Posted in Beliefs, Christian Perspective, divine mercy, divine wrath, Law, Theology, theonomy

Still Valid and Applicable after all these years

Sye Ten Bruggencate often tells people that he doesn’t do “Bible study with unbelievers.” Sye is a Christian apologist from Canada that some find a bit abrasive, but I personally love. He is quick witted and has a great love and passion for our King, Jesus the Son of God. (You can check him out here at: www.proofthatgodexists.org).

Now I’ll admit that the first time I heard Sye make the comment about not doing Bible study with unbelievers I was a bit perplexed. Others, knowing I listen to him and support what he is doing in ministry, have attempted to challenge me to defend such a position. The fact of the matter is there’s nothing to defend.

By definition an unbeliever is one that has great distaste for the God of the Bible. By this statement, I am not denying that some unbeliever’s read the Bible. No doubt, there are many that do. However, the distinction between how an unbeliever and a believer approaches the Word of God is in regards to their heart. A believer wants to know what is written in order to apply it. My experience with unbelievers is that they would much rather mock the positions found in Scripture than seek to understand them. Given their revealed disposition that’s really not all that surprising.

What Biblical Study is…

There is a marked difference, however, between sharing what the Scriptures teach to another versus biblical study. Biblical study, when you get right down do it means taking the time to flesh out what is written (exegete the text) with an attitude of submission. We should not come to the Bible with the mindset of “this has to fall in line with what I believe.” Actually, the exact opposite is supposed to happen when we study God’s Word, “my thinking has to fall into line with what it teaches.”

We are to read the passage that we are studying, mull it over, ask questions of it (who, what, when, where, why, how, etc.), pay attention to the flow-of-thought, carefully identify key words/phrases, giving special attention to the grammar and history of the period (i.e. who is writing to whom, what is the key issue at the time of the writing, what is being addressed by the author, etc.). It is not until you’ve spent sufficient time “observing the text” that you begin to do the interpretative process. This answers the hermeneutical question of: “What does this mean?”

Of course there are checks and balances that need to be applied at this phase, like using Scripture to interpret Scripture (allowing the easier texts on the same subject to help define the more difficult portions of the Bible). An awareness of any biases and theological issues is also very important at this interval of study. Finally, when all that is done, you can begin to apply the passage.

The application phase of Bible study deals with four major questions: What is the teaching of the passage? What area of my life is being rebuked? What sort of corrections should I make? How can I apply what I have learned to live a godly life? This is the entire point of Scripture to begin with; teaching us who we truly are in light of our Creator, in order to mirror Him in all of life (cf. 2Tim 3.16-17). Of course the underlying assumption is that we started the whole process by appealing to the Holy Spirit in prayer to guide our interaction/understanding of His Word.

Inherently unbelievers have a problem at this point, since their starting position is bottom-up rather than top-down. Humility is a fruit of the Spirit (cf. Isa 66.2; Phil 2.8) and is therefore a God-given attribute that we do not possess by nature. A person who is not humble and not contrite will come to the biblical text with an attitude of submission in mind to be sure, but the polar opposite of the born-again Christian. The goal for the non-believing person will be to make the text submit to them; rather than, they submit to what the text is actually stating. Unfortunately, let’s face it, even professing believers struggle with this. (I haven’t spoken to Sye, but I would imagine that such considerations are why he doesn’t believe it will be profitable to have Bible study with an unbeliever until their hubris has been broken and they have subsequently bent the knee).

How a person’s approach to the Bible affects their outlook on God’s Law…

This becomes readily apparent when it comes to the idea of God’s Law. God is not the “big guy in the sky” that’s true, but God isn’t “your bro or your buddy” either. God is God, and while it may offend the sensibilities of some people to think that there is someone who knows our every motive and action, and then keeps a running account of such activity to compare it with His standard of holiness and righteousness in order to give to each person on the planet (past, present and future) what they deserve on Judgment Day, the fact is that is precisely what the Bible teaches (cf. Rev 20.12-15). Every knee will bow and confess what they have done. Every deed, idle word, and thought will be weighed in the balance. And, every person will be held accountable. The only hope of reprieve is found in the God-Man Jesus Christ. He is the standard-bearer. He met the full requirement of God’s Law and any in Him will be saved because of God’s mercy, but any not in Him will face God’s wrath.

