Read His Words Before Ours!
Noah and his ark are infamous from infancy onward in American culture, from infants sleeping in rainbow-decorated nurseries to preschoolers scribbling pictures of the ark.
The rainbow reminds, “God keeps His promises.”
We focus on Noah and family safe in the ark, and feel warm and cozy.
We don’t want to consider people being washed away as waters sprang up from the earth while rains rushed down.
So, we make jokes like, “Need a boat? I NOAH guy.”
What happened in Genesis 6-9 is no laughing matter, and though it’s uncomfortable to discuss, I encourage you to stick this out. I pray as we study together today, we will marvel at the gracious faithfulness of God.
Let’s view this story from a VERY different perspective, GOD’s.
“When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved.” (Genesis 6:5-6)
If we’ve ever loved someone deeply, we may understand how God felt. As a mother, my heart breaks when I see one of my children make a bad decision resulting in pain.
One of my favorite books is the Jesus Storybook Bible; I’m often moved to tears as I read to my kids. Lloyd-Jones does an EXCELLENT job of helping us see God’s heart overflowing with a “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love” for each and every one of us.
From the moment sin first entered the world, God’s LOVE moved Him to act. Yes, He made Adam and Eve leave the garden, but not before He promised one day He would make right all that was wrong.
And from that day forward, God has been at work to restore His broken creation and redeem all that has been lost.
Noah’s cultural setting was grim, and ripe for redemption.
“God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth. Then God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to every creature, for the earth is filled with wickedness because of them[.]” (Genesis 6: 12-13)
God’s pain-filled heart knew His people would destroy themselves by their own wicked ways. Out of love, He stepped in to stop them.
Mercifully, BEFORE He carried out His just consequence of destruction, He told Noah of His rescue plan, and invited Noah to preach rescue to those around him. (2 Peter 2:5)
In the book of Joel, the prophet describes God’s unrelenting desire for His people to RETURN to Him.
This is the Lord’s declaration–
Turn to me with all your heart,
With fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Tear your hearts,
and not just your clothes,
And return to the Lord your God.
For he is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger and abounding in faithful love,
And he relents from sending disaster.” (Joel 2:12-13)
God WANTS us to choose Him.
But He never forces us to do so.
As Noah obediently built the ark, those around him continued to reject God’s call to return.
It’s as if we watch Psalm 14:1 unfold before our eyes:
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There’s no God.’
They are corrupt; they do vile deeds.
There is no one who does good.”
Noah received God’s instruction to build a never-before-known ark, and he and his family spent years completing the project. (Genesis 6:14-22)
Perhaps God was giving the people more time to repent.
But no one did.
Finally, in the fullness of time, God’s final instructions came to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)
Still, for seven more days, God waited. (Genesis 7:10)
Was He aching for someone, even one, to return to Him?
Just as we cannot plumb the depths of God’s love, we cannot know the expanse of His pain at our rejection. The time had come, the Lord’s hand closed the door to the ark, and the floodgates unleashed their justice. (Genesis 7:11-16)
Amidst the destruction, the prophet Joel reminds us God always longs for restoration.
We see evidence of this as finally, the waters recede, and Noah and his family, along with allllll the animals, set foot on dry land. (Genesis 8:15-19)
NOW comes the rainbow, and God’s promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood. (Genesis 9:12-17) Each time we see a rainbow, we can remember God is faithful.
We see His faithfulness and longing for restoration again when God Himself carried out the Ultimate Rescue Plan, sending Jesus to bear the penalty for OUR sins, dying so we could live. (John 3:16-17) He then rose from the dead, conquering sin and death forever!
Jesus has provided the way of salvation, extending His grace freely to all who will accept.
The choice is ours.
Noah’s story ended with a fresh earth and a rainbow, testifying to God’s faithfulness.
For all believers, our story on earth transitions to eternity, to a new heaven and earth where Christ Himself is enthroned with an un-ending rainbow. (Revelation 4:3)
From His throne, Christ declares, “Look, I am making everything new.” (Revelation 21:5)
If you haven’t trusted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please don’t miss the boat (pun intended). Reach out to someone TODAY and ask how you can be certain of spending eternity in God’s glorious presence.
I can’t wait to feel the warmth of His embrace!
More than anything, I would love for you to spend eternity with me, with JESUS!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!