Today’s Scripture: Genesis 6:17-21
17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. 20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. 21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”
The other day I was about to dispose of an old laptop. Before I took it to the recycling center, I decided to do a power-wash on it. A power wash is when you erase all of the data on the computer and reset it to it’s factory settings. Of course, you can never get rid of everything but doing the power-wash made me feel a little better about getting rid of it.
As I was going through the process of the reset, I came to a one final screen that said “Are you sure? Clicking YES will erase all of your files. This action is not reversable!” I have to admit it gave me pause. There was a part of me that wanted to hold on to something that would allow me to undo what I did.
The story of Noah in Genesis 6 – 9 is one that I struggle with. Is God really like this? So angry that the only response was to power wash humanity and all living things? Of course the Noah story is a story told by ancient people so we have to read it as such. But God does seem a little too eager to click “YES” on that final screen.
But then we learn that maybe God had the same feeling I did when deciding to go ahead with the reset. God decided to hedge – and keep a connection to the old. That hedge was Noah and the ark.
So maybe when I find myself thinking that this story is all about God’s wrath, I should remember that it could very well be about God’s grace. God could have blown it all up. Instead God decided to provide a way back to God’s self. Providing a way back is a basic characteristic of God. How do I know that? Because God did it again and again with the Israelites. And God did it one final time with Jesus. God never pushes the power-wash button. Thanks be to God!
God thank you that you always provide a way. Help us to see it.
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