January 2

Genesis 4-7, Psalm 2

We live in very cynical times. Many consider themselves more knowledgeable than they are. In former days, we looked to experts for advice. Now, with the internet, and every imaginable type of information, all one believes they must do is look at a couple of headlines and abstracts and they possess all the information they need. The situation is no different in the field of medicine. While we used to spend much time in the library researching topics, reading the full body of the article and critically deciding whether to accept or reject it, now many residents focus on guidelines and protocols, using only the abstracts on their smartphones. Sadly, in medicine and all over we are training more lemmings or followers than actual leaders and critical thinkers. People like to criticize and scoff at the flood account at many levels. Some like to say the flood was merely local, not global. Interestingly, almost every ancient culture has their own version of the flood account (makes sense from chapter 11 that all languages were confused). If it were local, wouldn't it make more sense to simply have Noah move to a dry site and only take those few kinds of animals that might become extinct? Some question the volume of water. We read in the Creation account that there was a water canopy over the earth in Genesis 1:6-7, which emptied at the time of the flood. In addition in 2014, there was a recent discovery of a huge reservoir of water found 400 miles below the earth's surface enough to fill our oceans 3x over. Notice the description of the floodwaters in Genesis 7:11, "...on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." Also, and most importantly, Jesus and the apostles described Noah as an actual historical account.

Realize, when God said to Noah in Genesis 6:13-14, "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. Make for yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.", there was absolutely no indication of impending doom. Realize Noah set about building this ark with dimensions of around 1 1/2 football fields in length, a 4-5 story building in height, and a standard competitive swimming pool in width. This construction took over 100 years as he probably looked like a fool to his neighbors as he built this ark in the middle of dry land. No one believed his preaching, for there were no converts. Notice how Noah was described in Genesis 6:8, 22, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord...Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did." Noah displayed his righteous character by obediently doing what God had commanded him, despite how ridiculous the building project must have seemed. Yet, trusting the Lord means looking beyond what we can see. While Noah's obedience led to God's blessing and reward, the disobedience of everyone else led to their destruction.

Talking of end times, Jesus said in Matthew 24:37-39, "But as in the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." Peter said in 2 Peter 3:3,5-7, "knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,...For this they willingly forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." As time moves forward in our Biblically illiterate society, many are deaf and blind to the changes occurring around them. The world desires immediate gratification and quick news that tickles the ears. As we read the account of Noah, it should humble us all for our society is not much different than theirs was. May, we all, like Noah, obediently listen to the call of God. Though Noah preached for 100 years without a single convert, may we take Jesus' commission seriously in Matthew 28:18-20, and obediently reach out to a world in desperate need of hearing God's Word and warning.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster