Genesis 6:5-8. 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
The sin that was unleashed into humanity in Genesis 3 is in full bloom by Genesis 6. Not just outwardly in their wicked behavior, but inwardly too. Sin runs deep into every layer of the soul of man – every intention of the thoughts of his heart. Every imagination, thought, choice, and emotion is corrupt. Can you see sin at work in and around you? In what ways?
This is the hopeless condition of humanity. We are rotten down to the very center of our hearts. Left alone, every one of us would let our evil imaginations move us deeper and deeper into wickedness. It’s so bad in Genesis six that God is sorrowing over his once good creation. What before brought him delight is now consummately evil. It’s so desperate that the only option is to blot us all out.
Here is one of the most hope filled sentences in the Old Testament – But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah’s father, Lamech, whose name means “despairing” named his son Noah which means “rest.” In an age of great despair Lamech chose to hope. To hope in God’s rest. He believed that his son Noah would break the curse and restore us to our place of resting in the garden (Gen. 5:29). That he was to be the serpent crushing hero.
And although Noah isn’t our ultimate hero, and he won’t break the curse of sin, in this moment in time he will bring rest to all that are found in him.
Genesis 7:1. Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.”
In a world where men are evil, Noah, receiving the grace [favor] of God, will be declared righteous by God. And because of the grace extended to this one man, all who are joined to him will be saved. Not saved FROM the flood, but saved BY the flood.
You see the rest Noah brings does not come as removal from the flood. Noah didn’t stop the rain. He didn’t prevent the deluge. But in Noah, and in his ark, the flood waters went from being the means of certain death to being the means of life. Safe inside the ark the same waters that would destroy many would now raise Noah and his household up, out of death and into life.
The flood of suffering and death still rages around us. But for those in the ark of Christ these waters are not our demise, they are our salvation. Lifting us up to heaven. Purifying us. Cleansing our souls day by day as we tie ourselves to the ballast of Jesus and his grace.
“To live is Christ” is to enter the ark of Christ’s life. To leave behind the despair of our wicked hearts and embrace his rest. To cling to the righteousness of the one man, Jesus, the final “Noah” who has received God’s favor. To let his resurrection power transform suffering and death into a beginning rather than an end.
What makes rest (physical, spiritual) so elusive for you?
You in Christ
God isn’t stopping the floods, but he is floating you in the ark of Christ’s life. How does this image encourage you today?
Christ in you
How can you rest in your union with Christ today? Is there an area where you need to stop striving and just trust Christ’s righteousness?
Playlist: Rest 2.
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