Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Genesis 7:1-16

Good morning, all!

This morning's verses tell us about the gathering of the animals and the entrance into the ark. Note that God told Noah to bring "seven of every kind of clean animal." Why was this? Well, Noah would need them so he could offer sacrifices and for food after the flood. Up until this time, it seems that people were vegetarian, but after the flood, God tells Noah, Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (Gen 9:3)

Noah and his family are given seven days advance notice that the flood is on its way (verse 4). What if we were given seven days advance notice that the LORD's was returning? How would you prepare? Whom would you call? What would you do differently? How much TV would you watch? Would you change your choice of reading material? I'm trying to imagine what Noah and his family actually did during that time. What about Noah's neighbors? Did he make last-ditch efforts to try to persuade them to believe? Or was he just way too busy getting his family and the animals in and settled? The Bible does not give us specifics on these details; it just tells us in verse 5 that Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. Of course he did!

We know that, on their own, all of the animals came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded. At least they had the good sense to obey God's call. It is amazing how the animal kingdom always obeys God and does what they are supposed to do. Courson gives the example of the arctic terns who fly off to Hawaii for the winter, leaving their young behind, because the young birds aren't ready to fly yet. Somehow, several months later, after these young birds have gained enough strength to fly, they head straight to Hawaii, without a map to guide them, to meet up with the folks! The animal kingdom obeys its Maker!

One thing the Bible is very specific about here is the date that Noah and his family entered the ark, which was also the day the rains came: In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month... On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. Now, you have to wonder how Noah was able to convince his entire family to enter the ark. Courson has a topical study on this entitled "Get on Board... Your Family Will Follow." We know that salvation is an individual choice - we cannot believe for anyone else. However, we can trust God with our family, and be the best leader we can be. Noah began preparing this ark even before his first son was born. His children grew up watching their dad pound nails into that big ship in the backyard. They SAW that Noah trusted and obeyed God every single day of his life. Who we ARE in front of our own children, whether they are toddlers or grown children with their own families, speaks volumes to them. Do they see that God's Word is a priority for us? Do they see us trusting God through the really hard times? Do they hear us praising Him and telling others about His goodness in our lives? Do they see us humbly repenting when we fail? Then confidently moving on in grace? Do we then extend that same grace to them when they fail? We may not live to see our children and grandchildren following us into the ark, but we must walk every day as if they will fall in line and trust God with that result.

Finally, the very best six words of the day are in verse 16: Then the LORD shut him in. It is GOD who saves us and seals us in His family. We do not close the door ourselves - He does it! Don't you just love that? Do I hear any "Amens?" :)

Have a great day! Let us lead in a way that others will follow us today!

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