Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Planning of Babel

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
Genesis 11:1-4, NKJV

Planning of Babel

The post-flood earth was still relatively new, yet one must wonder what the people had learned from the great flood God had sent upon the earth. Here we are, not many years later, and what were the men planning? The goal was to build a tower which would reach up into the sky--even into the heavens. Perhaps they thought they could reach into the very throne-room of God and be great gods upon the earth.

Were they trying to understand God, or were they trying to grow closer to Him? Both of those would have been worthy goals. However, we find them trying to be like God.

What was the great temptation that Satan displayed before Eve? "You shall be as God." 

Here we are, centuries later living on an earth that had been destroyed by a great flood. Due to the great wickedness of man, God destroyed all but eight people. Did this new generation of people learn from the mistakes of others? No! Here they are, again, trying to be great like God.

Do we find ourselves making the same mistakes in our day? What moves people? What goals do people have in life in our day? Probably at the top of the list, we would find fame and fortune. People want to be famous. As a matter of fact, the desire is so strong in some people that they would rather be infamous than to not be known at all. Others are driven by the need to be rich. Though they pile treasure upon treasure upon themselves, they never quite have enough.

We might even find that we, too, once had similar goals. However, in coming to Christ our goals changed. What happened? 

When we come to Christ we realize that, before God, we are nothing. There is nothing that we can do or say that makes us worthy of God's love. No matter what our status may be upon this earth, we gain no favoritism with God. We read of great people in our history books who did great things upon this earth. Does that make them great before God? No!

When we come to a knowledge of our great sin and depravity before a righteous and holy God, we realize that we are undone. Nothing we possess or do can give us any status before God. However, Christ came to this earth to save those who are totally unworthy of such love and grace. Throughout time and ages and even to the present day, God reaches down and saves a people for Himself.

When we come to Him we understand that everything we are or ever hope to be is due to the great grace of Christ. He saved us from a hopeless condition and set us before a holy God who only sees the righteous blood of Christ which has wiped away our sin.

How does that change us? Gone is our desire to be famous or rich for, indeed, we have obtained the riches of Christ which are greater than any riches we can obtain on this earth. Our desire is to live a life pleasing to God using the abilities which we have. We realize that any abilities we possess are gifts from God and not due to our own greatness.

Unlike these who were involved in the planning of Babel, we find ourselves falling before God beseeching Him to make us more like Himself. While on this earth we will still struggle with sin, but when we reach the gates of heaven our sin natures will be thrown off forever.

How we long for that day to come. What an amazing God we serve. In Him, we find peace, joy, and contentment which are attributes rarely found among the people of this world.

To God alone be the glory!

God Bless You,
Linda
 
 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Genealogy of Noah

1 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. . . . 32 These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.
Genesis 10:1 and 32, NKJV

Genealogy of Noah

Chapter 10 of Genesis consists mostly of the genealogy of Noah and his sons. Most of the chapter, then, consists of the names of the children of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. When I read through genealogies in the Bible it is a reminder that each and every person is known to God.

We have millions of people alive on our earth today, yet every single one of them is known to God. He knows their thoughts and He even knows the very intents of their hearts. So, even though years go quickly by in Genesis 10, each of the people mentioned--who just appear as names to us--was known by God.

At a couple of points in the chapter some commentary is given. For example, verses 8 through 10 tell us,  

Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Cush was the son of Ham. We remember from the last chapter that the line of Ham was cursed. So, when we advance to the next chapter and read more of Nimrod and his leadership in Babel, we should not be too surprised by the results. 

The question we often ask is this, did the flood get rid of sin? No! Beginning with Noah, himself, we see that sin continued on the earth after the flood. As we read through these passages, however, let us remember the promise that God gave in Genesis 3:15. God, after the first sin, pronounced the solution to that sin.

Sin separates us from God, but through the Redeemer to come, Who would bruise Satan's head, we can be restored to complete fellowship with God. 

What about our children? Do we, as believers, have the hope of having Godly children? If we train them in the things of the Lord, will they follow Him? While we are charged by God to teach our children the Word of God, we, as parents, do not control the results of that teaching. We would expect that some, or maybe even most, will follow the Lord, but it is God who saves.