Is it any wonder then, when it comes to the Law-Word of God that many professing believers and all unbelievers are found running to the hills? All the while they hold up the sign that God is “love” and He wouldn’t do such a thing today. I read the account of one former “Christian” that the reason he left the faith is because he didn’t like the prospect of God constantly looking over his shoulder, judging his actions.

Various attitudes towards God’s Law-Word and the Escape hatch people desire…

In the minds of many, the Law in the O.T. is archaic and hateful, and the God who enforces such things is not a God they want to know. In order to soften this, some professed members of the household of faith will turn in a variety of directions to avoid the truth. What truth? God has spoken and He expects His creatures to listen and obey. Ethics and morality are not in flux. They are not dependent upon human thought or convention. God has set the standard and it is eternal.

Some will say, such a God is merely power hungry and therefore not worth of our time. Others will say that God only commands that which benefits people for their good, giving valid reasons for why He says what He says. Then there is another group that will tell you that’s “just the O.T., which no longer applies.” These are the sort of people that look at Jesus reaction in the temple, when they’ve turned a place of worship into a den of robbers, knocking over money changing tables and beating animals and people with a whip in an outburst of righteous fury as nonsensical (cf. John 2.13-17; Luke 19.45-46). I read one individual who commented “that just seemed so out of place with the Jesus she knew.”

Although it is true the majority of western societies have adopted a relativistic mindset (why not, many Christians find no problem borrowing from Eastern religious philosophies anyway?), the God of the Bible is not a relativist. He hates double-standards and calls them an abomination. All people are held accountable to the same standard. Even when they have not heard them described in detail, their own consciences to a certain degree—depending upon the light they have received—will condemn them for acting unlawfully. People may want to scream that they are not God’s creation, but a denial of the fact does not make the fact false. What it really shows is a childish attitude that says “Nuh-uh!”

Does the Law of God apply universally to all people everywhere? Are all people held to the same standard regardless of their ethnicity, time in history, or location on the planet? Some say, “No way!” My question is: “Is that what the Bible says?” If you don’t like that standard, have your pick of another, but the fact remains you will be held accountable of the biblical standard nothing else. You may not like it, and tell me I’m an idiot (O.K., so I am, did that change your position before God? Nope, alright then I’ll continue), but the fact is we will all meet our Maker one day and have to testify for the lives we lived. Why we accepted or rejected His Word.

Universal Standards applied in Differing Circumstances: The Circumstances have changed, but the Law and its applicability have not…

Let’s look at a couple of easy ones shall we, and then next time we will move onto some harder ones and eventually I want to deal with the person who thinks that God only commands what is good for all people. That last one makes me laugh a bit, but I’ll hold my laughter for later.

  1. “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it” (Deut 22.8; ESV).

What is this law for and does it still apply today? The law was intended to tell the home owner that when they built a new home, they were to make sure they put a rail (parapet) all around the parameter of their roof. Why? Well, like today, many of the homes in that part of the world had flat roofs. In the cool of the day they would entertain or relax with refreshment having endured another day of labor. As the text reveals the law was concerned about the home owner’s neighbor, to protect them from falling and to protect the home owner from liability.

This law is tied to the 5th commandment of “Thou shall not murder.” Negligence of life is called manslaughter, and if you failed to love your neighbor in this fashion, you would—as the home owner—be accountable for the injury or death of that person. And in case you are wondering, your neighbor would include people both inside and outside of the home.

Is this law still valid today? Good question, I have another one: Does God tell us that the law has been invalidated? Has he done away with it? According to Jesus God hasn’t (cf. Matt 5.17-19); so what should be our guiding principle? What I mean is that it is rather obvious for us here in the West that our roofs are normally peaked, not flat. We do not entertain on our roofs, but we do on our porches.

Ironically, we build a rail around our porches don’t we? What about our pools? Some city ordinances (as well as insurance companies) require that a person has a fence around their pool? Why do we put fences around our porches and pools? The same reason that we find demonstrated in this law…to protect life. If someone dies on our property because we were negligent, we are held accountable for that person’s life. The same is true in the case of injury. The overarching principle of the law stands.

