Friday, November 27, 2009

Love & War (Part Three)

Click here for part here for part two.

Between the time of Adam and the time of Noah there isn't too much information in the bible. Genesis chapter 5 is really just a genealogy that connects the two. It does also give us the hope that even though there wasn't much righteousness in the earth there still seems to be a tread of commitment to God via the seed of Adam. Remember this is the seed that will strike the devil's head...Jesus.

Back to Noah whose mane means "rest". It was said of Noah by his father Lamech "He (Noah) will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands." Gen. 5:29. The Hebrew word for toil in this verse is "itstsabown" which means pain or sorrow. It is only used in the bible 3 times. Once in Gen 3:16 where God is telling Eve of the curse now on humanity because of sin. And second in Gen. 3:17 where God is telling Adam of the curse now on creation because of sin. So Noah's dad is saying that Noah will be a comfort from those curses. Remember sin is the punishment. Sin also effects that which we have dominion over...creation, humanity, the devil and ourselves. Lamech's words make evident that both on a spiritual level and a physical level the whole world both human and earth is greatly suffering from the torment of sin and the devil. The overwhelming choice to give the devil dominion through sin has become a crushing weight. Evil is winning the battle.

Now Noah was a righteous man. Righteous meaning just, upright or straight. So to be righteous is not allowing sin to bend, twist and distort. When we are righteous it automatically takes dominion back from the enemy and ceases the bending and twisting of the devil. This is warfare! At this time Noah was the ONLY righteous man. Genesis 6:5 tells that "every inclination of man's heart was evil all the time." Meaning that their heart or their spirit was set on evil not just their mind but their whole being. It goes on to say "all the people on earth had corrupted their ways." Gen 6:11"the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was filled with outrage" Robert Alter's commentary notes here that this was "a perversion of nature by man [that then needed] a reversal of creation by God." I would like to add to this comment that it wasn't that man himself was evil. Man had become evil by coming in line with the will of the devil to distort and destroy. The word evil and wicked are from the same Hebrew word "ra" meaning bad, hurtful, malignant; giving pain, unhappiness and misery. Notice that humanity at the time of Noah is simultaneously wicked and tormented. Sin is the punishment. Sin and the punishment thereof is the will of the devil not God.

So the devil was having a grand time. This grieves the heart of God to see His beloved creation once again falling prey to the schemes of the devil. Remember God came out of the garden because He still longed to have relationship with us. So when it says in Gen 6:6 " The Lord was grieved that He had made man...and His heart was full of pain." It is because He didn't think that we would continually and so easily take our God given dominion over to the devil. We were meant to be battling the devil, not joining forces with him. God is in pain over the painful (both physical & spiritual) state of His created.

God takes a drastic measure to remedy this situation. If you trust in a God that is full of love, justice and grace you must assume that His choice was the best choice. It must also give you a picture of how extremely wicked things were. These were not people that just skipped church on Sunday, they were people totally consumed by the demonic of the devil. So God floods the entire earth. The flood is an act of spiritual warfare against the devil. God washes the earth clean with the waters of the Holy Spirit. He saves the animals(since they are only subject to wickedness via mans sin)and He saves Noah and his family. Noah was the only righteous man who was walking in relationship with God.

So lets see if our dominion/sin formula worked this time. What had the sin in the time of Noah effected? (Those of you confused read part one and two first :D)

Creation-"painful toil of our hands" Gen 5:29
Plus most every living thing was flooded and died.

Humanity-needed comfort in their pain. Gen 5:29
they had corrupted their ways Gen 6:12

The Devil-had almost total dominion of the earth via man
"man was only evil all the time" Gen 6:5

Man himself-wandering in wickedness & torrment . Death by association.

Another way to look at the loss of life in this situation is something that I alluded to earlier. That the people were saved from the dominion and tormenting of the devil by the cleansing water of the Holy Spirit. Remember it was said of Noah that he would comfort the people. For all we know our gracious, loving God gathered all those people lost in the flood back into His arms in their death. Released from the clutches of the enemy. Just a thought. Also BTW there is no mention of the words wrath, sin or punishment concerning the story of the flood in the bible.

When Noah comes out of the ark God very quickly makes a new covenant with him that is a kin to the covenant with Adam & Eve. God says "TAKE DOMINION! Over the earth, over humanity and over the devil! Quit giving your dominion of these things to the devil! I don't have the heart to flood the earth again so get it right this time! Multiply righteousness instead of wickedness!" Gen. 6 translated by Cherie. See the flood wiped out the the physical world and people but it did not wipe out the spiritual realm of the devil. The devil is poised and ready for round two. So it is enormously important that Noah heed the word's of God. See when fail to use our dominion righteously it is an open door for the devil to use it wickedly. Unfortunately for Noah he didn't lock the door and fell prey to the schemes of the devil.

Genesis 9:21 says that Noah became drunk and laid uncovered in nakedness. He gave his dominion away just like in the garden. Noah gave way to his own desires instead of God's and sin laid bare the nakedness of his unprotected spirit. And so it was that the battle of good and evil continued to weigh heavy against the goodness of God. But God keeps His promise never to flood the earth again. Soon after there was another man who walked with God in righteousness. A man that God makes covenant with. A man that God implores to take dominion. A man whom God will multiply into a righteous nation. Until now man was implored to multiply themselves. Now God is stepping in saying "I will multiply you". Until now man was implored to seek God and righteousness themselves. But now God is stepping in saying "I will show you how to be righteous." God has now stepped up His personal involvement in the battle of good vs evil. And the man at His side was Abraham.

Click here for part four.

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