When we look at some of the great men of faith in the Word of God, it was not unusual to see some of their children not following in the footsteps of their Godly parents. What, then, are we to do?

First, train our children in the truths taught in God's Word. Second, pray that God will give us a consistent testimony before them. Third, pray that God will save them. Pray for your children all of the days of your life, no matter what their age may be. Even if they have left home years ago, let us keep a constant flow of prayer going to God on their behalf. No one else will ever love your children as you love them. So, no one else will pray as consistently for them as well.

We serve a great and loving God. In Him we live and move and have our being. In Him, alone, do we find peace, joy, and blessing. May our own personal genealogies be an example of God working graciously in the lives of our descendants.

God Bless You,
Linda
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sad Note!

18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
Genesis 9:18-23, NKJV

Sad Note!

We end Genesis 9 on a sad note. Is that not the way it is even in our day? It did not take very long after Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth left the ark for sin to rear its ugly head. 

After leaving the ark, Noah became a farmer. When you consider that he was in what was almost like a new world, it was a logical profession for him to choose. No modern advancements existed--the only tools they possessed were whatever they had taken with them on the ark.

We are told that Noah became drunk with wine and was uncovered in his tent. Upon seeing his father's nakedness, Ham told his brothers. Shem and Japheth then took a garment, laid it on their shoulders, and went backward and covered their father.

There is so much here that is not said, however, we are not going to add anything to this story. What Ham did was a great disgrace to his father, and he and his descendants suffered for it. When Noah awoke and discovered what had happened he pronounced a curse upon Ham (Canaan was the son of Ham). By pronouncing the curse upon Ham's son, we are to understand that this curse followed Ham's family from generation to generation.
 
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.”

Noah then pronounced a blessing upon Shem and Japheth.

“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem,
And may Canaan be his servant.
27 May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And may Canaan be his servant.”

We are living literally thousands of years after this event, and yet we still see the results of this curse on Ham and Canaan and the blessing given to Shem and Japheth.

Genesis 9 ends with this conclusion of Noah's life.

28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. 29 So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.

When we come to the next chapter of Genesis we will find a summary of the descendants of Noah.

Why do you think God chose to put this sad note in His Holy Word? Of course we cannot know the mind of God, but perhaps God was showing us that Noah, though a righteous man before God, was not perfect. 

We, as children of God, will continue to wrestle with our own sin all of the days of our lives upon this earth. One of the great blessings of heaven will be the fact that we will be released from our sin natures forever! What a great day that will be!

Genesis, the book of beginnings, has so much to teach us about life today in the 21st century. May we learn to love and serve this wondrous God who so faithfully provided for His people. May we understand that this is the same God we serve today. Go, today, and live faithfully for God, alone!

God Bless You,
Linda
 


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Rainbow

11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:11-17, NKJV

The Rainbow

In our verses today, God re-establishes his covenant with Noah with the promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood. He then grants to Noah and his family a sign of that promise. God says that He will set His rainbow in the cloud as a sign of His covenant with Noah.

We tend to take rainbows for granted, do we not? Yet, even now in this, the 21st century, God is still maintaining His promise to Noah that He will never again destroy the earth with a flood. He, as in Noah's day, shares that promise with us through the visible sign of the rainbow in the clouds. So, the next time we see a rainbow, let us think of that promise that God made to Noah so very many years ago. 

When I think of the great mercy of God and His faithfulness that continues to us this many years later, I am wonderfully reminded of those beautiful verses we are so familiar with from the book of Lamentations, chapter 3. 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-26, NKJV

We serve a wonderful, faithful God. The promises He made so very long ago still apply to us this day. How amazing is that? Truly God's faithfulness to us is greater than we can even comprehend. Therefore, as the writer of Lamentations expressed, we do hope in Him. God continues to be good to those who wait for Him--to the soul who seeks Him.

We do know that the earth will actually be destroyed by a fire at the end of time. But, in its place, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. From that time throughout all eternity, God's children will live with Him in great peace and joy.

This is so much more than we could ever deserve. Yet, the grace of Christ has made it possible for us. Through Christ's death and resurrection He has paved the way between us and God. Go to Him today--for truly His mercies are everlasting.

