I’ve been intrigued and excited in my deep dive into Genesis of how often God’s grace is revealed. We always think of grace as a New Testament reality. After all, the God of the Old Testament is the God of wrath and judgment, while grace comes through faith in the saving work of Christ.
Just as we have glimpses of Jesus in the Old Testament, we also have glimpses of grace. That’s a gem that I love to pick out of these fascinating chapters, because it reminds me that God’s writing this history, he’s revealing more and more of himself to his people, and grace is a huge part of what he offers that no other god or philosophy provides. Look at these closing verses of chapter 7:
The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.Genesis 7:20-23 ESV
Is there grace in the flood?
I believe there is. As sin grew from the time of Cain to Lamech, and to the Nephilim, we saw that God was just in limiting the years of man and regretted having made man. Noah’s faithfulness and righteous living caught God’s attention, opening a door that would save the human race from complete destruction.
Grace is shown by God in the saving of Noah, his family, and a choice selection of the animal kingdom. He was perfectly justified as Holy God, Creator of the Universe, to take it all back, wipe it out, and start over, if he so chose, but he doesn’t, he saves a remnant…
A remnant…where have we heard that before?
These great themes of Scripture come jumping off the pages of Genesis at me in ways that make me want to shout. I know, I’m a bit odd, but I’m thrilled when I read this story of horrible destruction to know that it not only could have been much worse but that it had a purpose and made our lives much better. When I think about how this initial attack on sin hindered Satan’s plans, I stand back in awe. Noah and his small family are the tiny seeds of generations to come, but by starting again, they have a chance to live within the new constraints of years, which also puts further constraints on sin.
Yet, sin does catch up, it seems. The sins of Lamech who took revenge for being wounded by killing another seem minor in our day when road rage, gang shootings, and domestic violence are daily headlines. For that reason, we come back to the remnant.
- God chose a remnant through Abraham, setting apart a people for his own.
- God chose a remnant out of Egypt.
- God chose a remnant out of exile back to the Promised Land.
- God continues to choose the least of these, those the world values not, to inherit a kingdom, not of this world.
- And he will return to take a remnant of those saved by that same grace home to eternal rest.
Do you feel the waters raging all around you? Are you safe in the ark of the bosom of Christ? In him, we know grace. In him, we can have fellowship and gain encouragement from others of the remnant. In him, we can find…
Grace and Peace