Studies in Genesis, The New Earth, (continued) Lesson XIX, Genesis 7 and 8
Genesis 6:13,14, And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
Here in this Genesis passage God had declared to Noah by commanding the construction of the Ark that the earth was no longer fit to live on and therefore He choose to cleanse it with a flood.
The flood had done its duty so God then declared He would never again use a flood, and therefore while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
But what does this bring, what does normalcy bring to those whose hearts lead them in their own way, those who choose to go it alone?
Those whose choice is to live apart from Godís direction to trust in Him, those who choose to live by sight and not by faith.
Those who say, Iíll figure it out on my own!
These are the ones who ask the question, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
How easy does the natural heart fall into apathy for seedtime and harvest, and cold and summer and winter and day and night repeat itself again and again.
And because of this it is easy to lull oneself into sleep thinking that all things remain and will always remain.
But God thinks differently and says these things repeat and repeat not to lull one into apathy but to know what God declares in His word about His love brings great long suffering toward the sinner on His part.
The Apostle Peter wrote of this in II Peter 3:8,9, But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
There is a great difference between the new heart, the heart implanted at the new birth and that of the heart that came with the first birth.
For the new heart knows that the continuation of all things as they have been, seedtime, harvest, cold, heat, summer, winter, day, and night brings the believer to humble himself before God knowing intimately His care and love and direction.
The old heart, that heart that came with Adam and Eve as they were expelled from the garden only twists the message to one where God cares not what the sinner does and thinks that all things will continue as they are.
They live in a dream world of their own imagination, a world without judgment.
This question, Where is the promise of his coming? is voiced by the mockers following after their own lusts saying for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Notice that phrase, ďfollowing after their own lustsĒ, which simply means going it alone, not depending upon God who made them.
But the new heart, the heart of faith answers with a resounding NO all things do not continue as they were for remember the flood which came and washed all things away.
The flood washed all the mockers away to the land of death and the earth was silent for Godís judgment came as He said it would.
All things did not continue as they imagined!
And those of faith know that a cleansing of the earth is again needed for Jesus plainly declared and compared the days to come like the days of old.
So shall the coming of the Son of Man be for in these days to come they will be eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage as it was before the flood.
The days before he comes again will be like the days were before the flood.
The grace of God extended to those before the flood and the grace of God now extends to those of our time but even the grace of God has a season and that season ends with judgment and the wrath of God.
It is so revealing of the heart of man, a heart which can only be changed by an act of God, how that the heart of man before the flood is the same heart that we today operate with.
There has been no change in this heart since the days of Adam and Noah for Jesus speaks of Noahís day and the day of his coming as days in which the same things came to be.
Days before judgment Jesus describes as business as usual.
Arenít all things continuing as they were from the beginning of the creation?
Men and women, boys and girls are and have been doing what they always have been doing.
Eating, drinking, giving in marriage, buying and selling.
But the emphasis is that God is not in the picture.
All this is taking place without God as it did in Noahís day.
It is taking place with an high look, and a proud heart and even the plowing of the wicked is sin for the plowing takes place without faith.
Sin is so carefully and wrongfully defined by the world but choosing to walk without God is what sin is all about.
Adam and Eve choose the tree of knowledge of good and evil and in so doing their walk with God ended and they were banished from His presence.
They left the garden and then God walked alone in the cool of the day.
So with this departure from the garden Godís wrath began to build toward judgment.
God, being longsuffering, means he waits a very long time to release His wrath but He does not wait forever.
From Adam to Noah, sin began to corrupt and corrode Godís creation and in this, Godís wrath moved toward a flood necessary to protect His creation.
Godís wrath is slow but as long as sin exists it is also certain.
Read of this in Nahum 1:3, The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
God is pure and holy and he must not at all acquit the wicked and therefore wrath and judgment are certain but God himself tells us he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
We read of this in Ezekiel 33:11, Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Think of Godís wrath relative to the flood.
The Ark was built not to show Godís wrath to Noah for his eyes were kept from seeing all that took place outside the Ark for that was Godís business.
The Ark had no openings other than the small window at the top of the Ark to allow light to shine in and to release the raven and the dove.
All was safe inside the Ark but the world outside was full of suffering and anguish.
