Saturday, March 23, 2019

2019.03.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 7:1-6

Questions for Littles: Who speaks in Genesis 7:1? To whom is He speaking? Where does He tell him to come? Who has seen [to it!] that Noah is righteous? Before Whom is Noah righteous? How many pairs of each clean animal is Noah to take (Genesis 7:2)? How many unclean? How many pairs each of the birds (Genesis 7:3)? What reason does verse 3 give? How many more days at this point until God acts (Genesis 7:4)? What is God going to make happen? For how long? What determined what Noah would do (Genesis 7:5)? How much of what was commanded did Noah do? How old was Noah when the floodwaters came on the earth (Genesis 7:6)? 
In the Scripture for tomorrow’s sermon, we learn whom the Lord saved, how the Lord saved him, and why the Lord saved him.

First, we learn whom the Lord saved. He saved Noah. And all his household. And all the animals that were with him. It is tempting to say that the Lord saved “the righteous ones,” (and more on that in a minute), but we would have a singular/plural problem at that point. There is only one righteous one in Genesis 7:1! I have seen (to it!) that you (singular!) are righteous before Me. Salvation from the flood is a lowercase-s salvation, but it imitates capital-s salvation because those who are saved are saved by being considered by God in the righteous one.

Second, we learn how the Lord saved. For seven people, and seven pairs of every bird and clean animal kind, and two (possibly two pairs) of every unclean animal kind, the Lord saved them by placing them with Noah. It was not that they were worthy—it was that they were in someone who is worthy. And the Lord saved them by placing them in an ark. He did not enable them, with assisting grace, to survive the onslaught of the storm for forty days and then to tread water for a year! It was not that they were able—it was that God provided them something that actually was able to survive the storm.

And, the Lord saved them by making Noah righteous. When He says “I have seen,” He uses the same language as in Genesis 22:8 and Genesis 22:14. It is the same verb as “see,” but it means what we mean when we say “I’ll see to that.” It is especially this way with the Lord, who ordains all that He sees. And it is even more especially this way with grace, in which the Lord overcomes guilt and weakness by overruling power. He saved through a provision of righteousness.

Capital-s salvation is like this even more: by the worthiness of a representative, by placing us who could never succeed in saving into a vessel that cannot fail to save, and by providing for us a righteousness that comes from Him alone.

Finally, we learn why the Lord saved. Space on the ark is, obviously, at a premium. The flying birds might serve some important functions, and most don’t take up much room. But seven pairs of every clean animal? Why? Mankind hasn’t even been granted to eat them yet! Well, that’s just the point, isn’t it? Mankind isn’t being saved in order that he might eat. Clean animals were useful primarily for one thing to this point. Sacrifice. Mankind was being saved only to worship!

This is what capital-s salvation is ultimately for. “If You, Yahweh, should count our sins against us, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You that You may be reverenced!” (Psalm 130:3-4).
Where/how can you get worthiness, ability, and righteousness for capital-s salvation?
Suggested Songs: ARP130 “Lord, from the Depths” or TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths to You I Cry!”

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