Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. It is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate for sure. We have been busy hanging out with family this week so I asked Julie to cover lesson four today. I am so thankful to have friends who are seeking God and who challenge me. It is a blessing. I was challenged and encouraged by what Julie had to say and I know you will be too!
I know there has been a lot covered so far, so if you are a little behind we would still love to hear your thoughts on each lesson (I am a little behind on responding to comments too!). You can still go back and leave a comment anytime! We are so thankful for those of you who are taking this journey through Genesis with us. God is teaching me so much…I hope you are hearing Him speak to you too!
The account of Noah and the flood is so much more than a cute children’s story. As a mom, I have often focused on the “easy” parts of the story: Noah’s obedience to God’s word, the unique animals God called to board the boat, and His promise to never flood the world again (rainbow). But as I studied the Scripture this week, I saw that I have been glossing over the divine judgment, death, and destruction involved in Noah’s story and feel an urgency to make sure that part of the story is not deleted.
Noah was living in a corrupt and violent culture; humanity had become thoroughly evil and God’s heart grieved. Consequently, He determined to wipe mankind from the face of the earth . . . but not all of them. God chose to save, protect, and preserve Noah and his family. It was God’s grace that empowered Noah to live righteously and to walk with God. Noah did not earn God’s favor, but received it as a gift.
God told Noah his plan to put an end to all people and directed Noah to build an ark. God’s instructions to Noah made little sense and required a “radical reliance on the word of God” (p. 102).
While building the ark, there were many voices in Noah’s culture that were inviting him to live like the rest of the word. Voices that suggested he should not build the ark. Voices that ridiculed his lonely stand against the world. But Noah listened to one voice—the voice of God giving instructions and making promises (p. 99). What a challenge for us today to make sure that it is God’s voice we are listening to.
When Noah and his family were safely in the ark, the flood came. All the people who rejected God and had refused to listen to Noah’s warnings were swept away. It’s a horrific picture, but is not one we can gloss over because it “prefigures what will happen to all who refuse to enter into the safety and protection provided in Christ. The day is coming when all those who have rejected Christ will be destroyed although next time it won’t be by flood but by fire (2 Pet. 3:7).” (p. 104).
Many people today refuse to believe that judgment really is coming. It’s uncomfortable. It seems so harsh and possibly “old-fashioned.” Many people may laugh at the idea. But it’s truth, and it’s dangerous to delete it from the story. “The story of Noah and the ark shouts to all those who persist in living apart from God about what is to come. It invites all to accept God’s offer of protection and safety found only by being united to Christ” (p. 104).
These chapters left me with questions and caused me to wrestle with some of the content; but, as I saw Noah and his family and the animals protected inside the ark, I gained a deeper understanding of how the ark symbolizes our salvation through Jesus Christ. All who “hide” in Christ will be protected from judgment. The ark bore the judgment of God in the form of the flood. Noah didn’t escape judgment but was protected in it. Likewise, Jesus bore our sins on his body so that we can be saved. We won’t escape judgment, but are safe and secure because Jesus took our punishment on the cross. Ultimately, I choose to trust God’s character and sovereignty and thank him for his grace.
As you made the connections between the ark and how it pictures Christ, which aspects were most meaningful to you and why?
This is an online study of The Promised One by Nancy Guthrie.
Past lessons can be found here: lesson one