Okay, we’ve seen that God loved us from before the beginning (how cool is that!). We’ve also discovered that right after we (represented by Adam) fell to sin, our gracious Friend promised to send a deliverer. He was already thinking about Christmas!
But there’s still so long to wait. Who will the Messiah be? What will he be like?
Our next stop in the unfolding story of Emmanuel is a certain boat builder you may have heard of … Noah!
Okay, you’re probably wondering what on earth Noah has to do with Christmas. Keep reading!
Do you remember the story? As children we learn the fun parts about the animals and God closing the door, but it’s actually a tragic story.
And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (Gen. 6:6, ESV)
That has to be one of the most tragic verses in the Bible. How far and wide and deep had sin spread! God sets aside his mercy, and dons his justice. Sometimes we forget that he is a holy, perfect, righteous God who will not endure sin.
But when we read about the flood, we can’t forget.
In Noah’s time, because “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.” (Gen. 6:5, ESV) he decided to destroy his creation, wipe out mankind.
Imagine the ark, for a year Noah and his family have been hammering nails with Noah, painstakingly building this huge ship exactly to specification—three levels, lots of room for animals, pitch on the outside. A big door.
It’s ridiculous. Rain? What even is that? Those on the outside mock, arrogantly raising fists to Noah and his God. Even when the rain pounds, causing the dusty earth to melt into mud, they laugh in unbelief. As the floods rise, fear takes over. But it’s too late.
God closes the door.
In his anger, God condemns his glorious creation to its original state—water covers the earth just like before his word brought light in creation. Watery darkness.
The Almighty’s judgment destroys all living things. All living things are dead.
Well, not all.
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (Gen. 6:8, ESV)
God is indeed just, holy, and willing to bring judgment, but he’s also gracious. “Found favor” means that God saw Noah and rather than condemning him along with the rest of mankind, he showered his mercy on him. He hid him from the outpouring of his judgment. He hid him in the ark.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Col. 3:3
Yes, Noah’s story is about us! We were the ones outside the ark. We were the ones lost to sin. We were the ones who grieved God’s heart.
But while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Ro. 5:8 ESV
Our loving Lord reached into the watery darkness, pulled us into the safety of Christ, and breathed new life into us.
How awesome is Noah’s story? How loving is our Father!
“But Ocieanna,” you may be asking. “You still haven’t shown how Noah is about Christmas.”
Ah, good question! Hmm… let’s think back. Remember that pact God made to love us before the foundation of the world? Remember the promise after that tragic fruit-eating incident?
He promised to send a deliverer to save us.
Our precious Lord would never break a promise to us. A descendent of Eve had to survive, right? He promised that one of her offspring would crush the serpent. Because of his holiness, God could do nothing other than keep his promise.
Do you see why God saved Noah?
To save us.
Noah had three sons, Ham, Shem, Japheth. Through Shem’s line more descendents came and through hundreds, thousands of years they kept coming until finally,
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Gal. 4: 4-6
When God rescued Noah from the flood, he was thinking about Christmas. Father Noah had to survive in a wooden boat so that his greater son Jesus could be born in a wooden manger and die on a wooden cross…so we could become his children.
Hearing about God’s justice used to terrify me. I knew my righteousness wasn’t good enough to keep me inside the ark. Now, God’s justice makes me love Jesus even more. Yes, I do deserve to be outside the ark! But he rescued me. Amazing! This truth—what God did for me—makes me long to serve him. Take a few moments to contemplate the depth of your sin and relish his unfathomable forgiveness and grace. In light of his love, go, love your neighbor, share with the lost, serve your family. The more we grasp his love, the more joyfully we serve.
Have a blessed day, dear friends, and remember, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.
Shine Your Light: When did you first grasp God’s grace to you? Would you share? I’d love to hear and I KNOW it will encourage others.
Note: I found that awesome lighthouse picture here :http://tinyurl.com/k6nzluu