Friday, December 08, 2023

The Vision (12.8.23): Lessons from the Flood (Genesis 7)


Image: Edward Hicks, Noah's Ark (1846), Philadelphia Museum of Art

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 7.

“And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood” (Genesis 7:7).

“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in” (Genesis 7:16).

There are many spiritual lessons we might draw from our text (Genesis 7); here are but a few:

First: Sin has consequences. Eventually our sin will find us out.

Second: God is just and right to punish sinners with death and destruction.

Third: God does exactly what he promises. He had promised Noah he would destroy the world with a flood in Genesis 6:17, and in Genesis 7 his word was fulfilled. God keeps his word.

Christ promised to honor to those who honor him and to put to shame those who deny him (cf. Matthew 10:32-33). Do you think he will keep his word?

Fourth: We see here the importance of obedience, modeled again by Noah (Genesis 7:5 “And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.” Cf. Genesis 6:22). We may suppose his obedience was prompt, full, and cheerful.

Fifth: We also see here our Lord’s great patience and longsuffering.

He gave men one hundred and twenty years to repent (see Genesis 6:3b). Once set on bringing the flood, he gave yet seven days more, as Noah made his preparations to enter the ark (Genesis 7:4, 10).

Noah is called by Peter in 2 Peter 2:5 “a preacher of righteousness.” Some have wondered if Noah might yet have preached in those last seven days. How hardened men must have scoffed or turned away in indifference to his sermons!

Sixth: We learn finally, with fear and trembling, that there are times when the door is closed, when the extended hand is returned, when the longsuffering is ended, and judgement comes.

There came a time when the door of the ark was shut (v. 16b: “and the LORD shut him in”). In shutting Noah in, the LORD was shutting others out.

In Matthew 25 Christ told a parable of wise and foolish virgins who awaited the bridegroom. Five wise virgins were ready, but five foolish ones were not, and the latter missed his coming. When they went to the wedding hall, we read, “and the door was shut” (v. 10). They cried, “Lord, Lord, open to us” (v. 11), but the answer came back, “I know you not” (v. 12).

Dear friends, last sermons are heard, last invitations are extended, last calls are made. The door is open now, but it will soon be shut when we breathe our last in the flood of death, or when Christ comes in glory.

Will we not enter that ark of faith in Christ before the end should come upon us?

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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