Daily Distinctives, February 21, 2018 – When It Rains It Pours!

Today was one of those days that the old adage which goes, “when it rains it pours” could not be any truer. I had surgery scheduled this morning and was supposed to be there at 5:30 AM. I did not wake up until 6:00. I went through the surgery and made it home to discover that my kid’s cat had got in a fight and has a big gaping hole in his back, and I asked a police officer brother of mine from church to run a vin# on a motorcycle my older son bought on Craig’s List last year and it came up stolen, and so now I have a Sherriff’s officer out front impounding my sons $800 lesson. Oh, and it’s raining. Literally, it is raining outside. It all seems to tie seamlessly into my devotional today as we are wrapping up chapter 7 of Genesis where we are talking about the flood. Now, since I am still medicated, the things I say here may not make too much sense, so please bear with me.

Yesterday I failed to exegete the rest of Genesis 7:11 and so I thought I would start with that before finishing up chapter 7 as it does have a bearing on today’s subject matter.

[Gen 7:11 NKJV] 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.

With Noah on the ark, his family in tow, and all of the creatures God commanded Noah to bring onto the SS. Salvation the door is shut and the waters begin to rise. The rain which likely came from the firmament being broken up begins the tumultuous storm and the in the second part of verse 11 we see that the all the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened. If you thought it was flooding before this just brought the term flood to a whole new level. Water from above and water from below. We have seen devastating flood levels here in Houston, in fact, with Hurricane Harvey which hit Houston in 2017 we saw some of the worst floodings the city has ever seen. This was localized flooding, that is, while Houston was under water in places many were spared. We were fortunate enough that the flood waters only went up to the sidewalk where we live. Others in Houston were not nearly so fortunate losing everything they had. Harvey, as bad as it was, was a mere drop of water compared to the flood of Genesis. Not to belittle the devastation of Harvey but by comparison, as we will see moving forward…well…there really is no comparison.

Verse 17:

[Gen 7:17 NKJV] Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

I have read somewhere at some time that the Ark was designed in such a way that it was both an engineering marvel and practical to suit its purposes. Archimedes would later ponder the science behind this marvel as he studied buoyancy. Much like a modern-day barge that displaces the water around it causing it to float due to its density being lighter than the average density of the water, it is floating in we can see how, as the waters increased, the ark and all who were in it were carried upwards to safety.

[Gen 7:18 NKJV] The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters.

Now the ark was not a luxury liner by any stretch, but it certainly served its purpose. We see here in this verse that as the waters prevailed and greatly increased upon the earth that the ark drifted. Now we might be inclined to think that it drifted aimlessly, but even I know better than that. God was the one who steered this vessel where it went. It was no accident that when the flood waters diminished and the ark rested, that it was at the top of Mount Ararat. It could have landed in Texas if God had so ordered it. That would give new meaning to Palestine, Texas. Just saying. But God orchestrated every part of this journey from start to finish. We can draw a lesson for ourselves here too. If God delivers us and seals us, then where He takes us is up to Him. We don’t necessarily get a say in the matter, but we can count on the fact that wherever we land, God has a purpose for us landing there. I will give you a perfect example in my own life. I thought for sure that when I discovered God has gifted me with the gift of teaching that I would one day be a pastor of a church. He may still take me there; I may still be on my own ark, so to speak, being prepared by the LORD for when I land at the destination He has in mind. Whether that is here in Texas or way off on Mt. Ararat; wherever the LORD leads I am content with waiting and working.

[Gen 7:19 NKJV] And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.

As the waters rose, people, no doubt sought higher ground. With less lowland real estate to escape to, I can imagine people literally climbing on top of each other to escape. Eventually, there was nowhere else to go but to head for the mountains. The few who made it to the mountains were in no better shape. Climb as they might, eventually they suffered the same fate as those in the lowlands. Now, some will point to this and say, why didn’t God just try to save them. To which I would reply, He did. They would not listen to His warnings through the prophet Noah and as a result, they got exactly what they asked for. They refused the way of escape and suffered the consequences. God did not make them evil, and He certainly did not cause them to sin. This they did on their own accord, without remorse, and without repentance.

[Gen 7:20 NKJV] The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.

Since I don’t normally use terms like “cubits” in measuring, I am more of a “pixels and inches guy” in my line of work, I had to do some research on this. I found an interesting article in Answers in Genesis (view in its original context) I thought I would share that should enlighten us.

One of the most important biblical arguments for a universal (i.e., global) Flood is the statement of Genesis 7:19–20, which says, “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered” (KJV).

You do need not be a professional scientist to realize the tremendous implications of these biblical statements. If the highest mountains were covered with water, the Flood would have been global in geographical extent, for water must seek its own level—and it must do so quickly!

The phrase “fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail” does not mean that the Flood was only 15 cubits deep, for the phrase is qualified by the one which immediately follows: “and the mountains were covered.

Because Genesis 6:15 tells us that the height of the Ark was 30 cubits, nearly all commentators agree that the phrase “fifteen cubits” in 7:20 must refer to how deep the Ark sank into the water when it was fully laden. Such information adds further support for a universal Flood, because it tells us that the Flood “prevailed” over the tops of the highest mountains to a depth of at least 15 cubits. If the Flood had not covered the mountains by at least such a depth, the Ark could not have floated over them during the five months in which the waters “prevailed” upon the earth.

