Working for God

Have you ever gotten a project off to what you had assessed was a good start only to discover a major problem and that addressing that problem would require scrapping nearly everything you had done and starting over?

This is the essence of the story of Noah and the flood. A few chapters earlier God finished creating the earth and “saw that everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Yet a few generations later “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.” At this point God was deeply hurt and decided to scrap and rework creation. Some of creation God decided to reuse in version 2.0: namely Noah, his family, and a sufficient quantity of all living things to repopulate the cleansed earth.

Noah's Ark from
Here are a few points of interest often overlooked in the Sunday School version.

  • The Almighty God asked Noah to help him preserve a portion of creation. Why would God need a helper? Perhaps you have called on a friend or co-worker to preserve part of a project you needed to restart.
  • At the height of the destruction God remembered Noah. The process of cleaning up a problematic project can be so spiritually relieving one might purge more than initially intended. This and God’s response to Noah’s worship on reaching dry land show the power of prayer.
  • God’s covenant with Noah extended to every living creature, even to the earth itself.
  • The human heart, the cause of God’s grief that lead to the flood, was not changed, instead God was changed. “The LORD said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.'”

I will have more to say about Genesis 6:9-22 & 8:13-19 and working for God at 8:15 AM and 10:00 AM on Sunday February 18th, at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.

A Tip for Parents

One of the images we use for baptism is coming through the flood. 1 Peter 3:19-21 teaches that our baptism is like the flood that Noah went through. While Noah’s flood made humanity and all living creatures right before God, our baptism makes us right before God, cleaning our mistakes from our conscience with God.

Help your child appreciate God’s grace of baptism as washing away all that we have done that would disappoint God.