Monday, November 4, 2013

His Thoughts

We began the spiritual part of last Friday’s post with this:

Genesis 8:21 (KJV)  And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
And our pastor preached on this one, yesterday:
Isaiah 55:8 (KJV)  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
That was also central to last Monday’s post.  I love it when God  confirms His thoughts by communicating them through several people.  Anyway, the combination of those two verses brought some interesting thoughts to my mind.  Let’s explore those together.

We’ve said before that the choices Adam and Eve made did one very important thing.  It altered our spiritual genetics in the wrong way.  In Noah’s time, society as a whole, chose to go with the genetics rather than with God.  Spiritual inertia won out.  Their thoughts were NOT God’s thoughts.  In contrast, we see Noah and his family following God. 

It starts in chapter 6, where the sons of Seth, who followed God, were so seduced by the beauty of the daughters of Cain that they married them and strayed into their godless attitudes.  The spiritual inertia changed from “Follow God, He knows best.” to “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.”.  Human viewpoint replaced believing God.  Except for Noah and his family.

Things were so bad that God decided it was time to wipe out what He’d created and start over.  So, God determined to flood the earth.  But He also intended to save those who still followed Him.  Which was basically Noah and his family.  That’s the point when God tells Noah to build the ark. 

If you’ve heard Bill Cosby’s comedy routine about God telling Noah to build the ark, you get a sense of how greatly out of the norm such a request was.  It’s hilarious, a bit irreverent, and worth searching to catch a video or audio of it.  But it also highlights how odd Noah’s task really was.  When we consider how strange it was, I think we’d be surprised if those who saw it didn’t mock Noah as a religious whacko.  There had to be a lot of pressure on Noah to ignore his project.  The question comes to mind how well would you and I handle that kind of pressure?

Noah didn’t waver.  God gave him the grace for the circumstances.  And Noah, unlike society around him, had no need of repentance.  His thoughts were in line with God’s thoughts.  So he built this strange boat.  And then was told to get himself and his family inside, along with two of every species.  I suspect that wasn’t multiple varieties of tiger or bear, but just one breed and genetic variation increased the possibilities after the flood.  And it would have been much easier and more space efficient to get young animals of each species.  That’s a discussion for another time.

It’s clear that Noah still believed God and continued in what God told him to do.  So, Noah, his relatives, and all those animals went into the ark, along with the food needed to keep them going.  And Noah sealed them in.  The Bible says they were in there a long time!  I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time picturing that period as being totally being a pleasure.  Managing all those animals, feeding his family and the animals, no bathing, plus the odor of the waste – all things that led to what had to be an unpleasant environment.

So, we find Noah finally realizing he can get off the ark.  They had gone onto it in the second month of one year and came out in the second month of the next year.  And what was the first thing Noah did?

Genesis 8:20 (KJV)  And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Noah fulfilled the prescribed offering of thanksgiving.  Since there were only two of each animal, we can probably safely deduce that the animals grew and procreated while on the ark.  So, Noah’s offering wasn’t going to be the end of the species he offered to God.  But the real point was that Noah and his family were still connected to God.  And they had a lot to be thankful for.
God spoke to Noah about building the ark.  He gave Noah the grace to be faithful in a time of derision.  He protected Noah from the flood that eliminated the rest of humanity.  And there was Noah and his family, finally back out in the fresh air and sunshine.  Those are all things to be thankful for.  So, it’s not surprising that the first thing Noah does is to show God his gratitude.  And, since Noah and his family were the only ones who had followed God, it’s not a surprise that they thanked Him in the proper way.  Their thoughts lined up with His thoughts.  But let’s look at the next verse, again.
Genesis 8:21 (KJV)  And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Noah’s thanksgiving offering pleased the Lord.  Enough that God decided He’d never curse the whole earth or wipe out every living thing, again.  But it says, “the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;”.  The only people left on earth are Noah and his family, who are still faithful to God.  Yet God calls man’s heart evil.  The spiritual genetics of the fall of man will still take its toll on future generations.  Our thoughts will not always be His thoughts.

That leads to some heavy thoughts.  Before we go, let’s lighten the mood a little.  We mentioned Bill Cosby’s comedy routine about Noah.  There are actually several, on different aspects of the situation.  There’s a video that puts them together for about 8 minutes of solid laughter, but all to the point.  You can watch it, here: .

So, what are you going to do to overcome the doubts and the derision?  How will you make your thoughts the same as His thoughts?

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