PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART IV

Both, God and man had to partner and rebuilt the world. The flood did more than just kill the body and the flesh. The flood also demoralized the spirit in man. It should not surprise anyone that Noah drunk himself to sleep. The world also was destroyed and the earth was devastated including all properties and landscapes. Noah’s family were like newcomers on a deserted and ruined planet. The world, no longer, was a beautiful garden, like Eden where Adam was put to tend it and where ample food and clean water was available. Noah must have asked many times, “Why did you choose me, Lord?” The scripture has this answer:

Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (Genesis 6:9-10). “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).

GOD WANTS BELIEVERS AND DOERS LIKE NOAH

We have heard it said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a person who is fully dedicated to God.” Well, the world is blind because Noah was such a person. He was not perfect! However, Noah was willing to allow the Spirit of the Lord to guide his spirit. Therefore, Noah saved the human race from extinction! And then, Noah and his family rebuilt and repopulated the earth. Noah had many disappointments, which brought on depression and made him drink in excess. He even blamed his innocent grandson for his indecency. Nevertheless, thanks to Noah, we are all still here. And we are learning how to believe and how to do what God commands. Jesus had some very pertinent lessons for us:

As they were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; buy the Son of man as nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God’ (Luke 9:57-62).

He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:10-13).

In the Parable of the Talents, the master entrusted five talents to the most capable servant, two talents to one less capable servant, and one to a servant with no faith in himself. And what did the master expect from his servants?

And he who received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents me.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ He ask who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I new you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you  have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth’ (Matthew 25:20-30).

BY OBEYING GOD AND QUALIFY FOR GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES — NOAH HAD PASSED THE TEST

To start with, Noah was given the authority over life and death! And he also was allowed to hunt living animals for food. However, he was not allowed to drink the blood; for the blood is the source of life. God promised Noah, that never again, would water be used to destroy the whole earth, and that God would assume the responsibility to punish transgressors (Genesis 9:1-7). For the first time, God entered an agreement with Noah and with his sons. God called it a “Covenant.” And this “Covenant” was to be administered by Noah’s offspring. To verify the “Covenant” (agreement), God set a rainbow in the sky, which would appear from time to time, until the world completes its purpose for man. The world was created for man and not man for the world! Man was in the mind of God before (pro) the foundation of the world was laid (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4).

The God asked to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I will set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the cloud, I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. There three were the sons of Noah;and from these the whole earth was peopled (Genesis 9:8-19).

NOAH’S FLOOD BECAME AN EXAMPLE HOW DESTRUCTIVE WICKEDNESS CAN BECOME, AND HOW ENDLESS AND GRACIOUS GOD’S LOVE WAS AND STILL IS

Isaiah, the prophet, saw how Assyria, the huge giant, was swallowing up tiny Israel. Hence, he was reminded of God’s enormous love and mercy — much larger than Noah’s flood. The faithful felt that God had left them, but not Isaiah. God’s grace and God’s love are endless for all men and women, who repent and who put their trust in Jesus, the Christ (3:16-18).

For this is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones. All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the prosperity of your sons. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

If any one stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.

This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindiation from me, says the LORD” (Isaiah 54:9-17).

The Jews believed that no matter what they do, that their country and that their land was “Holy Ground!” And they also believed that their country and that their land was protected by the Lord God, Himself. The Jews were and they still are no different from any other nation and people. Hence, all of us ought to read what the Lord told Ezekiel:

And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it, were in it, and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, says the LORD GOD.  

If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the beasts; even if these three men were in it, as I live, say the LORD GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; they alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Let a sword go through the land; and I cut off from it man and beast; though these three men men were in it, as I live says the LORD GOD, they would be delivered. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast; even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it as I live, says the LORD GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.

“For thus says the LORD GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four sore acts of judgement, sword, famine, evil beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! Yet, if there should be left in it any survivors to lead out sons and daughters, when they come forth to you, and you see their ways and their doings, you will be consoled for the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. They will console you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done in it, says the LORD GOD” (Ezekiel 14:12-23).

NOAH’S DAYS ARE UPON US — JUST AS JESUS HAS PREDICTED

The world and far too many human lives are not run by the Good Spirit, but by many evil spirits. The Apostle Paul’s caution to Timothy is more real to us than it was two centuries ago. And so are the warnings of Jesus and of Peter:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from their faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

If you put these instructions before the brethren, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the good doctrine which you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe (I Timothy 4:1-10).

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth (Matthew 24:36-51).

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgement; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Go-morrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lord, greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked (for by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority (II Peter 2:4-10).

IN CLOSING:

The Spirit of the LORD are the “Eyes of God” smiling down on the children of light who are loved by His grace, and glorify His Name by the way they live (DAK).