The Gift of Faith: Death, yet…

I’ve heard a lot recently about how ‘bad’ the world is getting.  In the same line I hear a lot about what is wrong with this generation or that.  The conversation often dwindles to a point of hopelessness.  Sometimes people part ways with an oh well can’t do anything about it, it is what it is, or just more upset about the person or people they believe to be causing the destruction. 

As Christians we have a different outlook.  There is more to it than ‘it is what it is’ or anger at generation xyz.

We are not the first nor will we be the last to watch destruction around us.

Noah saw more destruction in a few hours than we will see in a lifetime. 

Death and destruction are things we can fight as hard as we want to against, but we will not be able to overcome it.  We do not have to fret and fight ourselves into exhaustion.  Yet at the same time we don’t need to be completely passive, wave our hands, and say ‘it is what it is nothing can be done.’

Noah could have tried to prevent the flood instead of doing as God commanded him.  He could have attempted to sandbag the whole town.  If he would have the flood would have come and destruction would have beset him.

Instead he did what God commanded.

“And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded.”

That cuts right to the heart doesn’t it?  When have I ever done, even for a day all that the Lord commanded.’?  I can not think of one 24-hour period I did all that I am commanded to do.  Even if we whittle down the 10 commandments and judge our days by what Jesus declared as the greatest commandment ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and love your neighbor as yourself.’

The bible tells us that Noah did all that the Lord had commanded yet we also know Noah was not perfect…

As soon as Noah gets off the ark, he plants a vineyard.  When the wine is ready, he gets drunk and naked.

Noah was not perfect.  We don’t look to the actions of Noah for hope or as an example of how to do all the Lord commands.  Chances are we won’t be called to build a boat.  We look to the work of God in Noah’s life for hope and encouragement in our lives.

Noah did all the Lord commanded because of the faith God had given him.

“But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark…”  (Genesis 6:17).

Noah was not able to do the things God commanded because he grew some chia seed faith in himself.  Noah did the things God commanded because God established a covenant with Him.

He has established a covenant with us too.  The grace, love and promises God extends to us are what make us able to do the things God commands of us.  Even if we plant a vineyard and get drunk and naked.  He is still able to use our lives.  I’m not saying it’s a God honoring thing to get drunk and naked.  Remember we look to the work of Jesus for hope not the actions of Noah.  What I am saying is that if your sin has been exposed or if there comes a time when your sin is exposed in a painful light know that God has made his covenant with you he established and is perfecting your faith and he is still going to use you.

Noah did all that the Lord had commanded because his eyes were fixed on Jesus and not his own work.

His eyes were fixed on what could not be seen.

He had assurance of the things to come amid all the destruction. 

Before Hebrews talks about this cloud of witnesses we are studying it talks A LOT about Jesus.  In particular it speaks of Jesus being our high priest and Jesus being better than the shadows that went before him. 

The covenant he makes with us was started from the beginning.  Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.  He has been working out our relationship with him long before we ever made our appearance on earth.

God made a covenant with Noah and he makes this covenant with us.

Just as God’s covenant with Noah was all about God doing so is his with us. 

He is our God and we are his people because he made it so.

We can look at the destruction and death around us and ask what God would have us to do. We are not going to be able to sandbag our kids or our lives to ensure nothing besets us. We will not be able to fix it all maybe not any of it. We may be called to help someone. We do this with our eyes focused on Jesus instead of the work of our own hands.

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Reading and Questions

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