Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jan 10 2019 - Genesis 7:11-8:5 – Water world

Today we read of the whole world destroyed but also washed clean in the waters of the great flood. Noah obeyed God and built his immense boat to house himself and the animals which God had given him to preserve. Note the fascinating words, "Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark" (Genesis 7:15). It appears to be a deliberate echo of Genesis 2:19 where God brought all the animals to Adam that he might name them.

And then there is another wonderful feature of this story. When Noah and all the animals had entered the ark we read, "Then the Lord shut him in" (7:16). It is the Lord who shuts the door of the ark; the very act by which many are brought to judgment is also the act by which Noah and all with him are kept safe. The Lord himself secures their safety.

In similar fashion we read that it was because "God remembered Noah" (Genesis 8:1) that the flood subsided and the great boat came to rest again on dry land. God has not abandoned his purpose to create a world that will reflect the glory of its creator and its Saviour.

Yesterday we saw how the world was saved through the obedience of one man and that Noah points us to the ultimate Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. This theme is picked up by the apostle Peter who writes that, "God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand" (1 Peter 3:20-22). Peter focusses on the way in which God waited for Noah to complete his task before judgment fell and that this judgment also saved Noah and those with him. In the same way the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ witnessed the outpouring of God's judgment from heaven but has also been the means by which we have been saved – brought to share in his resurrection life. All of this is symbolised in baptism. The baptismal pool is, in picture, the great flood in which we pass through the judgment of God into a world made new.

When Jesus died upon the cross,
when he was buried in the dust,
he bore the judgment I deserved –
for me, the sinner, died the just!

When Jesus rose up from the tomb
he rose as firstborn from the dead:
he broke the powers of sin and hell
and lives for me, my risen head.

And here I also die and rise,
baptised into his holy name;
with him I'm judged, with him I die –
on me the law has no more claim.

With Christ I rise up from the grave
to live for ever with my Lord;
alive to God, with this desire,
to be obedient to his word.

Father God, we praise you for the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you that through his death and resurrection he has become the Saviour of the world. And we thank you that in your mercy you have drawn us to come and trust in him. You have remembered us and we are eternally thankful. Help us to draw others to him that they also might know your salvation.

Peter Misselbrook