We have reached the point in the narrative of Genesis where the flood has subsided and Noah is alone with his family and all the animals he had rescued in the ark. Every single human being and all the rest of the animal world had been destroyed by the God who made them. It is a timely reminder that God Almighty may do just as he pleases with his Creation. And man’s arrogant intellect and pride can never gainsay God !
Note firstly at the end of chapter 8 that Noah builds an altar to sacrifice and give thanks to God for his deliverance through the terrible cataclysm of the worldwide flood. Let us note that Noah thanks God – he does not complain and moan; he does not have a mental breakdown wondering how on earth life is going to recover after such a disaster. No, he turns to God who is the author of all that befalls us. Noah acknowledges God’s hand in all these circumstances and he thanks God – because God has not only saved Noah; Noah also knows that God has the future in his hands. Noah knows that the God who brought him safe this far, will surely take him on into the future, safely.
But what I particularly want to notice this time is the promise which God gives to Noah after the flood, recorded at the end of chapter 8 and in chapter 9. God promises never to destroy the earth with a flood again, just so long as the world continues to turn and the seasons come and go. And God reassures Noah that he will have a food supply from the abundance of life on the earth.
As Christians abiding under the New Covenant, we need to see this story from a New Testament perspective. And from that perspective let us understand that God has promised to take care of his people – and that his people will be marked out by their obedience.
Noah came through the catastrophe of the flood because he obeyed God. And for no other reason. Those who have bowed the knee to Jesus Christ in this life, knowing that they are sinners and that only God can help them – they will know God’s presence and help throughout their lives on earth and beyond.
In the New Testament Jesus is very clear that life in him comes only – uniquely – via the cross experience in our daily lives. Take up your cross daily, and follow me. Noah had had to face the ridicule of those around him as he constructed an ark – a ship – in the middle of dry land, far from the sea.
But once the rains started, the unbelievers will have begun to realise their error. Too late ! And that is the same for unbelievers today. Those who refuse the foolish message of the Cross of Christ as the only way to survive the coming Wrath of God on their sin. Those who mock the faithful believer as the believer forsakes the ways of this world and evidently lives a different lifestyle – eschewing free sex, drugs, partying and drinking; lying and cheating.
Failing to understand the believer who lives a sober and responsible life before God and man; the believer who meets their responsibilities and pays their taxes; who forgives others their manifest faults and their injuries to himself. Who finds their strength for this life in the very real presence and power of the Holy Spirit who manifests himself in the life of the faithful, obedient believer. The believer who understood that to turn to Christ means obedience and that obedience means passing through the waters of baptism to identify with Christ’s death and resurrection, just as Jesus commissioned his apostles to go out and do.
Never forget that Jesus himself was baptised by John the Baptist against John’s protests because Jesus told him that this was to fulfill all righteousness. And remember too that the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus as he came up out of the waters, and that God himself spoke at that moment.
Remember and think on these things. Full immersion baptism was what Jesus himself underwent before he went forth to minister in the powerful way in which he did. The record of that baptism is in the Bible for good reason. We are to heed it, and we are to understand all its implications as we go forward to live the Christian life.
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS – UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD !