Genesis 6 … Consider His Sorrow

Oh this chapter…where do we begin? There is so much to consider; but this morning I was struck with these words, “The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart,” (6:6).

Consider His Sorrow

God Himself repeated this thought in the first Person, “…for I am sorry that I have made them,” (6:7). And I was reminded of Isaiah’s prophetic description of the Messiah, the Christ, Who was to come.

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him, (Isaiah 53:3).

“A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…”

And the thought came; Jesus’ sorrow did not begin during the time He walked on the earth as a man. It began in the garden, when He walked in sweet fellowship with His creation; yet they chose to forsake Him, hid their faces, despised Him by choosing their own way, and esteemed Him not as LORD God Creator, but rather chose to esteem self.

And now, here in Genesis 6, this corruption of self-esteem is pandemic. And it grieved His heart. To think of God’s heart breaking… Judgment is not pleasurable.

How can we respond as we Consider His Sorrow?

We can look to Noah. In the midst of all the violence and corruption there was one. “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD,” (6:8). How did Noah come to this place of favor? “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God,” (6:9).

This is a clear description of faith. In the midst of a world who had turned their backs on God, by God’s grace (favor) Noah walked with Him. And how was Noah declared righteous and blameless? We know Scripture teaches, “There is no one righteous not even one,” (Romans 3:10). But the righteousness of man has always been imparted by faith, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness,” (Romans 4:3).

Because Noah was a man of faith, he walked with God, trusted God, and “did, according to all that God commanded him, so he did,” (6:22). And because of Noah’s close fellowship with God, he too must have experienced grief and sorrow over the condition of man. How Noah’s heart must have ached with every act of obedience in the ark’s construction.

Oh that we would respond as Noah:

  • It must begin with faith. Have we trusted God alone for our standing in His righteousness?
  • Do we walk with the LORD as Noah did, in faith, obedience, humility and reverence?
  • Sin grieves the heart of God…do we grieve over sin, our own as well as the world’s?
  • Are we ready and willing to obey and serve Him whenever and however He calls, “according to all that God had commanded…” (6:22)?

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 7 … Consider Him!

So many facets of our amazing God in Genesis 7…

Consider His Mercy in sparing Noah, his family and all the twos, beckoning them to “Enter the ark…” (7:1).

Consider His Sovereignty. He created all; He alone is in the place to determine destiny. “…and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made,” (7:4).

Consider His Holiness that neither can, nor will tolerate sin. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth,” (Genesis 6:11-12).

Consider His Righteousness in judgment. “Yes, O LORD God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments,” (Revelation 16:7).

Consider His Patience in giving the people 100 years of warning. Noah was called to begin building the ark when he was “five hundred years old,” (Genesis 5:32). “Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth,(7:6).

Consider His Provision. It was God’s design that provided an ark to withstand the storm (Genesis 6:14-18). He held back the flood until Noah, his family and the twos were safely inside. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him,(7:16).

Consider His Protection. God closed the door behind them, for it is Him “who shuts and no one opens,” (Revelation 3:7) and “Then the flood came…” (7:17).

As we consider Him, how can we respond?

Consider our security in Him. While the deluge of destruction was going on all around them, those who accepted His invitation into the ark were kept safe and secure. The application for us is twofold:

  • First and foremost, Jesus alone is our security in time of judgment. There is coming a day we will stand before Holy God in judgment. If we have placed our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, we have entered into His place of provision for the payment of our sin. Are we safely inside His ark, eternally secure? If there is doubt, receive His salvation and security by acknowledging your need for what only He can do. On the cross, Jesus took on our sin, and because of His perfect sinless life, offered Himself as the payment for our sins.
    • The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
  • Secondly, eternal security does not eliminate the storms of life. Our salvation in Christ guarantees our destiny with Him in heaven; but we live in a fallen world that reels under the consequences of sin, and we often get caught in its fallout. God extends an invitation to enter into His provision of peace in the midst of the storm, an invitation of grace received by faith. Trust His goodness and grace that even in the storms of life, He is our refuge.
    • O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge, (Psalm 7:1).

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 8 … Consider His Forethought

Forethought: “thoughtful provision beforehand, provident care; prudence; a thinking of something beforehand; previous consideration; anticipation.”

