strength to give it our all and may we forever be in the awe of your goodness! Thank you for bringing us to this very moment 🙏🏻.” Beneath her swim cap, she wore a white cap with the words “Soli Deo Gloria” (Glory to God alone.)~ Tatjana Schoemaker – Australian gold medal winner and world record holder in the women’s 200 meter breastroke, posted on Instagram prior to her event.
“It’s the reason I’m in the sport—not just to go fast times, but to inspire people and show them where I find my happiness with what God’s given me…Trust what God is doing, whether it be a rough point in your life or a top pinnacle in your life. You’ve just got to take pauses and really trust what He’s doing.”~Caeleb Dressel – American winner of 5 swimming gold medals and a world record in the men’s 100 meter butterfly, comment from previous years.
“Missing the Olympic team in 2016 has made me a stronger Christian athlete and words can’t describe the gratitude I’m feeling right now. In 2016 I allowed self-doubt to determine my destiny and became a victim to track & field press…as I gained a deeper connection to God each year I noticed my faith conquering ALL doubt.”~Kendra “Keni” Harrison – American silver medal winner in the 100 meter hurdles, and world record holder (set in 2016)
“I kind of had to go through life and figure out what’s important. It takes a lot of failure and mistakes and humility to be able to see that I need a relationship with God…I’m super grateful because I think that He’s always really been very precise about exactly where He wanted me to be and He’s put certain people in my life to really help me.I’m just super grateful, so I think for me, as I continue to grow into a woman and a woman of faith, I try to make sure that I’m a light.”~Kelsey Plum – American gold medal winner, women’s 3×3 basketball
“Thank You, Lord…I thank God for having a team who is there fighting and working together for one goal and one dream for the Philippines.”~Hidilyn Diaz – first Filipino Olympic gold medal winner, women’s 55 kilogram weight lifting
“It’s by the grace of God I’m even able to move my feet. I just leave it in His hands and I pray that all the practice … my coaches put my through pays off…“It feels amazing. I love representing the U.S. I … love living here. I love it. And I’m so happy I get to represent USA!”~Tamyra Mensah-Stock – American gold medalist, women’s wrestling
“God has given me this amazing ability to do what I do, so I’m going to go out and I’m going to take a hold of it, and I’m going to do it because it’s more than just winning a gold. It’s people I can impact in a positive direction on a daily basis through what I do — that would otherwise have no input from a Christian source.”~Vincent Hancock – American gold medal winner and Olympic record holder, skeet shooting
“As a follower of Christ, our main goal is to live in the image of Jesus…The only thing I can do is thank God because without Him, I wouldn’t be able to do anything I’ve done this season.”~Athing Mu – American gold medalist, women’s 800 meters
“We always start with our prayers and songs, and we always end with our prayers and songs, and that song says that our God is a loving God, and that while we always tend to go stray from what He expects from us, He still loves us, and gives us good things.”~Jerry Tuwai, Fiji men’s rugby team captain, after winning gold
“I just want to say thank you God for the opportunity to be here and do what I love.”~Italo Ferriera – Brazil’s first-ever gold medal winner in surfing
(See some of these examples here.)
How encouraging to see righteousness flourish in the midst of worldliness! I’m proud of these athletes from around the globe who chose to give glory to God! This is confirmation that not every Olympian is totally evil, and neither is every person in this world. But unrighteousness is coming upon our world like a runaway freight train. Let’s join these modern-day Noah’s in living lives that glorify God, and let’s speak of His goodness and faithfulness every day of our lives!