Chapter seven describes the flood which destroyed all humanity (along with everything else) on the face of the planet, ending with a scene of universal destruction and death. According to Scripture, only eight people out of all the human race survived. Chapter eight, however, starts out with a word of hope, even if it’s a slightly strange one. Verse one says that God “remembered” Noah and his family. Does this mean he had forgotten them up until that point: “Now let’s see, what was next on my ‘to do’ list? Oh my gosh, I totally blanked on Noah and his crew!”? Of course not! He who holds the whole of creation together (Colossians 1:17) and who sustains all things with his powerful word (Hebrews 1:3) does not EVER forget anything (with one exception, but we’ll get to that later). When the term “remember” is applied to God in the Old Testament, it simply means that God is physically acting to keep one of his promises. He promised to sustain Noah and his family, and he is now acting on that promise. You’ll see this again in Exodus 2:24.
Another subject that needs raising is that of a universal flood. Many people try to present Noah’s flood as only a local flood, affecting only the people in his region. There are several problems with this, however. Gen. 7:17-23 describes the floods covering the “mountains,” and God’s promise in 9:12-16 makes absolutely NO sense if he is only referring to a local flood (think of all the local floods throughout history). But why would this matter to modern people? Why are they so intent to disparage the idea of a universal flood? 2 Peter 3:3-7 might have a clue. The idea of a God who judges all of humanity and is capable of destroying it because of sin would not be a comfortable one to someone intent on continuing a rebellious and godless lifestyle. Peter says that the same people who scoff at the notion of a universal flood also ridicule the idea of the Second Coming of Christ who will sit in judgment over every person who has ever drawn a breath. The same God who destroyed the entire earth with a flood of water will one day overwhelm it with fire which will reduce it to ashes.
But again, before I point the finger at “godless” people who don’t believe the Bible, what about me? Do I believe that every lost person I meet has an appointment with the Judgment seat of Christ? If so, do I look for opportunities to share the good news with them?
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for my lack of compassion for people around me who are lost. You came to seek and to save that which was lost, and you are not willing that anyone perish but that all should come to repentance. Please give me that heart, Lord.
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