God loves His children. It is not His wish to create children merely to punish and hurt them. That is the farthest thing from His mind. God will sometimes discipline, and even call home, His children, but it is never out of hate, but out of love that He does so. He restored mankind (for a time) through Noah and his sons. That is what God is always about each and every time with us.
1. God restored Noah and his sons. Do we remember that He wishes only to love us and to have us love Him?
2. Do we know that the only proper way to live and love is to love Him, since He first loved us, which is why He created us in the first place?
Challenge: Let’s remember that everything that happened with Noah then, and with Jesus much, much later, was always about restoring God’s children to Himself. God is merciful, loving, and just (all three). He does not create creatures to hurt, but rather to love, and to be loved by Him. Let us remember to not do, say, or think evil, for that is contrary to the love that He breathed into us when He created us, and sent His son to die on the cross for us. There will be no more floods, and sin has lost its sting, for Jesus took on our sins and killed death once and for all. God loves us every day. Amen.
When God’s power and wrath were given full sway by Him, of course the earth was literally washed way. Animals of all kinds, save for those on the Ark, gone. God’s most precious creation – mankind – also gone, save for Noah and his family. When God rains justice, it is total.
1. Do we often ponder the power of God and His will?
2. Do we think about what happens if we choose to cross God and disobey His will for us?
Challenge: God loves His children very much, but He cannot and will not tolerate evil. As shown here, He will wipe it away absolutely clean. Let us remember that He is truly the Lord of the universe, and that He ordains our days from the moment we’re born to the day He calls us home. It is a day to look forward to for believers, unlike those in the time of Noah. Amen.
There is no sugarcoating what happened when Noah moved his family and all of God’s creatures into the Ark God commanded that he make. God was determined to destroy the earth, and every living thing in it. That included His greatest creation: mankind. It was necessary. Because sin and evil had so consumed them, God had to destroy them. So, He did.
1. Do we really ponder the idea that the wages of sin is death? Literally?
2. Do we remember that God is just and that He can bear no evil in His presence, no matter what? Not one little bit?
Challenge: God is justice itself. He will bring justice and righteousness where it is not, which means evil will literally be wiped out. Woe to those who engage in it, for God will have his justice. Pray that we would daily remember to do justice and live righteously with others, as He commands us.
We have all heard of the story of the Flood, and the Ark that God commanded a man named Noah to build. Noah, an old man, did exactly what God asked him to do, even as others scoffed. Noah knew God was truth and justice personified, and God does what He says He shall do in every respect. Noah was ready when everyone else wasn’t.
1. Why do you think God asked Noah, of all people, to build the Ark?
2. Would we answer whatever call God told us to do the same way that Noah did? Would we really do it?
Challenge: Noah’s great achievement lies not so much in a magnificent seafaring museum (the Ark), as it is in perseverance and obedience in the face of ridicule and contempt. May we do the things that God commands us do, and ask Him for strength to not hesitate in the wake of scoffing and mockery from others. This might be tough for us, but it’s entirely possible if we trust Him to give us the strength to be obedient as Noah was. Amen.
Many years after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, mankind had progressively become more evil - in absolutely everything. God was filled with sorrow and justice. He is a good Father. He cannot abide any evil. There was only one solution.
1. Do we remember that God is just? Do we remember that we should turn from evil, just as He has told us, repeatedly?
2. Do we remember the consequences of that evil during that time, and that there are consequences for disobeying Him and His will?
Challenge: We do know that our Father is merciful. But He cannot tolerate evil at any time or from anyone or anything. Pray to remember this in our own lives, and be in prayer for our very, very fallen world this day.
In relation to time, God has to have more patience than we could ever fathom when it comes to our obedience. He provides us with all we need as we continue to fall short of his perfection, yet he unconditionally shows us grace and faithful love that endures forever. Oh, how his patience must be tested by the second, but we will never know how long and hard God works on each and every one of us.
1. How long is forever?
2. Think of one of the most frustrating moments of your life. Now ponder the idea of living in that situation forever. Is this even close to the level of frustration and patience God exudes towards us?
Challenge: The next time you are in a situation that is causing you so much frustration all you can think about is running away from the moment, pray for God-like patience to get you through the moment. Pray for Him to help you show a faithful love that will endure forever.
The account of the creation of the heavens and the earth is not a measurement of time, but rather a theological and historical term. It is marking the events that took place during God’s seven day work week. The first three days he transformed the formless, the second three days he populated each realm, and on the seventh day, he rested.
1. How do you view the account of creation in regards to time?
2. When God “created,” was it something that took longer than the twenty-four hours we call a day or was it more like the time-lapsed videos we see of a plant growing from seed?
Challenge: Find some time-lapsed videos of different things developing over a long period of time (plants growing, ice crystals forming, a fire starting from a spark, the rise and fall of the tide, etc.). Reflect on how long each event actually takes, then try to ponder all the time that was needed for creation to take place. The video compressed minutes, hours or even days in each video are merely microseconds in the grand scheme of God’s time spent creating the heavens and the earth.
God is the creator of all things, which we read in Genesis as The Account of Creation takes place over six days with God resting on the seventh. How we view the period of time called a “day” can differ in relation to the event we are talking about. We define a “day” as a 24 hour period, but spiritually a “day” can simply mark the start and end of an event such as the day of the Lord or the day of judgment.
1. How can we relate a “spiritual day” to our 24/7 method of time keeping?
2. Are there events in your own life which you may calculate as a period of time taking longer than 24 hours?
Challenge: Thinking of terminology we use every day in a different context is no easy task even for the most theologically advanced individuals. Simply trying to grasp the idea of “spiritual time” comes with its own form of irrelevance. Think about a period of time many years ago. A time when we have heard a family member start out a story with, “Back in the day…” Are they defining an actual day or is there a reference to a longer period of time?
When we read of the comparison of time here on earth versus time as it is experienced by God, it becomes nearly impossible for us to comprehend how distant the measurements are from one another. Time, as we experience it, clouds our comprehension of what time is to God.
1. How has time seemed to fly by in your life?
2. What if our relation to time was switched with God’s? How much would your life change if a thousand years for us was like a couple of hours to God?
Challenge: The average person blinks 15-20 times per minute or about 1,200 times per hour. Imagine if every time you blinked 100 years passed by. If we stayed in the human form but lived with time in terms of God’s clock, how would your value of time change knowing that the next time you blink your life would come to an end?
What we think is the “big picture” is really a tiny little speck of time in God’s eyes. He is patient in all he does and what seems like an eternity to us is hardly a split second of time to our Father.
1. Take time to truthfully reflect on your patience. Recall a moment when you jumped into a decision prematurely.
2. Though the outcome was not what you wanted, how has that experience given you positive results? Can you see how the Holy Spirit has worked within that particular event?
Challenge: Pick one area where you would like to have more patience while waiting for your desire to become a reality. Develop a spiritual plan you can stick with in order to achieve this goal. Your plan may include things such as scripture, prayer, meditation, seminars, devotionals, counseling from another, etc.