“What will wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus…”
We had a storm this past week that caused power outages all over our city for days. Before the storm hit, we were warned many times to take cover, to get away from windows, to bring anything in that wasn’t nailed down. Randy and I heeded the warnings, stayed inside, and eventually went into a closet and shut the door. I prayed we would be spared. I prayed our tall trees would stay in place in the backyard as 98 miles per hour winds came through our neighborhood. This one was big! It was later labeled as a CAT 2 on the hurricane scale! We are alive and well, cleaning up the damages caused by the storm. We have power as most do, but a few are still waiting for power to come back so their lives can get back to normal after the cleanup.
One advantage of the storm blowing through our backyard was the broken and deadness of limbs we could not reach in our giant trees before the storm came down to rest on the ground below because of the wind. Some small branches and debris are on the roof of the house, but we will get them later! There was no structural home damage we can see. It’s all good. We’ve already chopped the fallen wood to be used as firewood later. Many, however, did have damage and needed help as uprooted trees were all over town. But no lives lost. God protected the humans who lived through as well as and the ones who helped restore power and provide clean up in the scorching heat wave that came with the storm.
So, this part of the Genesis story becomes more real to me today. Noah’s neighbors lived lives of perverted evil that caused all kinds of damage. In fact, all the people God created in the world were so full of evil corruption and caused such damage that God saw as unrepairable. Evil has come upon God’s created in hurricane proportions, wreaking havoc, damaging all in its path with destruction and death. The evil ones didn’t see it coming, didn’t care enough to know what Noah was doing building a boat in the middle of his land. But Noah knew. He listened to God and obeyed him in all ways. No one else on earth listened to God.
“Noah did what God commanded him to do.”
Noah’s obedience was the ticket of righteousness (being right with God) that saved not only Noah but his entire immediate family. All abroad, Noah! You are going on the ride of or your life!
Genesis 7, The Message
Next God said to Noah, “Now board the ship, you and all your family—out of everyone in this generation, you’re the righteous one.
2-4 “Take on board with you seven pairs of every clean animal, a male and a female; one pair of every unclean animal, a male and a female; and seven pairs of every kind of bird, a male and a female, to insure their survival on Earth. In just seven days I will pour rain on Earth for forty days and forty nights. I’ll make a clean sweep of everything that I’ve made.”
5 Noah did everything God commanded him.
6-10 Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters covered the Earth. Noah and his wife and sons and their wives boarded the ship to escape the flood. Clean and unclean animals, birds, and all the crawling creatures came in pairs to Noah and to the ship, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah. In seven days the floodwaters came.
11-12 It was the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month that it happened: all the underground springs erupted and all the windows of Heaven were thrown open. Rain poured for forty days and forty nights.
13-16 That’s the day Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, accompanied by his wife and his sons’ wives, boarded the ship. And with them every kind of wild and domestic animal, right down to all the kinds of creatures that crawl and all kinds of birds and anything that flies. They came to Noah and to the ship in pairs—everything and anything that had the breath of life in it, male and female of every creature came just as God had commanded Noah. Then God shut the door behind him.
17-23 The flood continued forty days and the waters rose and lifted the ship high over the Earth. The waters kept rising, the flood deepened on the Earth, the ship floated on the surface. The flood got worse until all the highest mountains were covered—the high-water mark reached twenty feet above the crest of the mountains. Everything died. Anything that moved—dead. Birds, farm animals, wild animals, the entire teeming exuberance of life—dead. And all people—dead. Every living, breathing creature that lived on dry land died; he wiped out the whole works—people and animals, crawling creatures and flying birds, every last one of them, gone. Only Noah and his company on the ship lived.
24 The floodwaters took over for 150 days.
WHAT DO WE LEARN AND HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Fun Fact we cannot miss: Noah was told to build an ark that would hold all creatures in pairs to feed them, the other animals and reproduce the earth. THEY CAME in pairs to Noah! He didn’t have to go round these creatures up! The animals God created came to Noah! What a sight that had to be. When it was time, they came to him!
I pause to think, we work too hard trying to make things happen, don’t we? When we specifically obey God right down to the last detailed instruction, HE does the rest! When will we learn this lesson well? Jesus teaches his disciples this wonderful way of God, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Know when to quit and let God do the rest! Noah’s part was to build the boat, God’s part was to bring the animals to the boat to fulfill the plan. God never fails to do His part of His Plan!
God shut the door. God not only shut the door of the ark to protect them from drowning in the flood waters, He shut the door to seal them from the rampant evil that was a constant source of danger, destruction and possible death to Noah and his family. NO ONE was spared—only Noah who listened and obeyed God. Only Noah had the tickets for his family to get aboard. At what point did the people clamor to get inside the boat labeled as the “folly of Noah” previously?
God “opened up the heavens” with rain. What is rain? Most believe, that up to this point in the world, God’s water supply for his creation was provided only by underground springs. To his created humans, how scary this must have been, to see water fall from the skies for the first time in their lives! But when God decides to “make a clean sweep” of evil, he sends water from all sources along with swelling the underground springs to cause the flood of floods, for forty days and nights, that washes away all the evil sins of the world. In fact, to be exact, 150 days of flood waters remain to wash it all away. Noah and his family didn’t see the cleansing but I’m sure they heard the rains come down as they felt their ark of protection lift in the rising waters! Whew, what a ride!
When we ride with God, it will always be the adventure of a lifetime! We may not always understand everything that is happening but our trust will carry us through all the bumps and choppy waters. He will get us through any storm, not matter what is happening around us when we do all that He tells us, leaning on His understanding, trusting HE knows what He is doing in us and for us.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The Cleansing is complete. Noah and his family are saved. The Cleansing came with a promise. More tomorrow!
Today, we have Jesus, who came down from the heavens, as living water for our souls’ thirst for God. Jesus was sent by God to save us from all our sins once and for all. Jesus lived on earth to show us the way back to God. He showed us how to live for God. He specifically obeyed God in every detail fulfilling God’s way of “cleansing” our souls for eternity. Why? God’s Love. God still relentless and unconditionally loves all He created! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
If you are up to your necks in overwhelming troubles that arise from the flood of sin in your lives, there is a Way out! Jesus said it best, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Believe that God forgives, repent in Jesus Name, and be saved from the flood of sins that seek to drown you.
“What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus…”
Thank you for this story of You. Thank you for saving us by the blood of Jesus who stood in our place of punishment for our sins. Thank you for the Way back to You, to know your love and realize the depth of that love. Thank you for your constant presence with the power of your Holy Spirit to guide us away from troubles and temptations, away from the floods of doubt and drowning out the thoughts of evil. Thank you, dear Jesus, for you are our Hope, our ark of safety. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. I love riding out each storm WITH you.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen
And I’m singing…
“What can wash away my sin
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus…”