When God was finished with creation he looked at it and it was very good. One should note that “very good” in God’s eyes is indeed – very good. So it went on for a while like this, until one day God gave another look to creation, but this time the picture was different. This time the Lord did not rejoice, but instead “he was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain” (Genesis 6:6, NIV). He decided to wipe away what he had made, but Noah found favor in His eyes. So he spared him. This went on for a while until one other day the Lord said to Noah and his sons “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11, NIV).
I cannot help but wonder what went through God’s “mind” between the time of completing creation and the events of Genesis 6. Even more – what changed from Genesis 6 to Genesis 9? There’s little we can know about it, besides that God set off on a mission – a mission that’s one of a kind.
See, when, let’s say your TV breaks down and you want to continue watching TV – you have two options. Either repair it or get a new one, the latter being the more convenient, easier one. While the flood was God’s way of starting all over again – more convenient and certainly quicker, his covenant with Noah and later on with many others is rather astonishing. He basically said “I won’t get rid of you, but will do whatever it takes to fix you up – make you look good again; as good as you were when I first looked at you.” This might also seem easy until you grasp the scale of the repair that needed to be done. Consequentially, that decision didn’t come at no expense for God. The toll was the death and resurrection of His Son – a rather high price, but as I said – a lot needed fixing.
Update: Apparently God decided to surprise me yet again. The sermon was a refreshing lesson for me both while preparing the last bits and seeing the whole thing, and also while preaching it. The feedback from the congregation was very encouraging as well. I have never had such a powerful feedback on a sermon I’ve preached, so it was a very humbling experience on top of all else. I think they believed my message. I actually think I came to believe more than when I started preparing for the sermon and all the questions started popping up.
In the past few weeks I’ve been working on a sermon about God’s mission and our part in it. It’s been a really refreshing thing for me. Especially because in the last several years the direction of my faith has been downwards. More like rolling down a hill actually…
In the midst of all the excitement around that sermon the following thought came about “Will they believe my message if I don’t believe it myself?” It actually led me to reflecting on the way we, Christians, tend to “testify” to the world today… When Christ called us to go and teach the world about Him and make disciples he pointed out two most important details: 1) all authority is given to Him (and that’s all as in ALL), and 2) He is with us as we’re going after this mission.
I know that I myself have very often been the scared Christian, or the too-careful-one. I’ve often decided to keep quiet rather than speak out the truth. I’ve often decided to pray silently, rather than disturb the secular enjoyment of others around me and show what I actually care about. I suppose this won’t change over-night either, but at the moment I’m thinking too much about it and couldn’t keep from sharing it with you all.
So, I’m preparing this sermon which is supposed to challenge the lives of young and old people and help them embrace God’s mission to share the Gospel with non-believers, love Him, and love the other people around. And I keep coming to one key moment – in order for us to carry out the mission successfully we ought to be fearless, full of faith, and entirely determined. read more