“But God remembered Noah and…” (8:1). Had God forgotten Noah while “the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days,” (Genesis 7:24)?

While we cannot possibly understand all of God’s thoughts and ways;…

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8);

…we can be certain Noah was not an afterthought.

Consider His Forethought

What God has declared in the previous chapters of Genesis makes His Forethought abundantly clear. In remembering Noah, God was choosing to turn away from His judgment on mankind and turn again to His grace and mercy towards us.

To think that only one man and his family were rescued can be difficult to take in. But the terrifying truth is only one found favor in God’s sight.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord, (Genesis 6:5-8).

God’s favor is bestowed upon all who place their faith in Him and His Word, and faith is then displayed through a willing surrender to His Forethought.

From the beginning, in His thoughtful provision and provident care, He promised Adam and Eve the Seed of woman would crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15). His work, not man’s!

His Forethought provided protection for Noah and His family. And although “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth…, God pronounced, I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done,” (8:21). We are at His mercy.

Thus, His plan of salvation is abundantly clear: salvation belongs to God; He alone is our salvation from judgment; it was His Forethought all along. There is nothing man can do to rescue himself. We only need to come into His provision.

“I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me,” (Isaiah 43:11).

How are we to respond to His Forethought?

One day, all of sin will be eradicated. God will again “remember,” and the waters of the flood of sin will subside and a new heaven and new earth will be made ready for God’s saints for all eternity, (Revelation 21). It has been His plan, His Forethought, since the beginning.

In the meantime, this earth-time, let us respond as Noah. Noah’s first act, after so marvelous a salvation, was to build an altar to the LORD, surely prompted by an intense gratitude and an overwhelming awareness of God’s great mercy; and Noah’s humble gratitude moved the Lord.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done,” (8:20).

Today may we live with such gratitude for His great gift of salvation, consumed with the reality of the immeasurable mercy in His Forethought.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4).

What an amazing gift… to realize we have been on His mind for all eternity. Oh that our very lives be built as an altar, an offering to the Lord, a soothing aroma of humility, gratitude and praise for His Forethought. He sent His Son, planned since the foundation of the world, that we may be brought into the provision of His unshakeable and eternal kingdom.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, (Matthew 25:34).

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; (Hebrews 12:28).

Let’s Grow Together!

Genesis 10 – 11 … Consider His Prerogative

Prerogative: “an exclusive right, privilege, etc., exercised by virtue of rank, office, or the like; a right, privilege, etc., limited to a specific person or to persons of a particular category; a power, immunity, or the like restricted to a sovereign government or its representative.”

(As a side note, many Biblical scholars assert that Genesis 11 chronologically takes place before Genesis 10. In Hebrew literature, events are sometimes described chronologically and then the writer may backtrack to expand understanding, in a sense explaining first the consequence before its cause. In other words, the inception of nations and languages detailed in Genesis 10 was the result of the pride and rebellion described in Genesis 11.)

Because of God’s exclusive right as Almighty Creator, Sovereign LORD, He does what He deems necessary. He alone has the Prerogative and privilege to direct the course of His Creation, that His purposes will be accomplished.

It is His Prerogative to spread abroad the nations. This was, after all, His commandment to Noah and his sons. “And God, blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,’” (Genesis 9:1). God’s purpose will be accomplished.

It is His Prerogative to confuse. God’s heart is for unity for His children. But apart from Jesus Christ we will never know the unity of His Spirit, but rather unity of self-exaltation and rebellion. “…let us make a name for ourselves, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the earth,” (11:4). But wasn’t this exactly what God had commanded, to fill the earth, to be scattered abroad? God’s purpose will be accomplished.

It is His Prerogative to scatter. Sadly, we see the fruit of rebellion once again as man attempts to determine his own way. The LORD had promised He would never again destroy the earth by flood. Scattering was a merciful act of His holy justice. “The LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them,” (11:6). Scattering was the act of a loving God; in so doing the intent and forces of the enemy were weakened. God’s purpose will be accomplished.

It is His Prerogative to choose…one man, one family, one way. Genesis 11:27 introduces us to Abram, God’s choice. Through Abram the Promised One, God’s Way of Salvation, would come. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6). God’s purpose will be accomplished.

