Monday, May 24, 2010

Genesis 7:16, 21, 22

"...the LORD closed (the door) behind him. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died."

One of the most popular stories in all of Scripture, so often geared primarily toward children, with bright and colorful images of the animals, Noah, and the boat, "Noah's Ark" is generally presented as a happy tale. Actually, it is one of the most horrific accounts of divine judgment in the entire Bible. How so?

For one thing, there is the magnitude of the Lord's poured-out wrath. "All flesh that moved on the earth...birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth and all mankind.
" Never before, nor since, had the living God displayed His anger on such a scale. Worldwide in scope, utterly thorough in completeness, the waters rose above the highest mountain peaks, sparing nothing nor anyone in their relentless rising. For, as far as the eye could see there were only floating bodies, terrible stench, and rain, for five months. As stern as Noah's prior pronouncements no doubt were, as he warned his mocking neighbors and others about the destruction to come, likely even he couldn't fully grasp the enormity of the deluge until it hit!

Another aspect of the account is the method God determined to use. In contrast to the striking destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire & brimstone, or the sudden confounding of languages at the Tower of Babel, or the various plagues against the Egyptians, the use of water in the Flood was a slow process. Even though water was used in the slaying of Pharaoh's army by the rushing waters of the Red Sea, it was a death quickly done. Not so the Flood, with its incessant rains inch-by-inch eliminating every place upon which to stand, and breathe.

Finally, there were the terrible memories Noah and his family reflected upon for the rest of their lives... the seemingly-endless hours of shrieks, calls for aid, pleas for help, cries for mercy that they could not answer... the pounding of fists on the outside of the ark, as desperate, frantic neighbors sought entrance for their children, if not for themselves... to no avail. The only door had been closed, and by the LORD Himself.

Possible lessons?
*The only true & living God is utterly holy, and hates sin, seriously.

*There is grace with our God, even amid judgment. He didn't have to preserve anyone from the waters' certainty, but He did.

*Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, like the ark, is the only hope of refuge from judgment (Acts 4:12).

*The rainbow reflects His promise to never again destroy the earth by flood (9:11, 15), but His hatred of sin will again result in earth's destruction, this time by fire (II Peter 3:10, 11; Revelation 20:9; 21:1).

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Thank you for your insights on God's Holy Word. I am so blessed by them.