Friday, January 22, 2016

3 Overlooked Lessons From The Great Flood

Tip: When photographing in potentially dangerous situations, come prepared with emergency items and the knowledge of how to save yourself if you get in a pinch (or even better: a friend who can help). If you aren't prepared, leave.

Nearly every year, there comes a period of time when the river rises and the snow melt carries in lots of extra water and debris to the valley in which I live. Flooding is a good reminder of the one great flood that God once sent, back in the times of the book of Genesis.

Typically, when the flood of Genesis is mentioned, people automatically think of Noah and the animals all crammed onto a boat floating around, ending with the rainbow of God's promise to never again wipe all living things from the earth. While these are key aspects of the account, there are other lessons that can be gained. Here are a few:

1.) God is not required to show us mercy as we live in sin. 
The whole reason this all happened was because "The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 5:5). While He has promised never to exterminate all living things from the earth, do note that He can and has struck down smaller groups and individuals as He has seen fit (remember Ananias and Sapphira? Acts 5:1-11; Also, the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah- Genesis 19:1-29)

2.) God does choose to show mercy to some people.

"So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." (Genesis 6:8). God could have chosen to lump Noah in with everyone else and call humanity a waste as a whole, but Noah honored God in his living and the Lord chose to let him and his family continue on.

3.) Numbers are Irrelevant.
To many groups, having a large number of attendees means the difference between a church that is "alive" and a church that is "dying". That simply is not the case. Nowhere in scripture does it say that you must have a big Bible study or belong to a mega-church to be spiritually fruitful. When God sent the great flood to wipe out the races, notice that out of all the people in the world at that time, he only saved eight - "On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark." (Genesis 7:13). Also, again referring to the account of Sodom & Gomorrah in Genesis 19, notice that the Lord only saved one family. As Matthew 18:20 states, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Thank God that He has shown you mercy though you don't deserve it. Thank Him that He chooses to at least save a few people. Thank Him that He shares His presence with us and will bless even the smallest groups of people. 

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