A New Beginning.

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Devotionals

The Book of Genesis is a book of beginnings (see Jan 6th post). It tells of how everything began. Well….you can think of Genesis 8 as a New Beginning or Beginning Again. If you remember from last time, the LORD sent a terrible flood on the earth as punishment for the sinfulness of mankind. And Genesis 7 is very clear about the extent of this judgment. Everyone and everything dies. Everything and everyone except…..Noah, his family and a bunch of animals. God spared Noah and his family from the flood…..from his judgment.

Noah was a man who honored and obeyed God. It wasn’t that he never sinned. He wasn’t perfect…and yet the LORD saved him and his family. Noah was saved because the LORD was gracious to him. The LORD gave him something he didn’t deserve (a way to escape judgment). And Noah respondent with faith and obedience.

It was as if the LORD came to him and said, “Okay, here’s the deal: I’m about to send a flood to judge the sins of the world, but….I’m gonna save you…and here’s how I’m gonna do it: Build a giant boat and I‘m gonna shut you in it and cause you to pass safely through the flood.”

At that point Noah responds with faith. He believes what God says to him. He trusts in God’s appointed means to save him. He doesn’t say, “You know LORD, that’s ridiculous…I have a better idea…let’s try this”. He starts building. By the time we get to chapter 8, Noah and his family and a whole zoo’s worth of animals have been floating around in the ark for 150 days. Verse 1 of chapter 8 says,

“But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.”

God remembered. It wasn’t that God had forgotten that Noah and his family were in the ark and then all of a sudden He remembered. When the Bible speaks of God “remembering” something that means he’s about to act on behalf of his people or make good on some promise that He’s made. So here, the LORD is about to take action for Noah’s good. God dried up the floodwaters and then told Noah and his family to exit the boat. Then we read some words that reflect part of God’s plan for humanity in the beginning, in verses 15-17,

“Then God said to Noah, “ Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh–birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth–that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth. “

This is a new beginning….

This is incredible when you take it all in. God takes a man (Noah) who places faith in him and his appointed means of saving him from judgment (building the ark), and he not only saves him….he also gives him a new beginning…a fresh start. This is a picture of how the LORD works in salvation. The gospel is about placing faith in God’s appointed means of salvation…the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And think about it….just like people probably thought Noah was nuts for believing that a flood was coming and that he was going to be saved through building a giant boat, a lot of people nowadays think it’s ridiculous to believe that the way God chooses to save people is by having his Son die on a cross as a substitute, be buried and then be raised from the dead. To many people…. That’s crazy talk. That’s ridiculous and unbelievable. But those who believe this….those who have faith in Jesus will be saved from God’s judgment. And not only that…they get a new beginning. A clean slate.

Noah get’s a new start. He comes out of the ark and offers a sacrifice to the LORD. He does this as a show of thankfulness for what the LORD had done for him- Genesis 8:20. In response to this sacrifice….the LORD is pleased and he promises to never “curse the ground because of man” or “strike down every living creature as I have done”-Genesis 8:21. The LORD will never destroy the earth with a flood again. The LORD was pleased with Abraham’s sacrifice.

Peace with God through sacrifice….This is foundational.

Until next time….


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