Last day of Christmas Break together as a family. It's been good. So very thankful for this time together. I have one more day to try to get some kind of order together for Monday.
A toad was flung by a toddler and lost this week. Lots of prayers were said to find the beloved toad Blendy. He was found but unfortunately due to lack of water he was not found alive. My sweet girl realized that her prayers were answered even though they weren't answered the way she had hoped. Hoping as she realizes these things that she will also someday grow to learn that God is good even when He doesn't answer the way we want Him to.
This says so much about the condition of man at the time of Noah.
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. (Genesis 6:5 ESV)
This grieved God's heart and He regretted making man. I don't know if I had ever attributed God's regret due to grief before. I think I've always just thought of God as angry at the condition of the world and that fueled His regret and desire to purge the earth of His wayward creation. He could have ended it right then and there and yet He didn't. He knew that if He did Noah and his family and all the faithful ones before would be forever lost.
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8 ESV)
This gives me much hope as I see the climate of our society. Those who walk with The Lord in the midst of very dark times still find favor with The Lord. May I remember this as chaos mounts and may my children grasp this fully as they will need to know this even more than I.
This Noah tasked with a crazy task that would take him 100 years to carry out. Yet he remained faithful for those 100 years. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. Noah's obedience had to come with an amazing price and yet his obedience meant everything.
Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22 ESV)
This verse is repeated again.
And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. (Genesis 7:5 ESV)
Obedience is important to God. It's not important because He's a cosmic control freak. It's important to Him because He knows that if we obey it will go well with us. Our obedience shield us from our own self destructive sinful nature.
I wonder what the people thought as they began to see animals gather together two by two to go onto the ark. Was there anybody who was willing to repent as the rains began to fall. What was it like for Noah and his family to hear the anguished cries rise from outside of the ark? A new test began that day as well. Trusting God inside that big dark smelly ark. I'm pretty confident it's the times I'm inside the big smelly ark that I thrash about and flail. Held by God's provision and yet clueless as to how everything will turn out.
Noah's patience during the time the waters recede and the earth dries is amazing. After he removes the cover from the ark it's still almost two months till God tells him it's safe to come off the ark. So convicted by this. I would have wanted to jump ship as soon as the first dove brought back a branch in its mouth. Yet patience was needed to make sure the ground dried.
First thing Noah does when he gets to leave the ark is thank God by building an altar and sacrificing to The Lord. I want this to be my heart. Thanksgiving in all circumstances. I wonder how many times I complain when God had placed me on the ark as protection. Imagine the grumbling Israelites on the ark. I am a grumbling Israelite and I know I've scoffed and complained in the midst of God's provision for me. It's a two edged sword that piercing the division of soul and spirit. Painful.
The second half of this chapter is hard to read especially knowing the possibilities of what all went down between Ham, possibly Canaan Ham's son and Noah. There's so much here. Yuck! Sin is so vile!