The issue: “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, "I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created--and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground--for I regret that I have made them." We, as humans are fallen by nature, this we need a saving God. (Genesis 6:5-7)
As the Lord was contemplating wiping out man we read, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) Noah was a righteous person. We may feel alone, but there are always others as Elijah learned from the Lord, “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him." (1 Kings 19:18) There will always be others and we should take comfort.
Noah brought others along with him, he didn’t come alone, “But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.” (Genesis 6:21) As CEN demonstrates, the goal is to not just fend for ourselves, but to help others, to bring them along. We do this by encouraging Ready Christians and Ready Churched to respond with the hope of Christ in the face of disaster. The Lord told Noah “You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them." (Genesis 6:21), the supplies were not just for him.
He was obedient “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22), notice he didn’t do just do part, or halfhearted what the Lord said, but everything. Given the very complex building project of the ark, Noah followed a lot of commands.
The Lord is often, just in time, “And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.” (Genesis 7:12-13) The Lord had perfect timing, the rain held until the ark was ready, but did not delay. What could have happened if Noah took a vacation or failed to do everything the Lord commanded?
Often, we may feel abandoned, we read “The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (Genesis 7:24) For those day, how would Noah and his family felt bouncing around on the sea? After a while they would have felt alone, perhaps abandoned. Others in a disaster may also feel isolated, believing none else understands. This is where CEN can help bridge a gap, we can bring hope to the isolated, to the forgotten, to the desperate.
The Lord may not work on our time table but He will act, as Noah experienced, “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” (Genesis 8:1) The earth could have been cleansed in a few days, but the Lord likely knew Noah and his family needed this time to be refined for the future work.
We will be asked by the Lord to move on after a disaster, as Noah was, “Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.” (Genesis 8:15-16) They may have been used to the smell, and life on the ark, but a time comes to get moving.
The result of Gods movement is joyful worship as we see, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:20-21) Worship should be our natural response to Him, and His great works!
Fast forward to when the Lord walked the earth and said, “"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-27)
Fast forward to day, are we any different?
1. Given the Lords words in Luke 17:26-27, what urgent tasks do we have?
2. How can CEN help people build a ark in todays world?
3. How can CEN help others build a spiritual ark?
4. What steps will you personally take to make this happen?
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