His Prerogative…not ours, not now, not ever.

How do we respond to His Prerogative?

  • Acknowledge He is Sovereign. He alone has the prerogative, the absolute right, to determine the destiny of mankind. His purpose will be accomplished.
    • For I know that the Lord is great
      And that our Lord is above all gods.
      Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
      In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps,
      (Psalm 135:5-6).
  • Accept His Way.  His gift of salvation is a free gift of grace through His Son. There is no other way. We have only to admit our need and accept His choice, His gift, His purpose.
    • Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it, (Matthew 7:13-15).
  • Assume He is faithful. We do not have to understand everything God does. Faith believes and trusts in the goodness and purposes of Sovereign God revealed in the pages of Scripture.
    • Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, (Hebrews 11:1).
  • Acclaim His Name. Oh that our lives would make a Name for Him alone. He alone is worthy to receive praise and exaltation. That His purpose in each of us will be accomplished!
    • Let them praise the name of the Lord,
      For His name alone is exalted;
      His glory is above earth and heaven, (Psalm 148:13)

Let’s Grow Together!

Romans 4 … Consider His Accurate Accounting

Accurate: “free from error especially as the result of care; conforming exactly to truth or to a standard; (of information, measurements, statistics, etc.) correct in all details; exact; going to, reaching, or hitting the intended target, not missing the target.”
Accounting: “a systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating [credits and debits]. It reveals profit or loss for a given period, and the value and nature of assets, liabilities and equity.” Continue reading

Genesis 25 … Consider His Answers

This morning I saw Him! I saw Him increase in His Answers. I saw Him as our Answer, the only One suitable, capable, reliable and knowledgeable. He manifests Himself through His Answers.

Consider the following four ways this word, “answer” (noun), is defined .

  1. Answer: that which is suitable for satisfying or fulfilling.
  2. Answer: a response by an act or motion.
  3. Answer: that which is reliable or dependable.
  4. Answer: a reply to bring clarity, illumination.

Consider His Answers

His Answers are suitable for satisfying and fulfilling. “These are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people,” (25:7). This was God’s fulfillment of His promise made some ninety years prior, “As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age,” (Genesis 15:15).

His Answers are a response, to move and act for the sake of His children. In Genesis 17, Abraham cried out to God, “’Oh that Ishmael might live before You!’…God said, ‘As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation,’” (Genesis 17:18-20). It was for the sake of His servant, Abraham that God responded with this blessing. “Now these are the records of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maid, bore to Abraham…16 These are the sons of Ishmael…twelve princes according to their tribes. 17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people,” (25:12-17).

His Answers are reliable and dependable to provide in our barrenness and emptiness. “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived,” (25:21).

His Answers provide clarity and illumination. “But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is so, why then am I this way?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her…” (25:22-23).

How can we respond to His Answers?

  • He alone is capable of fulfilling and satisfying our every desire. Let us find all our satisfaction in Him alone, and trust all the other things to Him.
    • But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, (Matthew 6:33).
  • He is the One, Who by His grace, acts to draw people to Himself. Because of Abraham, Ishmael received blessings; but they were temporal. Let us commit to intercede for our loved ones, persistent in our pleading that they might have the greatest blessing available, life with the LORD for all eternity.
    • For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (Titus 2:11).
    • He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life, (1 John 5:12).
  • He alone is completely reliable; we can always trust that He is working to fulfill His purposes. In our times of emptiness, let us run to Him and pour out our hearts before Him, convinced He always hears. When we become so distraught and our words don’t seem to form, when we don’t even know what to pray, we can rest in His faithfulness, believing His Answers are on the way!
    • “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear,” (Isaiah 65:4).
  • He is the Omniscient, All-Knowing One. Let us go to Him when in need of understanding and illumination. Rebekah surely did not understand all the LORD told her. He chose to disclose His sovereign plan, and it was now her choice to trust Him with all her questions. We will never fully understand all He is doing, but let’s continue to ask Him for faith to trust Him with every detail of our lives, especially the parts that seem hidden in darkness.
    • Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God, (Isaiah 50:10).

His Answers are there for us. Let us be diligent to seek them. When we see His Answers… we see Him!

Let’s Grow Together!