Saturday after the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 12, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 7:1-24 (NKJV)
7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. 2 You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; 3 also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.”
5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. 7 So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, 9 two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark—14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.
17 Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.
24 And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.
We know from Genesis 6:3 that Noah had about 120 years to complete the ark and warn people of the coming flood. We also know from Matthew 24:38 and 2 Peter 2:5 that the people completely ignored Noah and went right on with their lives, as though nothing was going to happen. They lived as though things would keep on going just as they always have.
Peter reminds his readers, us, that there is another final Day of Judgment coming. He says that since God didn’t spare the ancient world, don’t fall into the trap of thinking He will spare this world. But the Holy Triune God has promised His people a new Heaven and a new Earth. After the Genesis flood Noah and his family replenished the earth; however, it was with sinners like us. In Matthew 24 Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the last day. In His answer Jesus tells them no one except the Father knows when the Last Day will come. The signs are obvious, but no one knows the exact time. The end will come unexpectedly, like the Flood.
Jesus and Peter both use Noah’s flood as an example of God’s grace to His people. Like Noah and his family, faithful people now have been brought into the Kingdom of Christ, His Church. In the waters of Baptism the Holy Spirit “works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this” (Small Catechism).
We pray: O God, by the leading of a star You once made known to all nations Your Only-Begotten Son; now lead us, who know You by faith, to know after this life the fullness of Your divine goodness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.