First Friday Fasting and Prayer
July 1, 2011
ĚThen the LORD said, ĚI will wipe off the face of the earth: man, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky--for I regret that I made them.Ě
Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD.Ě Genesis 6:7-8
The story of Noah is NOT a nice bedtime story for children. ItĚs primarily a story of GodĚs wrath, where God destroyed all of mankind, the animals, the creatures that crawl and the birds of the sky, even though Noah preached for 100 years, warning mankind of GodĚs impending wrath. Today, although the lessons of the ARK are simple enough for a child to comprehend, man is still not listening and chooses to wallpaper nurseries with rainbows and animals prancing two by two into the ark, still ignoring the reality of GodĚs Holy hatred of sin, which will not allow an unrepentant sinner to go unpunished. Can the days in which we live be compared to the days of Noah, full of violence and wickedness? Are we missing the message?
God created man to glorify Him, but at the time of the flood, the wickedness of man was very great and his heart was full of continuous evil (Gen. 6:5). Mankind was unrepentant, although Noah pleaded with them for 100 years. At last, GodĚs patience does comes to an end and He evokes His judgment with a worldwide flood. Yet God did not surrender His purpose for the creation of mankind to glorify Him, by saving a righteous man, Noah, and his family. After the flood, God make an unconditional covenant (Genesis 9:8-17), not only with Noah, but with all mankind (Genesis 9:8-10), in which He promised never to destroy the world by water again and He seals it with the sign of the rainbow.
Points to Ponder and Pray:
The promises of the Noahic Covenant are based solely upon GodĚs faithfulness, and the rainbow is a reminder there will never be a world-wide flood, regardless how wicked man becomes. However, this does not mean God will not destroy the earth again. In fact, He promised to destroy the earth one day by fire during the ĚDay of the LordĚ (2 Peter 3:10-11; Revelation 20:9,21:1). Since all theses things are to be destroyed in this manner, it is clear what sort of people we should be. Are you walking with God, in holy conduct and godliness, as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:10-11)? God, in His Grace, provided a way for Noah and his family to be saved from the flood. He has also provided a way for us to be saved from His wrath to come, by turning to God from our idols, to serve the living and true God, as we wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (I Thes.1:9-10)
The earth was not cleansed by the flood waters. After the flood, God said the imaginations of manĚs heart were evil continuously; the conditions on the earth did not improve (Genesis 8:21). Even righteous Noah, not too long after the flood, planted a vineyard and lay in a drunken stupor in his tent. His sin lead to the sin of his son (Genesis 9:20). Like Noah, we are not without sin. Noah was spared for he found GodĚs gracious favor. He walked with God and was found righteous (Genesis 6:9). Being righteous does not mean being sinless, rather it means agreeing with God about the evil in our heart, turning from it, and trusting GodĚs grace to save us (Hebrews 11:7;. Job 1:1). Are you a righteous man who hates sin? Do you daily pursue obedience, as you turn from sin, trusting God to save you?
God, having made man in His image, intends for us to reflect our faith and righteousness in our daily activies, and fill the earth with GodĚs glory. He preserved Noah, and gave him the duty and blessing of filling the earth again (Genesis 9:1), which was the same mission given to Adam (Genesis 1:28). But, this time, manĚs beginning was not in Paradise, so we must deal with the real threat of animals, man, and God. He protects us from these threats by giving us the authority to kill the animals and use them for food (Genesis 9:2-3). In order to preserve man from violent men, God gave the right to take human life and guard society against murder (Genesis 9:5-6). If you remember, before the flood, vengeance belonged solely to God and God alone, for no one was allowed to kill the first murderer, Cain (Genesis 4:15), nor Lamech, NoahĚs father, who boasted he murdered a man and a boy (Genesis 4:23). After the flood, murder became a capital offense in order to curb the violence in manĚs heart. In order to protect man from God, God graciously made a covenant promise to protect us from destroying the earth again by water (Gen. 9:11). Are you living a life that reflects your faith and righteousness, or one that shows the wickedness of your heart?
Remember, GodĚs patience has an end, for He is obligated to destroy unrepentant sinners. Jesus taught the same lessons about sin, stating that it was better to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet that cause you to sin and to be thrown into the eternal fire (Matthew 18:8). Again, are you an unrepentant sinner, or are you reflecting GodĚs glory through your faith and righteous standing with God?
Thanks for praying. Your prayers make THE difference.
Maranatha. Jesus is coming soon, and is bringing is reward with Him. Are you ready? Is your family ready?