As in the days of Noah
Genesis 6:5-13 (NRSV) 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
Noah Pleases God
9 These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth.
Matthew 24:36-39 (NRSV) 36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Living in Arkansas, it seems as though it has rained almost continuously since early Spring. When such downpours occur, they are generally accompanied by comments such as “I think I saw an Ark floating down the street in front of my house.” While we find some humor in these statements, there was no amusement in God’s decision to destroy not just mankind, and all of the creatures He had so lovingly made, but the earth itself.
I took pottery in college, and occasionally a potter will reach a point where his or her creation cannot be salvaged, and the only answer is destruction followed by re-creation. Such action was always difficult because no one wants to admit failure. Instead, we will work and re-work a piece of clay until we realize our creation will either not be strong enough to withstand the fires of the kiln, or there are too many imperfections to make the piece desirable. I cannot even imagine the anguish God must have felt when he made the decision to destroy all He had made.
And now, we have reached the time in HIStory where many of us believe we will live to witness the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ warning in the Gospel of Matthew tells us we need to be vigilant for no one knows the hour of Christ’s return. But if we compare our time to the days of Noah what do we see? We wake up to strains of violence each morning, corruption is rampant, and just as in the days of Noah we seem unaware of our culture and the downward spiral away from God and His precepts.
God saved Noah and used him to re-establish the earth. Why? Because Noah was righteous. In other words, Noah had right standing with God. You, too, can be found to be righteous. You will never be perfect, but if you seek after holiness you, too, can be in right standing with God. How? Through the blood of Jesus, for there is no other way.
In Jesus’ name,
Father God, may we open our eyes to the world around us, and may be be watchful of the times. Jesus IS coming soon. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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