This is a title of one of the puritan Thomas Brook’ s books published in 1666.
The Old Testament story of Noah is rather a relevant one at the moment, at least in my opinion. The circumstances that provoke God’s judgment on mankind then, are certainly similar to the immorality, violence and rebellion against God we see at work today.
While most, even in the church attribute mythical features to this occurrence, I for one, have no difficulty in believing in a great flood even a universal one.
When one considers that seven tenths of the Earth is already covered in water it is quite conceivable that under the hand of God the dry land could be covered with water as well.
The “Ark” is more problematical but the Bible merely states what God commanded and that Noah obeyed, it does not offer explanations or tell us the storage arrangements.
Many of the nations in ancient times had similar stories in their history, although they may have differed in detail.
Some would say that the writer of Genesis borrowed this story from other nations but again it seems to me that the plain and unvarnished and matter of fact story of Noah is unlike anything the pagan nations with their wild excesses and grotesque deities would likely produce.
Believing the truth of this portion of Scripture, one can only wonder how you or I would respond to this command of God given to Noah.
It is not for nothing that the famous believers of the Old Testament are set forth by the writers of the New as great examples of faith and examples to be followed.
With less light than we have and only rudimentary knowledge of the purposes of God they achieved things which still astonish us and leave us dumbfounded.
To build the ark and collect the animals together was a daunting work in itself but considering it was accomplished under the stares of a jeering and scoffing mankind is incredible.
Also that Noah found time to be “preacher of Righteousness” to his sin enslaved neighbors adds to the amazement.
It is very evocative to imagine Noah and his family standing upon a renovated Earth. (For us Science fiction fans it would be akin to colonizing a new planet.)
Mankind indeed got a new start but unfortunately sin went with him into the new world and because of this it was not long before it again reigned unto death and mankind reveled in wickedness.
Noah fled into the Ark to escape the wrath to come and we all must flee to Christ to escape the wrath that is to come on the “children of disobedience”.
One of the many tragic occurrences in war is the accidental targeting , firing and injuring or killing people who are fighting on your side or not involved at all.
It is obvious to anyone that has been involve in Church leadership and organization that conflict and personal differences and misunderstandings are common and a source of turmoil in many churches.
Sinful lapses by prominent members confront the whole congregation with the need to find a correct course of action. This is made harder when feelings run high.
Sadly , as in the case of family break up there is the all to human tendency to take one side over the other and not see both sides of the problem.
Often the way these situations are handled and dealt with is less than ideal and fall far short of the love motivated ideal taught and exemplified by Christ and his Apostles.
Bitter feelings, disappointment and broken relationships mar the fellowship of the Church and hamstring its Christ given task in the world.
In the heat of the moment we say and do things as individuals that we cannot unsay or undo no matter how much we regret it.
As leaders in the Church, we can enact pronouncements and make judgments in a way that contradicts a loving Christian spirit and does more harm than good.
Our zealous and proper endeavour to combat sin in our midst can quite easily descend into a Pharisee- like “stoning “of the sinner, when our proper aim should be the restoring to spiritual health and fellowship the erring and the wayward.
The adage that “christians” are the only ones “who shoot their own wounded”, whether true or not, is a popular source of mud thrown by Satan and the World at the Church, especially in light of the many denominations, splits and factions that exist in Christianity.
Christian love and graciousness is never indeed to be a cloak for sinful practices or a blind eye shown to false doctrine. Rather it is to be seen in applying Christ’s truth and love to any problem and situation that confronts us, not only to preserve and maintain our harmony with one another but as a part of our witness to the World and unsaved around us.
Media, friend or foe?
There is no doubt that “media” has always been a force for either good or ill.
Today the airwaves and cable networks are a battleground between ideologies and world views, truth and error, with an influence on millions.
“Christian” groups have not been backwards in coming forwards to utilize the “media” to help spread their particular conception of the Christian “message” ,tragically some of the foremost and most skillful availers of this medium, when weighed in the balances of scriptural truth are found wanting and erroneous, deluded and deluding.
It is no longer, at least for the undiscerning, the choice between wearing a white or black hat it is rather become a choice between many shades of grey with the consequences seemingly being of little eternal but much temporal importance.
When our only focus is the satiating of our carnal needs and desires, it is no wonder then that the glib and gaudy promises and man exalting and pleasing teachings of these “gurus” in Christian guise are greedily grasped at and accepted. The promise of Health, wealth and heaven as well, is surely too good to pass up.
It is only when we look back at the Spirit inspired Word of God and diligently hear what it has to say, that the true nature of God, good and evil, sin and holiness and the true way of Salvation and Christian living are clearly revealed. This Word alone reveals to us the “Gospel worthy of all acceptation” and the way to God and holiness.
All we see and hear must be measured and judged by what God has clearly revealed to us in His Word.
Also we are hearken to what the most faithful and true followers of Christ have preached, believed and professed as illumined by the light of Scripture.
Otherwise we will find ourselves deluded and deceived and without hope here or hereafter.