Lent

Build me an Ark – 26th Feb 2021 – Declared Righteous

“The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.” (Genesis 1:7).

We know that righteousness comes by faith. Throughout the Old Testament we continually see that one cannot be in right standing with God through obedience to the law – righteousness is what God declares us through grace, it is a gift of God.  

This statement is not about one person being better than everyone else, the story of Noah is about how God calls out to the sinner and declares, that by His choice, God does not hold our sins against us but desires our salvation, and that it is our response that is accredited to us as faith.

When we begin to read past a physical understanding of Scripture, we begin to see that God is saying that, with Adam and Eve we will be tempted and we will be sinful, but God clothes us with righteousness. God did not start forgiving when Jesus came and endured his Physical ministry on earth. God started forgiving when Adam and Eve first sinned. But the story of Noah is not a story of punishment of the world it is a story of salvation,   and it is very clear that God’s desire is that all shall be saved. It is interesting that the language of Genesis chapter 7  is how the remnant ( Noah and his family and a pair of all the animals ( 7 pairs of sacrificial animals) and the language of the Revelation chapter 7 [2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.]

The Alpha and the Omega speaks of those who are being saved, called out and spared for God’s purposes.

 At both ends of Scripture the story is about the righteous being saved by grace and faith. God declares that we are righteous, we respond in faith and Salvation comes to earth.

Question – are you drowning in your iniquity, or are you hearing God declare you as righteous? Are you feeling condemned or convicted? Are you seeing your failure and disappointments as punishment and God withdrawing his hand or are you beginning to grasp, that God’s desire is your salvation not your demise? Every experience, every suffering is an opportunity to draw closer to God. To have the sinfulness washed out of your life and have the love flow in.

As someone who has failed in life (more than most) I can say with confidence that God works all, for the good of those he loves. (Romans 8:28) I have seen how many of the things that I regard as failure, are being used by God for good. There are many things that I await in eager expectation to see what that good is – we are all a work in progress, but when we walk by faith, when we build an Ark, we focus on what God is saving us for and not just what God is saving us from.     

Before we pray consider this:( looking purely at the physical story of Noah) when others saw him building an Ark, they could have joined him and built one too.

Let us pray.

Father God we thank you that by grace you have declared us to be righteous and called us to build an ark of faith, a response to your goodness and compassion, and that the purpose of your grace is that all will be saved. Open our eyes to see that you are working all things for our good so that we can live lives of gratitude and joy.

Thank you for saving us and we ask you to empower us to witness to that salvation to all the world.

Amen.

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