What an amazing God we serve.

God Bless You,
Linda
 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Instructions from God

So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
Genesis 9:1-5, NKJV

Instructions from God

The flood was over. It was time to advance forward, but first God gave some instructions to Noah and his family. 

First, God commanded Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Second, God noted that the fear and dread of man was on every other creature. Third, God reminded Noah that he was free to eat meat, but he must not eat the blood of the animals. Let us look at each of these instructions from God.

"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Surely that must have seemed to be an impossible task. When Noah and his family looked around, they were surrounded by land. Though the animals would also be alive on the earth, they were the only people. Yet, here we are several thousand years later, and the earth has, indeed, been filled. There are very few places on this earth that remain mostly unpopulated.

Second, God placed the fear of man upon all animals: "On every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea." In other words, man was again, like as in the case of Adam and Eve, given dominion over all of the creatures. Though these same creatures had been protected by Noah and his family on the ark, yet now they lived in fear of Noah. This fear caused them to scatter, for they, too, needed to repopulate the earth with their kind.

Thirdly, God reminded Noah and his family that they were not to eat the blood of the animals. Not only would God demand a reckoning from the hand of every beast if they killed man, but God also required a reckoning from man if he ate the lifeblood of the beast. In other words, life is precious. All life is precious.

Oh, that we would understand that today. We have mistakenly placed more value on some than others. Babies in the womb are no longer protected, and the old and infirm are next. We have foolishly forgotten that God places value on all life--the life is in the blood. As such, those who spill the blood of humans will face a reckoning from God. If not on this earth, then at the end of time, God will require a reckoning from them.

Of all the instructions and commands God could have given to Noah as he faced the immense responsibility of repopulating the earth, these are the things that God deemed as most important.

Let us, today, seek the heart of God in all things. As children of God, let us be careful that we do not adopt the foolish and careless attitudes of the world regarding the life of other humans. May we see that all life is precious in God's sight. As He gave that life, so it is up to Him, alone, to determine when that life will end.

That is pretty clear teaching, yet, it is largely ignored today. What have we done? How have we so quickly removed ourselves from the clear teaching of God's Word? Let us remember that the Bible is God's manual for us. The Word of God is our manual of instructions for all of life. By His grace, may we truly fear God and keep His commandments.

God Bless You,
Linda


 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Promise of God

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
22 “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:20-22, NKJV

Promise of God

In these verses from Genesis 8, we especially note two things. First, we note Noah's thankfulness to God, and second, we note the promise of God.  

In thankfulness to God, Noah built an altar to the LORD. If you will remember, Noah had taken two of every animal aboard the ark, and seven of every clean animal. The seven animals allowed Noah and his family to have food for the time they were in the ark, and now Noah had clean animals to offer in sacrifice to God. 

As God smelled the soothing aroma of the sacrifice, He said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done."

We have certainly seen many devastating floods. As a matter of fact, the southern United States, particularly in the state of Louisiana, is experiencing great floods today. However, we have the promise of God that He will never again destroy the entire earth with a flood. Though it is true, man left to himself is truly wicked, yet God will not destroy him in this way.

As a matter of fact, God continues with some of the most beautiful words of Scripture in verse 22.

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

We have the very promise of God that He will sustain this earth until its very last day. We will continue to see seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night. We know that the day God determines to remove His hand of protection upon the earth, all of these things will cease.

We know that man, in his great hatred of God, will so reach the point in his depravity that God will finally say, "Enough!" This time, however, no flood will destroy the earth. At this time, the Lord Jesus Christ will return as the triumphant King. He will destroy all of the forces of evil and will sweep in the Great Day of Judgment. All people from the beginning to the end of time will stand before our Judge, the Lord Jesus.

At this time, Jesus will gather His true children together. Those who never came to Christ will be sent to the Lake of Fire with the Devil and his angels. God will destroy this corrupted earth by fire. Christ, then, will create a new heaven and a new earth, totally uncorrupted by sin.

Here, on this new earth, He will place all of the redeemed. We will live in the new heavens and the new earth in complete safety and joy, forever! No fairytale could be written any better. Yet, this is no fairytale. This is the truth--God's truth.