  1. You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain” (Deut 25.4; ESV).

What is this law for and does it apply today? Now I chose this particular law for a reason. It is already been demonstrated that it still applies today by the apostle Paul. We’ll get to him in a second. The concern expressed here in this verse is for the ox; the beast of burden. God says it is not right to keep the ox from eating while it is doing hard work. Animals, like human beings, need at times rest and food. They need breaks from the labor of the day. Unless you’re a farmer, we don’t normally use beasts of burden to do our work today. My lawnmower has the supposed power of 22horses, but horses do not cut my 2 ½ acre lawn, my John Deere does.

Due to the fact that most of us are not farmers, this “archaic” law doesn’t seem to be applicable. Some would argue that it is obviously “culturally bound.” How can this law apply to us?

The overarching principle of the law still stands. Paul uses this text to argue for the just pay of workers who do fair labor, including those who were ministers of the gospel. (This always makes me smile a bit, because I’m often asked “What do you do for a living?” “I’m a minister, a pastor of a church,” I say. “Yes, but what do you do for work?”

Paul basis the just wages for the minister of the gospel and he calls it genuine work, and the text he appeals to in order to justify his position is Deut 25.4. He says,

  • “Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.’ Is it for the oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It is written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? …In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel” (1Cor 9.8-11, 14).

The Law of God still has validity today for all people. That’s what these two obscure texts prove. Next time we will look at a couple of the more difficult ones. Until then, God Bless.

Posted in Christian Perspective, divine mercy, Grace

Traveling in Mirkwood: A tribute to God’s Grace

There is a scene in the Hobbit where Bilbo Baggins and the dwarven band of Thorin Oakenshield are found traversing through the forest of Mirkwood. This once beautiful forest is now under a heavy curse. The only way through this dark land is by following the path before them, for to stray to the right or the left (Josh 1.7; Prov 8.20) is to be caught in the clutches of despair and despondence. Those that stray from the path are confronted with the very real danger of being doomed. Death awaits all who under the curse, all who stumble along the way.

In the story written by J. R. R. Tolkien we find that this is precisely what happens to the would-be hero’s. Their heritage, strength and wit cannot save them (cf. 1Sam 2.9). Realizing just how dangerous the situation is before them, Biblo looks up towards heaven. The cursed trees shield the inhabitants of the land from the light. The light is a picture of salvation, for only in the light can one hope to find life. Bilbo’s struggling with an internal conflict between light and dark begins to climb the tree. When he reaches the top and breaks through the canopy of leaves, the rays of the sun hit his face. His mind is cleared and the way of life is fully revealed before him, for he now sees the path.

There is much truth hidden in this little passage of Tolkien’s work, and the way that Peter Jackson brought it to life on the big screen is helpful to those who have a hard time reading such tales; putting words into mental pictures. The curse of Mirkwood is very similar to the curse of the creation that we are living in. There is a path that has been placed before us. Someone has established the steps of life (Psa 37.23); of righteousness (i.e. the right way; Job 23.11). Unfortunately, we are all like Bilbo and the dwarven band of Thorin Oakenshield, we have all gone astray (Isa 53.6). The curse of death holds us in its grip (Eph 2.1-3).

Why was Bilbo able to recognize the predicament they were in, when nobody else could? How is it that Bilbo was able to identify the source of their salvation, their only hope of making it? What directed the heart of Bilbo to turn towards heaven and search for the light? That’s a very good question. It’s a question that we ought to be asking ourselves, when it comes to Jesus Christ. Why did any of us look to Him as our only source of salvation? Why is it that we yearn for and hope for His light to shine upon our ways, to reveal to us the path of life, to turn us to the path of righteousness?

Like Bilbo in the Hobbit, our heritage offers us no true advantage, our strength is not what prevails, and our wisdom does not deliver us…it is grace (1Cor 1.26-31). Grace is what turned the heart of Bilbo, just as grace is what turns the heart of fallen man. Grace is what enlightened his mind, waking him up to the danger. The curse worked against him making him forget where he had come from and where he was going. The curse sought to cover in a dark shroud the truth, but grace is what enlightened his eyes and changed the direction of his heart. Grace is what pointed him to heaven. And, grace is what caused the morning star to dawn in the deep recesses of his being.

