Adam was an unrighteous man: the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom. Adam's decision was based upon an immediate desire, not upon an ultimate desire to obey God's directive.
Noah was a righteous man: he built an ark and he did everything just as the Lord commanded him. Noah's ultimate desire was to obey God – knowing the work that would be required; ignoring what must have been the thinking of those around him.
Dr. Robertson McQilken was the President of Columbia Bible College, and through the years I have heard nothing but praise for his leadership, respect for the quality of man that he is. Every indication is that Dr. McQilken was a righteous man – by choice. While President his wife developed Alzheimer’s disease and she became terrified whenever she was not physically able to see her husband.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25). To this point Dr. McQilken’s love for his wife was not in conflict with being a college President, from speaking throughout the world. This changed. Dr. McQilken had to make a choice…and he resigned his Presidency and stopped his travels so that, to the very best of his ability, he could remain in his wife’s field of vision until she died.
Dr. McQilken lived In Partnership with God – as College President, and as Caregiver for his wife – knowing that this decision would consume his life for weeks, for months, for years to come.
Unlike Dr. McQilkin, I had little to resign from, no real decision to make, when Sally Jo broke her right arm when she slipped and fell on our tile floor. She was in such pain that I had to call ambulance to take her to the hospital. The x-ray showed a clean break about an inch below her shoulder, but it also showed that the bone had slid about 30% to one side. Surgery was possible, but this would require opening up the shoulder area – to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Due to the location of the break, the best treatment was to put her right arm into a sling and to be very careful!!! Her arm and hand began to swell: the easy choice was made to have a ring cut off to maintain circulation to the finger. No circulation, no finger! Suddenly our world changed, big time!
I began doing almost everything with or for Sally Jo. Try living with a wife who has a very painful arm, even while taking a narcotic pain killer. My taking showers with my wife sounds romantic – until you realize that I am in the relatively small space of a shower – with a wife who is in pain, whose arm is out of it’s sling and is black and blue from shoulder to beyond her elbow. Out of the shower I gently dry her off, and then, very carefully, get her dressed into what has become a very limited wardrobe, and back into its sling. During the day I get her a drink, hand her a book, prepare and cut her food, and get her out of and re-settled/comfortable into a recliner – with ice on her arm that should be 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Night/sleep is in the recliner. At night the ice routine does not continue – unless the pain becomes intense. Regardless of pain levels I must get up with Sally Jo at least once.
Dr. McQilken’s wife knew little of her physical condition, of the world around her. He cared for his wife for weeks, for months, for years. Sally Jo is acutely aware of her physical condition, of the world around her. I will care for her for a few weeks. Either way, the work of caring for a person you love is physically and emotionally draining.
Both Adam and God knew what God required of them. Adam disobeyed God. Noah obeyed God.