The end, however, has not yet come. Today is still the day of salvation. Today the gates of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ are still open. If you have not yet done so, call upon Him today to save you. He is the Great Shepherd and the only Door of Salvation, In Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

Let us, then, as the people of God, rest today in the promises of God. Let us serve Him joyfully, knowing that the days of this world are truly numbered. How we look forward to our entrance into God's eternal kingdom forever!

God Bless You,
Linda
 

 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Time to Go Home

13 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.
15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
Genesis 8:13-19, NKJV

Time to Go Home

Finally, after over a year, the earth was dry. Though the ark had been a place of safety and security, it was now time to go home. It was time for Noah, his family, and all of the animals to return to the earth. 

Wouldn't you have loved to be able to watch the scene unfold as first the humans and then all of the animals walked out of the ark? As they looked around, what did they see? They saw the blue sky, the green grass and trees, flowers were in bloom, and the warm sunshine brought hope to all of them. The animals must have scampered with joy at being released from their captivity.

How huge the earth must have seemed, and how small they must have felt. Only eight humans were alive and only two of each kind of animal. With such a small beginning, they were assigned the duty of populating and caring for the earth.

How have they done? Here we are a few thousand years later and one of our concerns is over-population. From such a small beginning, we have millions of people alive today on this earth and an unnumbered variety of animals, birds, and creeping things. 

In one sense, we could think of our time on this earth as being like that time when Noah and his family were all on the ark. This earth is not our true home, just like the ark was not their true home. Though it provided a place of safety and security for them during the time of the flood, yet when the earth was dried, they returned to the earth.

By the decree of God, we are alive on this earth. From before the beginning of time, God has decreed our beginning and our end. While on this earth, we have a job to do. Noah and his family were kept quite busy, while on the ark, caring for all of the animals, birds, and creatures. We, as children of God, have been specifically created by God and specially prepared to do the work He has created for us to do.

It is not proper for us to think too highly of ourselves and our abilities, for these abilities have been given to us by God. What a wonderful thought to know that God has a specific purpose for us. We are not here by chance, and we are not here for just our own pleasure or enjoyment.

May each of us find ourselves busily doing the job God has given to us to do. Yet, let us never forget that someday we will reach that moment in time when it is time to go to our true home in heaven. What a wonderful day that will be. How we look forward to that time when we will be reunited with our dear friends and family who have gone before. How wonderful it will be to meet these Bible characters with whom we are so familiar.

Let us, then, cheerfully go forth this day in the joy of the Lord doing the work He has given to us to do. May we faithfully serve the Lord until it is time for us, too, to go home!

God Bless You,
Linda


 

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Resting Place

So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. 10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. 11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 12 So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.
Genesis 8:6-12, NKJV

A Resting Place

If you will remember, Noah and his family had reached the tenth month in the ark before the mountain tops began to be visible. Now, 40 days later, Noah opened the window and sent out a raven which continued to fly back and forth until the waters dried up. He also sent out a dove to see if the waters had truly receded. However, the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned into the ark. 

Noah waited another seven days. This time, the dove did not return until the evening, and she returned with a freshly plucked olive leaf.  Not only was the earth beginning to dry, but the trees were growing. Noah waited another seven days and sent the dove out. This time, the dove no longer returned to the ark.

What a beautiful picture the dove paints for us. When she was finally able to find a resting place for the soul of her foot, she no longer returned to the ark. This thought has been beautifully pictured in the lyrics of the song, by Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920), "My Faith Has Found a Resting Place."


  1. My faith has found a resting place,
    Not in device or creed;
    I trust the ever-living One,
    His wounds for me shall plead.
    • Refrain:
      I need no other argument,
      I need no other plea,
      It is enough that Jesus died,
      And that He died for me.
  2. Enough for me that Jesus saves,
    This ends my fear and doubt;
    A sinful soul I came to Him,
    He’ll never cast me out.
  3. My heart is leaning on the Word,
    The living Word of God,
    Salvation by my Savior’s name,
    Salvation through His blood.
  4. My great physician heals the sick,
    The lost He came to save;
    For me His precious blood He shed,
    For me His life He gave.

As believers, we, too, have found a resting place in the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter where we are and no matter where we go, the Lord Jesus Christ is always with us. As we lean upon Him and His Word, we are comforted, guided, and encouraged.