  • But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christby grace you have been saved—and raised up with him and seated with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2.5-10; emphasis added).

Notice, where the emphasis lies in these verses (actually throughout the whole letter). Who’s responsible for making us alive in Christ? God. Who is responsible for the grace we have received? God. Who is responsible for raising us up from the cursed death we are all under by nature (v. 5; cf. Eph 2.1-3)? God. And yet, who is responsible for the faith we now have in him? God. The emphasis is on God. His work, His grace, His mercy, His love, His creative acts, His good-works, His kindness is the reason for the result, not the other way around.

We live in the valley of death (Psa 23.4; Job 24.17), but there are moments when God allows us to peak our head through the curses foliage and see the wonderful life He has promised us (Luke 1.79). So today, whatever it is you are facing, remember who it is that is God. If you are experiencing a moment of reprieve—what we might call a mountain experience of blessing—then praise Him. If you are experiencing some time in the valley, then praise Him for that too. For in both cases, the heart of those who believe are enlightened with the truth…all things good and bad are used to draw us closer to Him in whom we were created to be dependent on (Eccl 7.14; James 5.13). In both types of circumstances we learn how to better enjoy our Lord, our King, our God.

Posted in Biblical Questions, divine mercy, divine wrath, Headship, Noah, Salvation, the Flood, Theology

The Flood of Noah’s Day: Extent and Purpose

A while back I mentioned that as I was scouring the blogosphere I had come upon a skeptic’s challenge to answer what they deemed tough questions for the Christian faith. My first go around dealt with God’s omnipresence and omniscience in relation to the question presented in the garden: “Adam, where are you?”; “Adam, who told you that you are naked?”; etc. (https://kristafal.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/why-god-asks-questions). This time we are going to deal with the Flood (the deluge) of Noah’s day. In particular, its purpose and intent.

The general assumption that I am dealing with entails the idea that God planned the Flood for a reset, and yet obviously failed for sin is seen once again in Noah’s family; the family that God had went to great extents to save.

Why did God send the Flood? What was the extent of the Flood? Was God’s purpose to make a perfect world (“to reset”) by ridding the world of sinners? All of these questions are vitally important to understanding God’s purpose and intent in sending the Flood.

One of the most interesting details about this historical account in Scripture is the amount of space devoted to it.1 Things are often repeated over and over again, to the point of ad nauseum, but they are done so for emphasis. Look at it this way, when I want to make sure that my children are comprehending the message they are receiving from me (or their mother) the subject matter will often be repeated at various intervals. Why? So that the intended meaning gets through. It is harder to ignore instructions and say “I misunderstood” when specific steps have been repeated over and over again.

So, why did God send the Flood?

Short answer….it was an act of divine judgment (i.e. the wrath of God), and yet at the same time an instance of divine mercy. Both are demonstrated in the great Deluge of Noah’s day.

DIVINE JUDGMENT

  • “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6.5).2

That is to say, every imagination, every fantasy, every desire was turned not to the God who created them, but to every lustful passion that could spring forth from a corrupt heart. This is why God said just a few verses earlier…

  • “My Spirit shall not abide with humankind forever in that he is also flesh. And his days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Gen 6.3; LEB).

This declaration by the Lord is not a determination of how long men’s lives would be shortened to. The purpose of the statement is that in the near future (120 years to be exact) God would remove His life-giving spirit from man. The breath of life would be extinguished from those living at this time.

In God we live, move and breath (cf. Acts 17.34), and in separation from Him we die. This separation leads not only to spiritual death to which all the sons and daughters of Adam are born into this world—i.e. still-born3—but also results in physical death where the spirit is separated from this body of flesh in which we all do now dwell (cf. Eccl 12.7). The final death is eternal in magnitude which is rightly defined as eternal separation from the goodness, mercy and gracious love of God—i.e. the lake of fire (cf. Rev 20.14; 21.8).

