November 09, 2009

In the Beginning, Again

Genesis 8:15-22; 9:18-28

God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark …”
Genesis 8:15-16


Noah had no say about beginning his life in the post-flood world. As God spoke the creation and the ark into being, so now Noah, his family, and all the animals received new life outside the ark by God’s speaking. “Come out of the ark,” God said. Then he blessed them to “multiply on the earth … and increase in number.”

After God cleansed the world, he promised never again to destroy it with a flood. But a threat remained: the human heart had not yet been purified. Noah got drunk, and Ham did not turn his eyes from his father’s nakedness. In spite of the blessing of a cleansed creation, the curse remained. When Noah and his sons repopulated the new world, they brought along old problems.

When Christ, the great Son of Noah, arose from the grave, a new world emerged with him. He cleanses all Noah’s descendants reborn by the Holy Spirit; he renews their hearts; and he breaks the power of the curse over their lives.

Water still plays a role: all whom the Lord calls must pass through the cleansing waters of baptism. If you have been baptized, you have been given the sign that in a world filled with threatening waters, your security is in the ark that is Christ. All who are baptized are blessed to be good stewards of their new lives and of the good earth that awaits (Romans 8:19-21).

Bless me, Lord, that I may be a blessing. Keep me far away from the problems of the old world. Help me to live by the power and wisdom of your Spirit. In Christ’s name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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