Friday, February 11, 2011

Genesis 8:15-22

Good morning, all!

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives." (verses 15-16)

Yesterday we talked about the patience of Noah as he waited for God to tell him is was time to come out of the ark. Anyone who has been on a long car ride with children knows how anxious everyone is to reach their destination after being cooped up together for hours in a car. Siblings have been poking and bugging each other and whining, "Mom, make Bobby stop touching me!" or "Mom, Susie's copying me!" Everyone wants out! Well, the sons of Noah were grown and married, so I doubt they had been bugging each other in quite that way, but I would not be surprised if there had been some wrangling over other issues: "Hey, Shem, it's your turn to clean the elephant pen! I did it yesterday!" or "Dad, tell Ham to get over here and help with the cows!" Possibly there were some issues between their wives. It would be nearly impossible for four women to be together for all that time without some hurt feelings! They had been closed in there together for a LONG time! At any rate, the time had finally come for them to leave the ark! Yippee! Party time! What would they do first? They worshiped God!

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (verse 20)

Jon Courson says that all that time in the ark had "altared" Noah, so the first thing he did was build an altar to worship God. There are many things he could have done: he could have partied, or he could have gotten busy building a shelter, or he could have taken a hike to scout things out and get a lay of the land. Instead, even though he had many tasks ahead of him, he took the time to thank God and offer sacrifices of worship. There will always be much to do until the day we die. We will never run out of reasons why we're too busy to go to church or to take time for prayer and Bible study. It's a matter of attitude and priorities. Believe me, after having been saved from the utter destruction that had just taken place, Noah and his family had enormous reasons for gratitude. I believe that they were in such awe of what God had done that they probably fell to their knees the minute they got off that boat!

Courson points out that Jesus said (in a response to Satan at the temptation in the wilderness, Matt 4:10), "Worship the LORD your God, and serve him only." Courson tells us to note the order. Worship comes before service. In fact, worship IS our highest service. Worship blesses God and it encourages us. Look at God's response to Noah's sacrifice of worship:

The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” [Are you singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" yet? :) ]

The flood had not wiped out the evil inclination of our sinful hearts. But the sweet-smelling sacrifice of Noah's offering covered over the stench. In the same way, Jesus' sacrifice covers over our sin, and God looks on us with favor because of it.

There is so much more to say! We can never thank Him enough for all of the ways in which He has saved us - not just from Hell, but from bad relationships, horrid decisions, devastating health problems, financial disasters... He is so good!

Have a great weekend!

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