We, like the dove, had no place to rest our weary feet. Yet, when Christ saved us, He not only granted to us His great salvation, but He granted to us His watch care as well. There is no place on this earth where He is not to be found. We cannot hide from Him and we cannot be snatched from His care.

As we live in a world constantly at war with God, we are truly comforted by these thoughts. Like that dove, may we each find a resting place in Christ. Go to Him today for today is the day of salvation. Find in Him your joy, your peace, and your everlasting comfort.

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Then God Remembered

Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
Genesis 8:1-5, NKJV

Then God Remembered

Does God forget? Sometimes, to us, it seems as though Goes does forget. However, we know that God, who is omniscient (all-knowing) can never forget. However, the Bible will often use phrases such as, "Then God remembered," to accommodate our understanding.

We can picture the site, can we not? Noah looks out of the window of the ark and what does he see? He sees water! Everywhere he looks he only sees water. How did God respond?

God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.

When I read these verses, I think of Jesus, standing in the boat with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a great storm. What did Jesus do?

Then He [Jesus] arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. . . And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!" (Mark 4:39 and 41, NKJV)

Our God is not only the great Creator, but He is also the great Sustainer! At the time He decreed, the rain began on the earth, and even the waters from the deep were released. Again, at His decree, the rain ceased and the fountains of the deep were dried up. 

The waters decreased continually--for ten months. Finally, on the first day of the tenth month, Noah and his family could see just the tops of the mountains. That must have been a long ten months. Do you think they wondered if the the day would ever come that they would again see the earth?

How beautiful those mountain tops must have seemed to Noah and his family. Though it would yet still be a good while before they would actually be able to step out of the ark and put their feet on dry ground, yet they were finally seeing evidence of the end.

We use the phrase, "There is daylight at the end of the tunnel," to describe that feeling of hope in the middle of a time of great trials. What is the daylight for the true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? Our daylight is Christ. The daylight at the end of our tunnel is knowing that the time will come when we will be ushered into God's kingdom, and there we will live forever!

By the grace of God, let us take encouragement in this all-powerful God we serve. Though at times it may seem like He forgets, we know that as in the case of Noah, God never forgets. His hand of guidance is always upon His children.

Noah, his family, and all of the animals were never in danger. Though the ark must have rocked continually, especially in the middle of the storm, there was never a time when they were in danger. Yet, right outside of the safety of the ark, all humans and all creatures perished.

In many ways, we are in the same circumstances. As we walk hand in hand with God, we are never truly in danger. Man may be able to kill our body, but he can never kill our soul. In God's hand of protection, we are brought safely through all of our days upon this earth until the day when God has predetermined that we would join Him. So shall we ever be with the Lord!

As we go about our duties of this day, let us remember Noah. Then God remembered Noah, and so does He remember us as well.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

40 Day Flood

17 Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.
Genesis 7:17-24, NKJV

40 Day Flood

Everything happened exactly as God had said. While Noah and his family and all of the animals on the ark were tucked safely away, the rains continued on the earth for 40 days. The waters continued to rise until everything--even the highest mountain top--was covered. Verses 21 & 22 tell us,

And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.

What a sobering thought. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. The calm that followed the storm must have been an eerie sound to those upon the ark. From outside, no birds cheered the early morning dawn and no insects began to chirp at sunset. When those upon the ark peered outside their little window, the only thing they saw was water stretching out in every direction.

It is not a time that we can even imagine. Even in our worst floods, though the devastation is great, it never even begins to reach the devastation of this 40-day flood.

Every person who lives on the earth today is a direct descendant of Noah's family. From these 8 people, the earth would again be repopulated.

What are we to learn from this time? First, yes, the worldwide flood did really occur. There are those today who say it was just a localized flood, but that is not the case. When God said the waters covered the earth, even above the highest mountain, they actually did cover the earth.

God is God. Just as He created the earth by the words of His mouth, so He destroyed the earth when the wickedness upon the earth was so great that He could not allow it to endure. Yet God, seeing that Noah was a righteous man, saved Noah and his family from the great devastation.

