Monday, April 15, 2019

2019.04.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 8:20-22

Questions for Littles: What did Noah build in Genesis 8:20? To whom? What did he do from every kind of clean animal and bird? Who smelled a soothing aroma (Genesis 8:21)? Where did Yahweh speak? What would He never do again? Why not? What eight things does the Lord promise to continue without ceasing in Genesis 8:22?
In the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we see at least three very important things.

First, we see the greatness of our sin. Noah took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. Every. Clean. Animal. Every. Clean. Bird. That’s a lot of offering. They are clean, and the implication is clear: it’s because we are not.

As each animal dies, every member of Noah’s family is once again reminded, “I deserve to die.” As each bird dies, every member of Noah’s family is once again reminded, “I deserve to die.” As each animal burns, every member of Noah’s family is once again reminded, “I deserve to burn.” As each bird burns, every member of Noah’s family is once again reminded, “I deserve to burn.” They may have been on the ark, but they certainly didn’t deserve to be. And neither do we.

But the animals are doing more than reminding Noah and family about themselves. They are also reminding God about Himself. And that’s the second important thing we see here, the greatness of Christ’s glory. The passage tells us that Yahweh smelled a soothing aroma. How’s that? Is He really a fan of roast beef, lamb, chicken, quail, etc?

Rather, it’s because of what the animals pointed forward to. They pointed forward to the Good Shepherd who said, “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep […] Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again”  (John 10:15-17). Therefore?!

Here, we are at the precipice of an ocean of glory so deep that we can never comprehend the bottom, let alone see it or find it. God, from all eternity—in the mutual love and fellowship of Father, Son, and Spirit—has purposed that here would be the great display of the glory of God in the Son of God: at the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the soothing aroma. It was not roasting animals and birds that the Lord “smelled,” but His beloved Son, with whom He is well-pleased.

This helps us understand the third great thing that we see here: the amazing logic of grace. It is precisely because man is hopelessly wicked that God will undo the curse. Wait… what? How is this justice? Well, it’s justice because of Christ; and it is precisely our hopelessness and guiltiness that displays the glory of Christ, since even for us He is a sufficient and full atonement!

Finally, we see that there is a consistency and reliability restored to the creation in Genesis 8:22 that is the result of this internal conversation within God. When we see seedtime and harvest, etc., then it is not so much for earthly provision and comfort—but rather because these things are a reminder of the certainty and fullness of Christ’s atonement—that we say, “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Which of your sins do you tend to treat as small? What sacrifice does an even better job of showing how big they are than the ones in Genesis 8:20? If God treats Christ’s worthiness as greater even than our sin, what are some ways you can follow Him in that?
Suggested Songs: ARP19A “The Skies above Declare” or TPH254 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

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