In like manner our Lord Jesus Christ will call us home and gather us to a wedding supper in heaven but while this joyous occasion takes place Godís wrath will carry out his cleansing will upon the earth.
God is righteous and all God does is righteous including his wrath.
And His wrath is directed always at those who resist His great grace.
For they live as though God did not exist at all. They choose total unbelief!
So God will give them a time when it appears God does not exist for we are told that in the Great Tribulation Godís restraining and controlling hand will be withdrawn and all evil and chaos will rule the earth.
God did not create all things and then leave all things to themselves.
God walked in the garden in the cool of the day to fellowship with Adam and Eve but he also supervised their care and keep of the garden.
God created man to co-labor with Him!
This is Godís world and it will come to be what God intended for it to be for He alone is the Husbandman.
And part of that is to bring forth sons and daughters into his family.
Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price at Calvary that His family be established but for anyone to refuse that grace is the absolute enemy of God and will always suffer loss, being banished from His presence.
God has taught us clearly by the flood account his rules regarding the establishment of His family.
For we see in the case of Noah that Godís way of salvation was restrictive.
Just think of all those poor souls outside the Ark as they sought a way to be saved from the flood.
The housetop certainly was such a place of safety!
Cling to the house top, climb the tall trees, grab ahold of those floating logs left over from the construction of the Ark!
Try to get a grip on the pitch on the outside of the Ark.
Maybe one can climb to the top.
This is religion always on the outside but never in the Ark of God which is Jesus Christ.
Always looking and seeking for this is what the tree of knowledge brings for certainly there must be another way to bring salvation from the flood.
Always walking by sight and never by faith.
But alas twas not to be for no one could survive such a flood for all house tops were far under the water.
Even the redwoods were long gone as the waters rose.
Clinging to debris and surviving for 40 days and 40 nights was a dream.
The pitch on the Ark was no solution for it only prevented going higher to the top.
God set the rules for His family for all were to follow His restrictions He set for salvation.
And those restrictions all pointed to a way of salvation only God provides.
God made an Ark with one door.
God brought into the Ark only those whom he called and God shut the door for the season of grace had ended.
Judgment had come.
This act relative to the Ark declared the same message spoken by Godís Ark several thousand years later for Jesus Christ, the Ark of God said in:
John 14:6 ÖÖ. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus is not only the Ark but the door itself for in:
John 10:9 He tells us so, I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The Bible is clear from cover to cover for the way of salvation is always Jesus Christ.
The picture of the Ark shows salvation only comes by being in a place of protection, a place provided by God.
Only eight souls were saved from Godís judging flood and those eight souls were in a safe place provided by God but all outside this safe place perished in the flood.
(College students want a safe place of their own making but only Godís safe place will withstand.)
Salvation to Noah and his family was simple, get into the Ark for this is the only place provided by God whereby the flood will not hurt you.
And so is it simple today.
God tells us judgment is certain.
There will be no physical flood but there will be what the flood brings and that is death.
Noah preached this message for a century but all choose to ignore his words.
There is no difference today as preachers and teachers preach the same message.
Get into the Ark for the flood of Godís judgment is coming.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God but God has provided one who does not come short.
All those attempts to save oneself from the Ark came short for the requirement was to enter the Ark before the flood came.
When judgment comes it will be too late.
Godís wrath is sure but Godís wrath took place on His Son.
On the cross of Calvary the wrath of God was poured out upon the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, who became the Ark of God and all who enter into this Ark will be saved from the wrath to come.
God demands the entering into the Ark, not just looking at the Ark, not touching the Ark and saying how great and mighty it is, but entering in, becoming a part of the Ark, taking on the mind of the Ark and being conformed to the Ark.
God laid on Him your sin and my sin but unless you are safe in Him there is wrath left for you for eternity.
Those who refuse to trust in Him and be in Him by choosing to go it alone will, without mercy, suffer the wrath of God which will take place outside the only Ark of Safety God provides, His only begotten Son.
Noahís Ark, which is really Godís Ark cannot show more clearly Godís plan of salvation.
It is a plan of being in a place of safety that God provides for only His place of safety will be outside of His wrath to come.
No man or woman or boy or girl can construct that place of safety on his or her own.
God only can make that place and He has made it in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Wisdom sends out the call to get into the Ark for without any doubt judgment is coming.
God has said All things will not continue as they are!