But Noah….

2015-06-30 13.10.12Today, I had the skin cancer above my eyebrow removed. It was an interesting process and went well. I was pleased that the doctor was able to remove all the cancerous tissue on the first try. But when the plastic surgeon allowed me to look at the crater that was left, it didn’t look like there was much more to take! This gives me a different take on having a “hole in my head.”

While these procedures are fairly common and not the cause of much concern, with my recent history, I am always glad when what is suppose to be routine, comes out that way. I appreciated my brother-in-law Sam Schmidt for coming to join us for the process and bringing me home after it was over. The doctor gave me a good excuse for “taking it easy” the rest of the day.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… The Lord saw that the human beings on the earth were very wicked and that everything they thought about was evil.But Noah pleased the Lord.”  Genesis 6:5,8 (NCV)

I have started my next journey through the Bible. I am reading the “New Century Version.” This is one that I have read before, but it has been several years. It doesn’t take long in the Biblical narrative to go from creation to the fall to the growth of the population of people, to the world becoming so full of evil and sin, it compels God to act. Some calculate, based on the year of birth of the first nine generations from Adam, that the flood came 1,656 years after creation. By my calculations Adam was still living during the early years of Lamech, Noah’s father.

While I find some of this timeline study of interest, what we realize is that in the midst of this lineage of a righteous family, evil was growing on the earth. Out of the description of the moral condition of the world at the time, we find this contrast, “But Noah pleased the Lord” or as some translations word it, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

So we see God redirecting His plan for the world to one man and his family. A man who is called, “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) Noah pleased and Lord in his personal life of dedication to the Lord and his willingness to speak out against the evil of his day.

The Lord is still looking for lives the please Him and stand out in contrast to the prevailing culture. These are the lives of commitment and courage that He is prepared to use to accomplish His divine purposes, even in our world today.

Because of God sending Jesus into this world, we can be those who “find grace in the eyes of the Lord.” The other early patriarch that “pleased God” was a man named, “Enoch.” The Book of Hebrews speaks of Enoch, “before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Heb. 11:5) The Lord took Enoch out of an evil world through his “translation” – for Noah He delivered him from the evil of the world through divine protection when judgment came.

The bottom line for those who follow Christ today is that when we live our lives in His grace and make it our aim to please Him, the Lord uses us and protects us and delivers us. That was the message that Peter preached to his readers as he spoke of the days of Noah and God’s judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah.  He said, So the Lord knows how to save those who serve him when troubles come. He will hold evil people and punish them, while waiting for the Judgment Day.”  (2 Peter 2:9)

In a changing world and one that seems to characterize, “the days of Noah” our challenge is to keep our focus on the Lord and to look to Him for strength and courage to live our lives to please Him. As the Lord looks at the world today, may He see us stand in contrast to the surrounding culture.