What is promised by the Lord in the opening verses of Genesis 6 is that judgment is coming. Righteous retribution against creatures who refuse to acknowledge the God who created them and gave them life (cf. Prov 10.27). At the end of the grace period (120 years) God promises that He will “blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Gen 6.7). This specific thread of truth is repeated several times over the next couple of chapters, as God reveals His plans to Noah and the subsequent readers of the Mosaic text (cf. Gen 6.13, 17; 7.4; 21-23; 9.9-11). We will look at some of these texts in a moment, but let us first turn out attention to Noah.

DIVINE MERCY

All of the earth’s citizens at that time were distinguished from one man, Noah, who was so named because his father believed, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands” (Gen 5.29). The Hebrew for Noah (No-akh) sounds like rest, and therefore is meant to convey the idea of rest and/or comfort. Our English word carries similar meaning in that rest can mean “peace.” Most certainly, that is what Noah enjoyed when God was gracious to him (rest in God, comfort in God, even peace in God).

After offering His assessment of the rest of Adam’s race, we are told that the Lord looked upon Noah and made a distinction:

  • “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6.8)

What does that mean? How did Noah find favor in God’s eyes? Did he look under a rock? Did he see it in a cloud?

The concept of Noah finding favor is not humanly stressed. That is to say, finding the favor of the Lord is not something we do, but something He gives. Favor equals grace. Grace always is something that God gives, not something that man grabs for. If the grace of God were something man grabbed for, then it would no longer be a gift that God bestows upon His creatures. We may obtain it, to be sure, but only as God freely gives. Therefore, we read that Noah as a result of the grace of God “was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. [He] walked with God” (Gen 6.9).

What was the extent of the Flood?

In Genesis 6:13 God discloses His plan to Noah saying, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Did you catch that? The extent of the Flood is the entirety of the earth. Some say that God only sent the Flood to destroy sinful people, not the earth. This is the proposal of those that deny a global Flood.

“Hold on a minute, why would God want to destroy the earth? Why would he want to destroy the animals? That doesn’t seem right. That doesn’t seem necessary, let alone fair!”

This is the same argument levied against the idea that God would judge all men guilty in Adam, because of Adam’s sin (Rom 5.18). Doesn’t seem rational. Doesn’t seem fair.

In response I must ask, “According to whom? Rational or Fair to whom? To God or man?” To be sure it is an affront to man, but this only solidifies that our reasoning has been severely skewed as a result of the Fall. But, God is judge not us. He determines the basis for rationality, logic and truth. He defines the meaning of goodness, kindness and love. He reserves the right to lay at the feet of man and all those under him just condemnation for sin.

UNDERSTANDING HEADSHIP

This is why the Flood was necessarily global in scope. This is why the Flood included the life of all land animals and birds of the air, even the very earth itself. In the beginning, when God created mankind He gave them dominion (the right to rule) over all things created on earth, even the earth itself:

  • “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1.26; italics added).
  • “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1.28; italics added)

God gave to humankind (male and female) created in His image the right to rule over earthly creation. This dominion (rule) was passed onto His image bearers in the hope that they would demonstrate the same type of sovereignty that the Creator of all creation demonstrates on a creaturely scale. In other words, God placed all things on earth—including the earth itself—under the headship (role of authority) of man.

One of the things that my dad taught me growing up is that where the head goes the body follows. He taught me this in learning self-defense, but the mechanics of it is true in leadership as well. Poor leaders (the head) will result in poor results (the body). When man rebelled in the garden the only thing that sustained them was the grace of God. God is not required to continually give grace to His creatures. If this is a requirement that He must do, then it is no longer rightly defined as a free gift but a right.

The utter rebellion seen in the days of Noah was just cause for God’s destructive efforts. The miracle is that God decided to be merciful to anyone, let alone a family of eight. Notice that this family of eight was saved because the head of the family found grace and that grace which led to righteous living effectively profited the body as a whole (Noah’s wife, their sons and their son’s wives were saved).

