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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lessons in The Flood [Genesis 6, Part 3]

Man’s evil inclinations are fanned into a blazing inferno by the suggestion or belief that while God may exist, He neither cares about sin nor intervenes into human history to deal with it. Such thinking is fatal.

Notice the condemnation of God of the prevailing attitude of the day: Then He said to me, ‘The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood, and the city is full of perversion; for they say, “The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!” But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor shall I spare, but I shall bring their conduct upon their heads’ (Ezekiel 9).

God did not conceal His purposes from Noah. To him He revealed His determination to destroy the wicked civilization of that day and yet to preserve both Noah and the seed through whom the promise of salvation would be realized. To Noah it was revealed that this destruction would come about by a flood, and that salvation for him and his family would be by means of an ark.

The ark, now complete, having been constructed over the course of several years, according to the divine design, is entered at God’s command (Genesis 7:1) by both man and animals. Before the flood began, God shut the door. I can imagine that had God not done so, Noah would have opened it to those who later wanted in, but the day of salvation must come to an end. We all would have had some pangs of guilt about leaving our neares and dearest behind.

The source of water seems to have been supernatural. Perhaps it had never rained before (Genesis 2:6). Now the rain came in torrents. In addition the ‘fountains of the deep’ (Genesis 7:11) were opened. Water, both from above and below, came forth for forty days (Genesis 7:12).

The waters prevailed on the earth for a total of 150 days (Genesis 7:24), and then subsided over a period of months. Five months after the flood commenced the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4, 7:11). It took considerable time for the waters to recede and for the ground to be dry enough to walk on. It was a little more than a year that Noah and his family spent on the ark. At the command of the Lord they gladly (I am certain) disembarked.

Noah's first act upon setting foot on the dry earth was to offer sacrifices to God. It was a further evidence of his faith, and surely an expression of his gratitude for the salvation that God had provided.

Can you imagine that? Being confined with a host of animals and ONLY your family members, for a year. I think gratitude would be an understatement.


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