Will the earth ever again be destroyed by a flood? No! Will the earth ever again be destroyed due to its great wickedness? Yes!

Just as God saved Noah, so God saves a people today. At the end of time, when the earth is destroyed by fire, God's people will be delivered safely to heaven and will live in the new heavens and new earth that God creates.

What an amazing God we serve. He not only sees each and every person alive on this earth, but He also sees into their heart of hearts. He knows those who truly love Him and those who do not. Let us fall before our dear Lord and Savior and cry out to Him for salvation. And, let us seek to serve Him faithfully all of the rest of the days of our lives.

God Bless You,
Linda
 


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Shut in by God!

13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
Genesis 7:13-16, NKJV

Shut In by God

The verses above summarize the preceding verses. On the very same day Noah and Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah's wife and three wives of his sons with them entered the ark--they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. . . and the Lord shut him in.

As I reread those verses two things came to mind. First, there were no "half-breeds." In other words, the animals were each separated by their kind. There was no evolution from one breed to the other. Just as they were distinctly created, so they remained distinct.

The second thing I noted was that the Lord shut them in--they were shut in by God! There is no safer place to be than the place God puts us. The storms would be crashing, the waters raging, and the winds howling, but Noah, his family, and all of the animals would be safe.

Does God shut us in today? We may not have to flee to an ark to be protected by the coming storm, but we are most certainly still shut in by God. From the beginning of time, God has always reserved a people for Himself. Through the centuries, sometimes that number dwindled so that in the time of Noah only 8 people remained faithful to God.

When we study church history, we see a common theme. Churches once strong are no longer faithful to God. Some have become just social institutions. During the dark ages, the faithful church had again diminished to almost nothing. Yet God, faithful in all of His promises, raised up faithful men and women to believe, live, and proclaim the truth of His Word.

That history seems to repeat itself regularly, but God always maintains His faithful people whom He has shut in from the apostasy and wickedness of the world. He will continue to do so until the end of time when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. At that time all mankind, living and dead, will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible calls it a time of separating the sheep from the goats or the wheat from the tares.

Those cast away from God will be thrown into the depths of hell with the devil and his angels. Those who loved and served God will be swept into the glorious gates of heaven where they will live with Christ forever.

Sadly, few people even believe these truths today. However, unbelief will be no excuse when the Lord returns again. Just as Noah and his family were shut in by God, I pray that you are shut in by God as well. Go to Christ for today is the day of salvation. In Christ are all the blessings of God. Apart from Christ will be sin and misery, forever!

It is a chilling thought, is it not? This day, seek the Lord Jesus Christ while He still may be found. He is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life!

God Bless You,
Linda


 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Great Flood

So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:7-12, NKJV

The Great Flood

Having experienced some of the great Iowa floods in the past 15 years, I certainly have a better appreciation of seeing the waters continue to rise, sweeping away everything in their path. Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives went into the ark, we are told, because of the flood. After seven days the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

Last night we experienced a rather violent thunderstorm here in Iowa. Our dog and one of our cats are quite frightened of storms. As my dog snuggled up to me, I thought of the protection we have in Christ. I love experiencing strong thunderstorms, as I am always impressed by the great and wondrous power of God and of how frail we as humans really are. Yet God, in the middle of these storms, still has complete control.

How must Noah and his family have felt when the waters from above and the waters beneath the earth were unleashed upon them. The ark must have seemed huge when it was first built, but in the middle of the crashing waves and raging storm, it must have felt extremely small. Genesis tells us, In the six-hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

This was no ordinary storm--this was not even a 200-year flood. This was the great flood--the flood of all floods. The Bible says that there was rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. So much rain fell that even the highest mountain tops were covered. Here was Noah and his family right in the middle of the greatest flood to ever occur and they were completely safe. Why? Were they safe because Noah did such a great job in building the ark? No! They were safe because they were sitting right in the middle of God's great hands--right where He had ordained them to be.

Safety, in this world, is somewhat of an illusion. As we hear of wars and rumors of wars and when we think of the great potential devastation of a nuclear attack, how safe do we feel? Again, in the hands of God, our safety is not dependent upon us or our circumstances. Our safety is determined by God, alone. 

