Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Flood

Gen 6:11–14; 7:7; 9:8–13

Sin Spread So Judgment Came

Adam’s sin kicked off a downward spiral of sin and violence until “everyone on earth was corrupt” and “the earth was filled with violence (Gen 6:11). God’s patience grew thin (Gen 6:3) and he said,

I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them. (Gen 6:7)

God was bringing down the ruler and destroying the realm he had set up at creation when he said,
Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on earth, and the small creatures that scurry along the ground. (Gen 1:26)

God Provided Salvation in a Time of Judgment

But “Noah found favor with the Lord” (Gen 6:8), and his family would have a future—and through him humanity itself would have a future. In fact, the human realm would have a future. God promised:

Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you and be kept alive. (Gen 6:20, see Gen 7:8)

Noah “walked in close fellowship with God” (Gen 6:9), and he “did everything as God has commanded him” (Gen 6:22; 7:5, 9, 16). The flood rose and covered the earth, and “God wiped out every living thing on earth” (Gen 7:23). But the people and animals in the Ark that Noah built survived and lived on to re-fill the earth after the flood abated.

After the flood, God reinitiated the original human mandate. As he had told Adam and Eve, so he told Noah and his sons, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.” As he had told Adam and Eve to rule over all the earth and every creature in it, so he told Noah, “I have placed them in your power” (Gen 1:28; Gen 9:1-2).

God’s Grace Assured Humanity of a Future

God confirmed a covenant with humanity and with the animal kingdom, promising never again to destroy all of the creation by flood (Gen 9:8–13). Just as we are all descend from Adam and Eve, so too we all descend from Noah and his sons.
  • We still have God’s promise that he won’t destroy the earth in a great flood.
  • We still have the creation mandate: be fruitful, fill, and rule the earth as God’s royal representatives.
Our days are no better than those of the flood. In fact, Jesus described the last days in those very terms (Matt 24:37–38; Luke 17:26–27). And a time of judgment is coming.

But God has already sent a “son of Adam” (Luke 3:23, 38) to fulfill that creation mandate perfectly. God had placed everything under the rule of Adam and his descendants, but they failed—and continue to fail. But where the descendants of Adam and Noah fail, Jesus perfectly fulfills the Father’s plans for a “Son of man” to rule over all creation. That was foretold in the Old Testament (Dan 7:13; 8:7; Ps 110:1). God is now placing everything under Jesus’ feet (Matt 22:44; Acts 2:34–36; 7:55; 1 Cor 15:25–26; Heb 1:13; 10:13; Rev 19:11–21; Rev 20:15).

And because we will reign with him (2 Tim 2:12; Rev 20:6), we will finally participate in a wholesome fulfillment of the creation mandate. The mandate given to Adam and renewed to Noah will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ—and by that means fulfilled in those of us who are “in Christ Jesus.”

Questions, Reflections, and Commitments

  • Do you ever see rainbows where you live? If so, make a mental note that you are going to remind yourself and your children of its meaning the next time you see one together. But remind them that judgment is coming, and the only safety is “in Christ Jesus.”
  • If you or your children use the Internet, set a contest for who can find the most awesome rainbow picture.

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