I find that practicing what I’m calling a spiritual discipline of remembrance-through-scripture actively lives out Paul’s admonition to not receive God’s grace in vain (2 Cor 6:1). Because remembering who God is, who I am, and just how much I daily need His grace, helps to keep the gospel at the forefront of my mind.
Today’s remembrance takes us to the record of the Great Flood. This account gives us great insight into God’s holiness, power, and hatred of sin. It reveals portions of His character and will. And invokes both reverence and repentance.
Sometimes we lose sight of just how serious it is to turn our backs on God and live in disobedience. It is also easy to forget God’s holy and just wrath. So remembering these Old Testament events can renew our minds to those realities.
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
In the time of Noah, God became so grieved with mankind because of their sin and rebellion that He chose not to hold back His righteous anger any longer. However, while cleansing the earth of evil, God also extended mercy in choosing not to totally destroy all of creation. He spared Noah, his family, the earth, and each animal species. He graciously granted mankind another chance.
I encourage you to take time to read the incredible account of The Great Flood (Genesis 6-9). In so doing, consider these five points:
Noah’s account serves as warning. God proved that He is true to His word. It is still relevant today, for Jesus has said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Mt 24:37).
Noah serves as our example of faith and the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ Jesus. “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” (Heb 11:7).
Noah serves as our encouragement. We are encouraged by Noah. Even though he was surrounded by wickedness, he remained faithful to God. Though the world was corrupt around him, he did not conform to it. He lived in obedience and in relationship with God. It is possible—more so, this side of the Cross and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Noah serves as a model of God’s grace, as set before us in Ephesians 2:8: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." God saved him because of His grace responding to Noah's faith.
Just as the occurrence of the flood was a renewal for the earth, for creation, and for mankind, so too does repentance spawn God’s renewal. Every time we repent, our hearts are renewed. God renews our spirit with His Holy Spirit. Every time we open the Bible our minds are renewed. Every time we forgive, we renew our relationships. It was, in a sense, a re-creation—a type for the new creation we become when cleansed and reborn in Christ.
God demonstrated His judgment, justice, power, and wrath through the Great Flood. But God also demonstrated His patience (waiting for the completion of the ark), His love (for what He created), and His grace (to save). Mostly, He showed His tremendous desire for a covenant relationship with mankind.
Covenant, now there's something to remember. And celebrate this season.
Our Covenant-Making and Covenant-Keeping God, You have so much to teach us and we have so very much to learn. Renew our minds by Your life-giving Word. As we turn our hearts to you, bring about the cleansing that brings refreshing and renewal.