Let us, then, go forth this day in the confidence of the Lord knowing that in Him we are completely safe. He will guide and direct us in the way we should go. And, in His pre-determined time, He will bring us home to be with Him, forever!

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda






 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Final Preparations

1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.
Genesis 7:1-6, NKJV

Final Preparations

The ark was done. It was the 600th year of Noah's life, and God gave to him instructions for the final preparations before the torrential rains would be unleashed upon the earth. God reminds Noah that he and his family are invited to go into the ark for safety because God saw that Noah was righteous before Him.

Think about that! Of all the people who were alive at this time, only Noah was found to be righteous before God. What a lesson to us in our day. We are often tempted to follow the crowd--follow the ways of this world. But, even if we find ourselves to be the only righteous person left, as in the case of Noah, it is imperative that we are righteous before God. It does not matter how we appear to the people around us--it only matters how we appear before God.

That is probably the most important lesson for us to teach our children. Yes, we want our children to obey us, but only because that means they are also being obedient to God. Our children can sneak around us, but no one can sneak around God. Just as in the case of Adam and Eve, when they sinned in the Garden of Eden God immediately knew what they had done. So, God knows our heart of hearts. We may look wonderful on the outside, but how do our hearts appear before God? We may not look very impressive to the people of this world, but if our hearts are right before God, then that is all that matters!

Final instructions were then given to Noah. He was to take two of all the unclean animals upon the ark, but he was to take seven of all the clean animals. Why do you think God made that difference? First of all, the eight people on the ark needed food to eat, and second, when the flood was over animals were left to Noah to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God for their safety. 

This time there was also a time limit. After seven days, the rains would begin. How did Noah respond? Noah did all that God told him to do. After the seven-day time period had ended, all of the animals and supplies had been loaded upon the ark. 

God caused all of the animals He had chosen to congregate at the ark so they could be loaded aboard and saved from the coming flood. That must have been an amazing sight to see.

Do you think that by this time those who had scoffed at Noah for his foolishness were beginning to get uncomfortable? If they were not, they certainly should have been!

In our society, we find ourselves in a situation that is in many ways similar to that of Noah. While God has a people who have remained faithful to Him, the greater majority of people are living their lives totally apart from God. However, as in the days of Noah, there is a time limit, set by God. When God has ordained it to come, from before the beginning of time, time will cease. No longer will we be able to say, "Come to Christ, for today is the day of salvation." That day will have ended forever!

That is, indeed, a sobering thought. Think of the perplexity of Noah's situation. Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives all would be boarding the ark. While they were thankful for their God-given protection, how must they have felt regarding the people left behind? Surely there must have been a great sense of sorrow for their friends, families members, and neighbors left behind. When they finally returned to dry ground, none of those people would be alive.

As we read through these passages we must marvel at this great God we serve. He is righteous, holy, just, pure, and true. In Christ, the Son of God, we have everything. Apart from Christ, we have nothing. Let us, like Noah, fall before Christ and serve Him obediently all of the rest of our days upon this earth.

The time will come when we will go to be with this dear Savior. Everything in this life will be over; eternity with Christ will then begin.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda






 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Noah Builds the Ark

13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.”
22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.
Genesis 6:13-22, NKJV

Noah Builds the Ark

In Genesis chapter 6, God instructs Noah to build an ark with specific instructions for a window and doors. The ark will be large enough to house all of the animals that God will bring to the ark. How did Noah respond to God's command? Verse 22 says, "Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did."

There are so many lessons for us today in this passage. Through God's instructions to Noah, we discover that there is a limit as to what God will tolerate. Man had become so wicked that God finally said, "Enough!" Yet, Noah found grace in God's sight. Think of it--the earth is filled with the great and devastating wickedness of man--so much so that God determines to destroy this earth that He created. But, one man and his family are saved. Why? God saw that Noah, in spite of the influence of the world upon him, still loved and served God.

Would God spare the world again for just one person? God has done something even greater than this. In spite of the sin of man, God provided a way for man to be made righteous in His sight through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. God sent one man--His only Son, the Lord Jesus--to save a people for Himself. The ark is a picture of God's protection for His people, even in the middle of great catastrophes and the great wickedness of mankind. 

Noah was a rather amazing man. Literally, the last man still standing, the last man still serving God, he did not question God's instructions to him. Though he may have been the laughingstock of all of the world, yet he simply obeyed the instructions given to him by God. Right there, on the dry land, Noah built the ark according to the specifications given to him by God. 

The ark would house Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives plus all of the animals--two of every kind. God instructed Noah regarding the food he would need for the journey and the animals he would house. Did Noah worry about how he was going to get the animals aboard the ark? Did he worry about whether the animals would get along during their captivity aboard the ark? No! Noah showed a simple trust. God was God, and He would take care of all things.

Is this story true? Was the entire world engulfed by a flood? Yes! There are those who would discount this as just a local flood, or just an allegory--a story that never really happened. Yet, even among tribes of people who live isolated from the rest of the world, the story of the great flood remains as common knowledge among them--passed down from generation to generation.

Oh how we try to limit God! God, who created this world just by speaking, certainly had the right to destroy it due to its great wickedness. Yet, in His great love and mercy, God saved Noah and his family, as well as 2 of every type of creature to repopulate the earth after the waters of the flood would subside.

Can we trust this God today? Do we have the same simple faith that we find in Noah? Are we ready to obey God even if no one else around us believes that God is real? We live in a day of great apostasy and wickedness--much like in the days of Noah. It is not politically correct to worship and serve God, alone. In our day, the ultimate glory belongs to man and his achievements.

Let us, as children of God, shake off the yoke of this world. Let us fall down before our great God and Savior, and worship Him, alone. Let us seek, by the grace of God, to serve Him faithfully all of the days of our lives. And, may we look forward to that great day when God will bring us home to live with Him forever!

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Noah Walked with God

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
Genesis 6:5-11, NKJV

Noah Walked with God

Does God see what goes on in the earth? When evil seems to prevail and good people are persecuted and mistreated, does God see? Yes! Though it may appear that the wicked in this earth are overpowering and overruling the Godly, a time will come when God will say, "Enough!"

That is precisely what happened in the days of Noah. When God looked upon the earth He saw that the wickedness of man was great--and only evil continually. That sounds quite familiar, does it not? Is that not what we see in our day as well?

The Bible tells us that God determined to destroy this earth--both man and beast, creeping things, and birds of the air. But, then what do we read in verse 8? But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Here we see the two contrasts much as we see them in our day as well. The earth was corrupt before God and filled with violence, but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Has there ever been a time when true believers have been so tempted to follow in the ways of the world? Indeed, would it not be much easier for us to just succumb to the ways of the world and not always feel the need to be different. The choice of sin is often the easier choice to make, but it is certainly not the better choice.

God has called his children to come out from the world and be separate. God's people are a holy peopled, called out from the sin of this world. Does that mean that God's people are perfect? No! While we live in this world we will always struggle with our three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. What are we to do?

We do have one thing that the people in the days of Noah did not have. We have the completed Word of God. We are encouraged by the historical books as well as the Psalms and Proverbs to live faithfully before God. Like David, in the Psalms, we are called to look to God for our strength. The arm of flesh will certainly fail us--we trust in God, alone.

The New Testament gives us the Gospel accounts of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. The epistles written by Paul and others encourage us to faithfully live our lives in obedience to God in the power of Christ. No longer do we need to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, for now we have the Word of God to guide and direct us so that we may faithfully follow the Lord Jesus Christ. We find that though there is no help, in and of ourselves, Christ has done what we cannot do. Christ has paved the way between us and God.

When God looks upon His people on this earth, He does not see their sin, but rather, He sees the blood of Christ imputed to them. By the grace of God, let us throw off the shackles of this world and seek the help of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Let us go to Christ so that when God looks upon the wickedness and evil of this world, He sees His grace applied to us, His children, through Christ. Christ is the only way to God. Even Noah, though Christ had not yet come, looked forward to the righteousness of Christ imputed to Him. Through the Messiah who would come, Noah found grace in the eyes of God.

Noah walked with God. Even though he found none other faithful, yet he did not turn to the right or to the left. Let us, by God's grace, also walk with God this day. Let us proclaim the Light of Christ who has come into this world to save sinners, of whom we are chief!

God Bless You,
Linda