One minute he was enjoying morning coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. The next he was slumped over the counter. “Call 911!” Medics arrived. “Give me that box!” one shouted. He opened it and slapped four Band-Aids on the unconscious man’s chest.
Some conditions call for more than Band-Aids.
When he finished his creation-work, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Six or seven generations passed. Then this: “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). Such was the downward slide of humanity into violent depravity.
How bad was it? So bad the Lord grievously decided to wipe it out. Like a house so termite-infested it has to be leveled. Or a field so chemically-polluted it has to be plowed under. Wickedness so great, the purposes of man’s heart so evil, only a worse-than-tsunami-like flood could wash away the corruption.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.
So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land . . . ”
Was it really that bad? Cain went on from murder to actually build a city (Genesis 4:17). One of his great-grandsons became a livestock tycoon. Another a talented musician. A third a creative metal-worker (Genesis 4:20-22). In business and the arts society was progressing. Let these entrepreneurs teach others! Business will boom! The arts will flourish! Violence will fade! Education! Opportunity! That’s what they need. In God’s eyes that would be slapping Band Aids on a heart attack victim.
Build an ark, righteous Noah! “For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground” (Genesis 7:4).
So it was. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth and the windows of heaven were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights . . . [The Lord] blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground
. . . Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark (Genesis 7:11,12,23).
Much later, because even hearts saved from the flood were corrupted (Genesis 8:21), the New Testament, too, issues judgment-warnings . . .
- But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed (Romans 2:5).
- . . . if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26).
- . . . the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly (2 Peter 3:7).
The Middle East is a killing ground. School and mall shootings still show up on the news. Terrorism constantly threatens. The flood washed Noah’s corrupt generation away, but didn’t cure his or his descendants’ bad hearts. Jesus said, ” . . .out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19). Bad hearts. Might the Lord see us as he did Noah’s generation–“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5)? Are we destined to be burned with fire as they were wiped out with a flood?
In the dark days from Adam to Noah hope shined in words easily overlooked: “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth” (Genesis 4:25). Look at Luke 3:38. There’s “Seth, the son of Adam” in the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23). Seth’s birth announcement in Genesis looks forward to the birth of Jesus. And Jesus cleanses from sin and saves from God’s wrath those who trust in him. s
God shows his love for us in what while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood,
much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
And Jesus does one more thing . . .
“And I will give you new heart, and a new spirit I will put with you . . .
And . . . cause you to walk in my statutes ” (Ezekiel 36:26,27).
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God,
the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Jesus doesn’t slap Band-Aids on our bad heart. He gives us a new one.