I am good with the understanding that it was so deep that no one earth but those on the ark were saved. Still, I understand the desire to reconcile the truths found in the Bible to our scientific minds. Again, I wasn’t there as an eye-witness, so I cannot say with any other absolute certainty than what my faith allows.

[Gen 7:21 NKJV] 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.
[Gen 7:22 NKJV] All in whose nostrils [was] the breath of the spirit of life, all that [was] on the dry [land], died.
[Gen 7:23 NKJV] 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].
[Gen 7:24 NKJV] And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.

Everything died. Everything that God had created. It was all His and He did with it as it pleased Him. Although, I would say that none of this pleased Him. Even in destroying the inhabitants of the Earth, God did no evil. Even this was good. But I can imagine how heartbreaking this must have been for Him. Again, not willing that any should perish. To sit in God’s shoes for a nanosecond would be more than we could ever bear. And so for people who object to God’s judgment, they have no basis by which to judge God, nor do they have any right to judge God. The whole idea is silly and futile. Who can know the mind of God (Romans 11:34)? Later in the book of Job, which incidentally was the first book in the Bible chronologically (we can talk about why the Bible was arranged the way it was arranged and why it is is in the order we see it today at some later date, LORD willing), God graciously allows Job to question God for his sufferings. But God flipped the script and asked Job a few questions of His own. Hopefully, this will quell any thoughts of why we might have had. Since this could be a great  Bible study on its own, I will leave you today with this.

[Job 38:1 NKJV] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
[Job 38:2 NKJV] “Who [is] this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
[Job 38:3 NKJV] Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
[Job 38:4 NKJV] “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell [Me], if you have understanding.
[Job 38:5 NKJV] Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
[Job 38:6 NKJV] To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,
[Job 38:7 NKJV] When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
[Job 38:8 NKJV] “Or [who] shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth [and] issued from the womb;
[Job 38:9 NKJV] When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band;
[Job 38:10 NKJV] When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors;
[Job 38:11 NKJV] When I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’
[Job 38:12 NKJV] “Have you commanded the morning since your days [began], [And] caused the dawn to know its place,
[Job 38:13 NKJV] That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?
[Job 38:14 NKJV] It takes on form like clay [under] a seal, And stands out like a garment.
[Job 38:15 NKJV] From the wicked their light is withheld, And the upraised arm is broken.
[Job 38:16 NKJV] “Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?
[Job 38:17 NKJV] Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
[Job 38:18 NKJV] Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell [Me], if you know all this.
[Job 38:19 NKJV] “Where [is] the way [to] the dwelling of light? And darkness, where [is] its place,
[Job 38:20 NKJV] That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths [to] its home?
[Job 38:21 NKJV] Do you know [it], because you were born then, Or [because] the number of your days [is] great?
[Job 38:22 NKJV] “Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
[Job 38:23 NKJV] Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, For the day of battle and war?
[Job 38:24 NKJV] By what way is light diffused, [Or] the east wind scattered over the earth?
[Job 38:25 NKJV] “Who has divided a channel for the overflowing [water], Or a path for the thunderbolt,
[Job 38:26 NKJV] To cause it to rain on a land [where there is] no one, A wilderness in which [there is] no man;
[Job 38:27 NKJV] To satisfy the desolate waste, And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
[Job 38:28 NKJV] Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
[Job 38:29 NKJV] From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
[Job 38:30 NKJV] The waters harden like stone, And the surface of the deep is frozen.
[Job 38:31 NKJV] “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?
[Job 38:32 NKJV] Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
[Job 38:33 NKJV] Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?
[Job 38:34 NKJV] “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That an abundance of water may cover you?
[Job 38:35 NKJV] Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, And say to you, ‘Here we [are]!’?
[Job 38:36 NKJV] Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?
[Job 38:37 NKJV] Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
[Job 38:38 NKJV] When the dust hardens in clumps, And the clods cling together?
[Job 38:39 NKJV] “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
[Job 38:40 NKJV] When they crouch in [their] dens, [Or] lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
[Job 38:41 NKJV] Who provides food for the raven, When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?

Prayer: LORD, You have made all things and they exist because they are Yours to do with as You please. Just as I am Yours and I have surrendered myself to Your will. The difference I see LORD is that man, who was made in Your image, has a free will. Thank You for giving us the opportunity to align our will to Your will. Forgive us when we fall short of Your design. LORD, I want to lift up my pastor to You today. I was supposed to meet with him this morning but between surgery, injured cats, stolen motorcycles, and jury duty that opportunity was postponed. Still, I pray that You would be with him as his family has begun their journey today. They are in an ark of sorts themselves depending on You to take them to higher grounds. I pray Your blessings for His family and may Your will be done in their season of trial. Lastly, LORD, I pray that You might bring a speedy recovery to my cousin Darrel who is still in the hospital. From what I have heard he may be getting ready to be released soon! Praise be to Your name. And LORD, your servant has need for healing as well. I ask only that You would allow this surgury I had today bring glory and honor to You as it brings relief to me. Perhaps it will change my voice a little and I will be able sing Your praises all the louder! It is in Your name that I pray. -Amen

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