Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are you in the Ark?

I had the privilege to study the story of Noah in Genesis to teach this past weekend and was reminded of the great truths in this story. I am familiar with the story but as I've been diving into the text there have been several things that have hit home to me. The biggest being these few thoughts:

1. Noah and I deserve the same judgment those men and women faced in the flood.
2. Noah and I both received grace from God therefore I would have been in the Ark.

Noah was no greater than the other men and women in the world. We tend to think Noah and his family were good people so the Lord saved them but that is not in the text. We think that about Noah because of verse 9 which states: "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." This is true about Noah because it in the Scriptures but we cannot skip over the previous verse: "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." The only thing that separated Noah and his family from those who were to be destroyed was grace. Noah was not a righteous and blameless man apart from the grace of God. Noah's response to grace was he walked with God. God did rescue Noah and his family by telling Noah of the coming judgment. He commanded Noah to build an ark and gave him specific instruction on how to build it. Noah obeyed God. While being mocked and ridiculed by neighbors, Noah had faith in God. God promised life in the ark while the rest of the earth was to be destroyed.

What really hit home to me is the fact that another day of Judgment is coming when Christ returns to take his children home and pour his wrath out in judgment on his enemies. His judgment won't be with water but with fire, eternal fire. His children will be those who are hidden in Christ. Just as Noah was safe in the ark from God's judgment so we, as believers, will be safe in Christ. Knowing what I know from the whole of Scripture is why I can read this historical event and see that only by God's grace was Noah rescued and only by grace am I saved as well. His response of obedience to God came after God's grace had been lavished upon him. Noah wasn't more righteous than the rest of mankind, he was shown God's grace.

Christian, don't bank of your "righteous deeds" or "good works." Keep trusting in the sufficiency of Christ's life, death and resurrection. God has displayed his great love, grace and mercy in sending his Son to die in our place. We have found favor with the Lord. Yet we can tend to veer away from this central truth. May we keep the Gospel the main thing.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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