Object Lesson Writ Large

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

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. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I 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.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. – Genesis 6:1-8

East Texas Farm Scene | Timpson, Texas | March 2021

How do you learn the hard lessons of life? Are you a life-long learner in the school of hard knocks? Some of us must either repeatedly audit those classes, or give up trying (not a good choice). Or have you discovered a better way? You don’t have to learn only by your own mistakes. You can learn from the mistakes of others as well. That would be a good lesson to take to heart! There are plenty of opportunities for this kind of distance learning. 

In the case of Noah there is a hidden lesson about God and his ways. Consider the situation leading up to his introduction here in Genesis 6, as well as the narratives following the flood. Times were so bad that God determined to wipe the earth clean, blotting out man from the face of the earth. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. And God will save Noah and his family through Noah’s faithfulness and obedience.

Once God has saved those 8 people through Noah and the ark, the situation hardly improves. Noah gets drunk. His sons charitably cover his indiscretion. But Canaan is cursed. The folly of Babel will soon follow. Then Jacob’s deceit. Then brothers’ betrayal. Then famine…the story will unfold with many opportunities to learn from the mistakes of others. 

But these are not the only lessons to be learned. For there is one major lesson being taught here. It’s the main point of the Bible. 

We need a Savior. And Jesus is that Savior.

Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord. He was a righteous man; a man of faith. But even he faltered. Same for the Father of Faith: Abraham. The man after God’s own heart: David. The bellwether of Messiah’s appearing: John. All of these had their hours of darkness, doubt, and sin. 

The Old Testament is a giant object lesson about what will not work. Something of that sentiment is conveyed in Philip Yancey’s Disappointment with GodHis conclusion – which I believe is correct – is that God speaking directly to man (Adam and Eve), God speaking through the prophets, and God ruling through kings did not work. None of these things worked in the sense of setting up the rule and reign of God on earth – or even within the community of his Chosen Nation. 

Noah was certainly a savior of the human race in his day. He was a standout of righteousness in a multitude of evil and ungodliness. He was faithful when all other men and women derided him as he built the ark. He was certainly not one given to the abuses of the Nephilim. And while we celebrate him here, and rejoice in God’s favor toward him,  we must look through him to the Savior we need.

We have a Savior. He is Jesus, and he has saved us not just by carrying us through flood and storm. By his perfect righteousness, sacrificial death, glorious resurrection, and triumphant return he has saved us, forgiving our sins, and giving us eternal life. 

Click here or on the podcast player below to listen to an audio version of this blog post.

Psalm 23: The Blessings of God's Presence David Bahn – Reflections

The blessing of God's presence will be fully enjoyed by those who love him and yearn for his guidance, provision, and salvation. That's the promise of God recorded in Revelation 21:1-3 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them,  and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. God's presence is a blessing for which his people long. It's better even than a visit from the grandparents! Don't Make Me Have to Come Down There Dolly Parton Last night I had a dream about God He was standing on a mountain top Looking down, around in such dismay And in my dream I heard him sayDon't make me have to come down there My children, you had best beware If you don't pay attention, consequences will be dire Don't make me have to come down thereI've told you time and time again You can't disobey and hope to win I am still the boss here in case there's any doubt You know I put you in this world and I can take you outDon't make me have to come down there You've always been my cross to bear I've let you try my patience as all good Fathers do You're on my last nerve, I have had it up to here with youI gave you a book, you didn't read it I gave you my word, you didn't heed it Gave you a map, you said you didn't need it And now you've lost direction and you're wandering aimlesslyDon't make me have to come down there This is not a game of truth or dare Now I don't want to punish you, but if it has to be This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts meDon't make me have to come down there Bridge this great divide and make repairs Go to your room and pray 'til you can learn to play fair Don't make me have to come down therePolitics, earthquakes, erratic weather Pandemics, war, and hate Turn a deaf ear, a blind eye; I am wondering whether I should take my Bible belt and whip you into shapeDon't make me have to come down there My children you had best beware Clean up this mess and put on something decent to wear Don't make me have to come down thereDon't make me have to come down there My children you had best beware Why can't you learn to listen, and learn to love and share Don't make me have to come down thereDon't make me have to come down there Don't make me come down there… Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Dolly Parton
  1. Psalm 23: The Blessings of God's Presence
  2. Psalm 23: The Fullness of God's Blessings
  3. Psalm 23: Who is leading you?
  4. Psalm 22: It all comes together in Jesus
  5. Psalm 22: The Cry of True Hope

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