Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Shut up

Someone once wrote that Noah found grace in the same way that Paul obtained mercy (1 Tim. 1:16), namely, by mercy's taking hold of him.

When I think of the flood narrative, I realize two things that happened simultaneously: God punished and God saved.

Spurgeon wrote to the effect that Noah and family were all shut up away from the world and no evil harm could reach them. Before the flood the world was so wicked Noah stuck out like a sore thumb. The growing population (if I may) was getting out of hand, accustomed to taking matters into their own hands. "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD" (Gen 6:8). God told Noah to build a boat according to the dimensions of God's grace.

Noah and family were shut up by the hand of divine love.

Noah and family stayed shut up with the God of Noah. They were there by invitation, "Come into the ark". The Lord invited Noah and his family to where He was. Noah and his family chose to dwell with God and God chose to dwell with them. There was as much mercy in those flood waters as there was judgment.

"Floods did but lift him heavenward, and winds did but waft him on his way."

I can't help but think of this (if you know it, sing along):

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing,
’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Now, I really want to say some things regarding the science of the whole affair, but I will leave that to the real commentators. I want to summarize:

  • God observes the righteous (Gen 6:8),
  • God preserves the righteous (Gen 6:13-7:1ff),
  • God delivers the righteous (Gen 7:11-24),
  • God remembers the righteous (Gen 8:1ff),
  • God blessed the righteous (Gen 9:1-18),
  • But the righteous need to leave matters in God's hands (Gen 9:20-29)

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