Advent Devotional

This is a devotional/meditation based on the story of Noah in Gen 6:11-22, 7:17-8:12, 8:20-9:17 that I wrote for an Advent Family Devotional at a church we were attending. I thought I would share it.

The story of Noah and the flood is one of the most terrible and wonderful stories of the Bible. In the story there is adventure, drama, and excitement. But more important than any of these is the message of salvation that is clearly told in the story. Noah finds himself in a strange situation. God reveals to Noah that He will send a terrific, destructive flood on the earth. No one will be spared, not even animals. No one, that is, except those that God Himself will protect and carry through the flood. God tells Noah that He will protect Noah and his family and gives him very specific instructions regarding what he is to do. These instructions are written for us in Genesis. How detailed they are. We read that Noah must make an ark of gopher wood. Precise measurements and an exact layout are given. Finally we read that there will be only one door. God promised Noah that if he would obey these instructions, he and his family would be spared. God promises Noah that he will be safe in the ark. Many people have been taken by the picture of the ark that these instructions paint and rightly so. But as we ponder these detailed instructions what can we learn?

God made it clear that there was only one way to be saved. Nothing else was going to work. We can imagine the futile, desperate attempts that mortals must have made once the rains fell. But it was all for nothing. So we see ourselves in a similar situation. Sin abounds, destruction of this world is inevitable but we have a promise from Almighty God. We have His promise that Jesus Christ is the way to the Father. We also have His word that there is no other way. It is only in Jesus that we dare hope.

God, of course, made good on His promise to Noah. He and his family emerged from the flood unharmed. They stepped from the ark onto dry land and received another promise. God placed a rainbow in the sky and told Noah that this was a sign that they never again had to fear destruction by flood. God’s plan to carry them through the water was sufficient for all time.

Again, as Noah was so we are. God’s salvation from sin and death offered to us in Jesus Christ is sufficient for all time. As we ponder this great promise in Jesus, we can boldly sing with Charles Wesley, “No condemnation now I dread!” What a glorious thing.

This Advent season as we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus as a baby in a manger, reflect on the beautiful picture of God’s grace and salvation that is present in the tale of Noah and the flood. Rejoice in truth that in Jesus we have life, hope, and salvation. Rejoice that it is God who does great things through Jesus. Just as Noah would have been powerless to face the flood alone, so we would be hopeless apart from Christ. Praise God and glory in the fact that what God did for us in Christ and who He is for us in Christ is sufficient for all time. Rejoice that, just as God kept His promises to Noah, so He will keep His promises to us. And more than that we now know that all His promises find their yes in Christ Jesus.

Heavenly Father, it was You who prepared the way of the ark to save Noah. It was you who prepared the way of Jesus to save sinners everywhere. We confess that apart from Christ we would be lost to perish in our sin as those outside the ark were lost. We thank you and praise you that Jesus did come, as a man, to bear our sins and make for us a way of salvation. Just as You shut Noah safely in the ark, seal us in Christ for all eternity. So fill our minds, hearts, and imaginations with Jesus that we see him above all else, this Advent season and beyond. Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, Amen.

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~ by Michael on December 20, 2006.

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