Matthew R. Perry

When a Global Flood Resounds a Global Message, Part III: (See His Mercy in Deliverance)

In biblical creationism, Creator, Evolution, global flood, liberal, Noah on February 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Francis Schaeffer observed, “If I only had one hour to share the gospel with someone, I would spend the first 55 minutes talking to them about how the God of the Bible created all things, created us in His image, but that we have sinned. After setting that table, I would then share with them the gospel of God’s mercy in the midst of our sin.”

Did you notice that we have not mentioned Noah yet? Let’s fix that: Genesis 6:8 says, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” The word “favor” can also be translated “grace” as well. He is only one of two men in the Old Testament referred to in this manner—the other being Moses. He is the subject of Genesis from Genesis 6-9.

But do we see the Good News that is the Gospel found here? Absolutely! God by His own initiative chose Noah who was “blameless in his generation [and] walked with God” (6:9). God informed Noah of His plans: “I have determined to make an end of all flesh. . . . I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13). But God galvanized the heart of Noah. We realize from Genesis 9 that Noah was not perfect—but God’s grace shone on Noah’s heart and strengthened him to obey.

Harry Ironside stated that salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God’s Word and come in to the ark. Some view salvation like Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the ark. “If you just hang on through the storm, you’ll be saved.” Salvation is not dependent on our holding on to God, but on our being securely held by and in Christ.

Do we see anything else pertaining to salvation? Read with me Genesis 7:11-16

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. [12] And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. [13] On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, [14] they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. [15] They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. [16] And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.

So let’s review. God created all things. He made them good. He created humanity in His own image, and called them very good. They were to be fruitful and multiply, be caretakers of the earth, and enjoy God’s presence and provision. Yet, they rebelled when they listened to Satan tell them that they could trust his Word rather than God’s. They disobeyed and are under a curse that leaves them slipping and sliding and destined for hell and judgment, away from God’s presence and provision for all eternity.

God saw the issues, and ordained not only judgment, but the man and the vessel to bring humanity’s deliverance solely by His grace. God even shut Noah in. Why?

Clearly, this is the instrument God gives of their deliverance. 1 Peter 3:18-21 says:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, [19] in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, [20] because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. [21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Only eight were saved: Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives. The rest ignored the 120 year evidence of God’s Word to Noah and to them. Hebrews 11:7 said, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

The lesson? Dear friends, God made you personally. He made you and wired you to bring and spread the glory of His name and the wonder of His fame to all peoples. Yet, out of a desire to honor self, you rebelled against Him. You wanted to rule your own life, live by your own agenda, and thus you turned your back on the living God. We are, as the Word says, destined to die and afterwards to face judgment. That is exactly what we deserve.

Yet, God in His mercy did not leave us that way, but provided an instrument of salvation. An ark? Those pieces of wood point to other pieces of wood that came thousands of years later, put together as another instrument of our delivery—the cross of Christ. Noah points to Christ in that Christ found favor in the eyes of God not simply as a human being receiving God’s grace, but as the Son of Man and the Son of God who was God in the flesh, living righteously before His Father to stand as a substitute. Jesus is greater than Noah in that while Noah preached God’s Word of judgment to those who do not believe, Jesus preached and took our judgment in atoning for sins. He put Himself in the flood to absorb the catastrophe of that judgment we so undeniably deserve!!

Given how great this deliverance is that our Savior and Lord provided for us, what will you do? Will you look deliverance right in the face, knowing that a much more horrific and eternal judgment awaits for those who reject our Savior in order to continue wallowing in hell-bent sin? Will you see the cross of Christ and the empty tomb as instruments of God’s mercy and grace toward you, in spite of the wrath from Him that you deserve? In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” Is He drawing you this morning?

Read the other posts in this series:

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