Alone

Genesis 7:1-4, 17-24; 8:1-5, 13-16, 20-22 (day five)   Over many years of Student Ministry, I have heard students echo these thoughts:  “I am the only Believer in my class”,  “I am the only Christian on the team”,  “I am the only Follower of Christ in my section”.   I also hear adults declare the same dilemma.  “I am the only Believer in my office.”  “I am the only Christ Following parent on our team.”  Noah and his family knew this same feeling.  Genesis 7:1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.”  We often feel isolated and alone in our faith because of a culture that has become “Post-Christian”.

There is encouragement found in Genesis 7 for “righteous” (that comes from a relationship with Christ) people who “walk with God” (in step with His Spirit).

God PROTECTS believers.  If we have the Lord and follow Him, our souls are safe.

God PROVIDES for believers.  If we trust God and His love for us, we already have what we really need.

God REMEMBERS believers.  He is always aware of our circumstances and our condition.

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In Their Own Eyes

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 7:1-4, 17-24; 8:1-5, 13-16, 20-22 (day four)

Why do so many seek to discount the message of Genesis?  Why do they question the account of creation?  Why do they try to limit the scope and impact of the flood?  It is a tactical attack!  In order to destroy a complete system of belief, the focus must be on the elimination of the foundation of the structure.  If the foundation crumbles, everything above it collapses.

It was Satan’s original attack in the garden.  He cast doubt on the truth of what God said.  “Has God said,…you will not surely die.”  His attacks are the very same today.  If we question the truth of God’s Word, then how can we believe anything that God says?  With no authority over us, we can then decide for ourselves what is truth.  How can we trust Him for our salvation?  Do we even need salvation?

In Genesis 7, the world came to that conclusion…they could do what they want.  It did not work in Noah’s time…it sure won’t work today either!

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Gone

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 7:1-4, 17-24; 8:1-5, 13-16, 20-22 (day three)

“Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”  The images of a smiling Noah in his floating petting zoo adorning the wallpaper of many a toddler’s room will fade away when we consider for a few moments the actual account of this family’s journey through the deluge.  For instance, the family members conceivably kept personal possessions during their voyage.  But the culture from which those possessions had come was gone.  They had not only lost everything, they had lost the frame of reference for everything.  This family could not rely on any of those markers of place.  The only thing that remained the same was a person: God.  They restarted the human race from that eternal reference point.  What can you and I do when we begin with God?

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God Doesn’t Forget

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 7:1-4, 17-24; 8:1-5, 13-16, 20-22 (day two) But God remembered Noah…8:1a

Have you ever received a promise from God only to have to wait to have it fulfilled? How long did you have to wait? A month, a year, 120 years….probably not. God choose Noah and gave him instructions that came with the promise of salvation amidst destruction. Noah continued to believe and trust that promise. 40 days and 40 nights of rain may seem insignificant to 120 years of building an ark, but I would imagine there were some questions during the deluge. When will the rain stop? Will we ever see land again? God doesn’t forget. He knew all along the trial that Noah would have to endure. When then time was right the promise was fulfilled. If God makes a promise, you can bet not matter how long it rains, he will keep his word.

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Peter and Noah

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 7:1-4, 17-24; 8:1-5, 13-16, 20-22 (day one)

“In the last days mockers will come. . .saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?  For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning.’ (but what they forget is) the world was (before) destroyed with water. . but now. . .is being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgement and the destruction of ungodly men.”–2 Peter 3:3-7

Noah was Peter’s favorite story.   He refers to it over and over in his letters.  I don’t know whether you believe in God’s coming wrath.  Peter absolutely did.  He learned this conviction from Jesus.  Saw it illustrated in Noah.

For Peter, the ark was no cartoon or children’s story.  It was a sober symbol of God’s holiness and patience and judgement and salvation for those who believe!

The happiest (and holiest) people I know believe in judgement.  It warns them.  Helps them.   Do you believe in the wrath to come?

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Noah’s ark

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 6 (day seven)

“He was made alive in the Spirit; in which He (Jesus) also went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient. . .in the days of Noah. . .in which a few. . .were brought safely through the water.  Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you”–1 Peter 3:18-21.

The ark was a well known symbol in the early church.  A story of salvation from wrath, of a remnant, of separation from lost society.

Peter makes one comparison and one contrast.  Comparison–In Noah’s story (and Jesus’) God is making proclamation to spirits (people) who either were, or will be, in prison for their unbelief.  Salvation is always provided by God and received by faith.  Contrast–Noah was saved from the flood (judgement).  We are saved through the flood (baptism) by dying to self and joining life to Christ.

What is the Spirit of God saying as you read the story of Noah?

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Brokenhearted

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 6 (day six)

“The Lord regretted that he had made humankind, and he was highly offended (or broken hearted.)” Genesis 6:6, NET

A sovereign God doesn’t regret in the same way we do (1 Samuel 15:28), as if he wished he had done something different in order to achieve a different outcome. God’s regret is an expression of his grief over the wickedness of man, not a stab at his sovereignty. That aside, consider His broken heart. What God now saw in humankind was no longer good, and the reality of humankind’s self-determination (and God’s judgement) was settling in; humankind was exponentially experiencing suffering and death. It was ugly; it was wicked, and God was brokenhearted. If you have children, you know the feeling.

God is not indifferent, and that is glorious! God is not indifferent to your sin either; he is brokenhearted, so much so He sent a cure for His broken heart (and yours), his very own Son.

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Control

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 6 (day five) 

Are you like me? When things get out of control I struggle with impatience. I want to hurry. I want to “get on with it” or “get it over with”. It really is a coping mechanism clearly indicating that I am not in control. Good news… God is in control. I believe it. I feel it. I know it. One of the many reasons, He is patient and faithful to His promises and character- even when things seem to be out of control. The way He deals with Noah and the “wicked generation” is more evidence of this patient and just judgement. There was time and opportunity for them to repent and turn to God. They did not. There was judgement and justice.  IN God’s perfect timing, He prepared Noah and acted.

God continues to be patient and in control. 2 Peter 3:9– “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” His patience is His kindness and an indication He is in control. That is really GOOD NEWS!!

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Compassion

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 6 (day four) 

It is a story of compassion. In the midst of His anger toward all flesh, God reaches out to Noah, the one man that found favor in His eyes.  He will preserve Noah and his family to re-populate the world after the flood.  Noah will also be the instrument to preserve all of the animals of flesh.  God made a covenant with Noah, stated in Genesis 9:9-16, to never destroy the earth again with flood.  The rainbow is the sign of His covenant.

This story is a model of God’s compassion.  We see it again in Isaiah 54:9-10.  God promises that He will never remove His lovingkindness from Israel.  It is His covenant promise!  He demonstrates His compassion in spite of our sin and rebellion against Him.  Have you seen God’s compassion in your life?  Have you recognized your sinfulness before God and received His forgiveness…even when you did not deserve it or have the ability to atone for it?  God’s compassion is unchanging…from the beginning of time to the present.  He makes a way of salvation!

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Immovable

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 6 (day three) 

“The Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth.”  God apparently told Moses, who wrote down this account, that the thoughts and feelings which arose in his mind as he regarded the rebellion of the human race were what Moses—and all humankind—would understand best as regret.  Maybe the word “regret” is only the nearest approximation that is understandable to a finite mind.  Whatever kind of movement occurs in God’s mind in response to the lives of morally responsible creatures, it arises from the one reality of God’s person that does not deviate from its intended aim: love.  God will not turn aside from, and cannot be made to turn aside from, love.  In love he exists, he creates, he punishes, he redeems.  Your plans will stand only when they stand firmly within God’s sovereign love.

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