So, my point thus far is that it is right for God to judge others in light of what the head has done. We see this in Adam’s rebellion. We see this in Achan’s rebellion (Josh 7.20-26). And, we likewise see this in Jesus (the last Adam) obedience. If we do not like the fact that we are judged guilty under the head of Adam, then we will likewise—if we are consistent—not like being judged righteous under the head of Jesus. What we see true in these two heads, we see demonstrated in the Flood of Noah’s day. All the earth was destroyed in that day, and any that were not on the Ark, be they animal or man, had their breath extinguished. All who were under the head of Noah, who was under the head of God was saved, and the result was the salvation of all the animal kinds.

THE FLOOD WATERS

Water always seeks a level playing field. We find the same truth demonstrated with heat, air, even electricity.4 Water when it fills the cup takes the form of the cup in which it was poured. Water when poured out flows to all the low spots first and then levels out as the waters quit coming. The same is true in historical account of the great Flood.

  • “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And it rained upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen 7.11-12).

Rain came from above, and rain came from below. The skies poured forth her water, and the great deep let loose her own. This continued nonstop for forty days and nights, but the overflow of water was not finished until day 150 (Gen 7.24). Until that time the water level continued to rise:

  • The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth…And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep” (Gen 7.18a, 19-20). NOTE:
    a cubit was from elbow to tip of finger, they ranged anywhere from 18-24 inches. This makes the total depth conservatively 22 ½ feet above the mountains.

The result? We are told that as “the waters increased and bore up the ark…it rose high above the earth” (Gen 7.17b). Those inside were saved, but outside all was death:

  • “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died” (Gen 17.21-22).

The same God who saved Noah and his family aboard the ark, is the same one who erased all living things from the face of the earth (Gen 7.23). Obviously, all sea creatures were exempt; although, a great many died under the tumultuous conditions. That was the extent of the Flood.

As a side note, I should add the following. There is no biblical evidence to support the concept of a localized (universal—if your Hugh Ross) Flood. If it were, then an ark would be unnecessary (saving either man or animal), as they could travel to a place where the flood waters would not reach. You may believe such things, but the sand on which you stand will not uphold you in the end.

What was God’s Purpose in Sending the Flood? A Reset?

The purpose in flooding the earth was not to reset things back to Edenic conditions. That would be an impossibility. Such reasoning ignores the fact of sin’s entrance into the world, and the bondage to which all earthly things have been entangled. The only hope for restoration is found in Jesus the Christ.

Does God give us all the details of why He did what He did? No, nor should we think that He ought. What is given is sufficient for faith, but necessarily limited in the sovereign counsel of the Triune God of Scripture.

Do we learn anything from this event? Much. We learn the seriousness of our sin and God’s response to it—death/separation from life. We learn the depths of God’s gracious mercy and the results of it—life. We learn of the passage way to which one secures mercy, of which the door of the ark necessarily points to, is the means that God has established (alone).

Just as the pitch applied to the hull of this saving vessel provided a protective covering, so too does the blood of Christ applied to the believer provide protective covering. In Christ, as those in the ark, life is promised, life abundantly, life everlasting. Through Christ true rest, comfort and peace is afforded, but to all else death (eternal death) is promised:

  • “Enter the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the ways is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7.13-14).
  • “I am the door [gate]. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10.9)
  • “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14.6).

This is the picture granted to Noah and his family as God hung His war-bow in the clouds. This, in an ultimate sense, is the purpose of the Flood…to point us to Christ. And, to serve as a warning to those who refuse Him.

ENDNOTES:

1 There are nearly four chapters given to this specific topic; whereas, there are only two chapters devoted to God’s creative works.

2 All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the English Standard Version (ESV).

3 We would be wise to pay special consideration to what Paul says in Romans 8:1-11 where he very pointedly explains what our condition is before Christ (our utter deadness due to our sinful natures and as a result rebellion towards God’s Law-Word), and after: “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness…he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you”” (Rom 8.10, 11). Though, this certainly points to the Resurrection in the end where all things are consummated, this is not Paul’s immediate outlook given the context of his dialogue.

4 Heat will always level out in a given space, however as its energy is dissipated entropy results. Vacuums are abhorred in nature, air always seeks to fill the void, to equalize in pressure. Electricity always goes in the path of least resistance, it is similar to a river current seeking a destination, but eventually it enjoys dwelling in an even playing field between two points where no resistance is felt.