Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Are We Safe or Saved?

Think about the day Noah and his family came out of the ark.  A year earlier God had destroyed all but eight people on the earth.  Noah comes off the ark and starts building a new world. 
Remember howt New Orleans looked after Katrina?  I can’t imagine that on a world-wide scale.  What do you think Noah and his family saw when they stepped off the ark?  What do you think they smelled?  YIKES!  Can you imagine how heartbreaking it would be to wake up every morning remembering how the land had looked before the flood and then meeting the new reality?  You’re living in tents, nothing fresh to eat (that you’re used to eating anyway).  Vegetarians, think about it, you’ve never eaten meat in your life, but now, just to stay alive, you have to start.  You have to learn how to kill, skin and gut the animals so that you can cook them and eat them.  Sure, Noah had done some of it before to make sacrifices…but I’ll bet it’s different to realize that you’re going to be eating it later.  Do you think it smelled good the first time they cooked?  Do you think it tasted good to them?  I’ll bet the texture was pretty scary for someone who was used to eating fruits, vegetables and nuts.
It takes a very special kind of person to be able to take chaos and turn it into order.  God knew that He could trust Noah to get things moving in the right direction.  It’s one thing to take care of the rebuilding and replanting, but then add the humans back into the mix…having to teach each new generation about God and all the things that had happened so far.  What a sense of responsibility!  The first couple of generations probably were not so difficult because the scars of the flood were probably still easy to see and the ark was near by.  But as generations of people grew and heard second and third hand retellings of the flood and about a god that was so angry that he destroyed the earth…well, they weren’t so sure.  You know how stories and legends grow and change.  Remember the fairy tale of the brave little tailor.  His story started out with him killing seven flies at once, but through intentionally misleading and ambiguous statements, he led people to believe that he had killed seven men at one time.  His legend grew, and he became more feared until no one knew how to get rid of him.  He ended up as a king.  Well, in the generations after the flood, I believe that Satan used the same types of intentional misdirection to cause people to be frightened of God and to think of Him as sneaky, arbitrary and vengeful.  Pretty soon, people didn’t believe the rainbow promise. 
It was one quick step from there to their new king, Nimrod, convincing them that he needed to protect them from God and starting to build the Tower of Babel.  The people had stopped trusting God.
As I sit here in my comfy chair, having had plenty to eat and think, “I wouldn’t let that happen to me.”
Uh, yeah, and, if you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Oklahoma to sell you.  True, some of us would hang onto God, but the vast majority of us would crumble and fight to be the one to put down the first brick. 
So, here we are, “As it was in the days of Noah…” People all around us are telling us that we can’t trust God to keep His promises to us.  Lies about who Jesus is, are everywhere.  Unbelievably, over half of the people living in the United States today say that they’re not sure if God exists.  Man, how do we get from a nation founded on God to being a nation with a Christian minority in just over 200 years?  And where do we go from here?  Are we trusting God to keep His promises to us?  Or are we busy building our own Tower of Babel?  Are we trusting national or church leaders to make our decisions for us?  Do we think if we earn this much more money we’ll be safe?  What if we insulate ourselves from “the outside world”?
I know that is my own tendency.  If I just stay within my house, my own little life, and don’t step out of my comfort zone, then I’ll be okay; I’ll be safe.  But is that what God really wants us to do?  Were Noah and his family more worried about safety or salvation?  What about Jesus and His disciples?  What about me?

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