Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
- TONIGHT we will meet at 7:00 at the Pastorek’s home for Bible study. Their address is 15810 Mesa Gardens Drive, 77095.
- SUNDAY the session has called a congregational meeting relating to future location plans.
- August 22 – we will have a end of summer pool party at the Van Tubergen’s home.
- September 26 – we will have our Fall Theology Conference with Dr. John Currid.
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Genesis on God’s grace in the life of Noah.
From the Pastor’s Desk
Genesis 7:16, “And the LORD shut him in.”
Genesis 6-9 recounts the flood episode. It is the story of God’s awesome judgment against sin and of His amazing grace in saving his people. Genesis 6:1-7 gives the divine diagnosis and verdict regarding mankind: “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” (6:5). And man in his sin will face judgment by means of the flood. Genesis 6:8, however, gives us a ray of grace in the midst of the clouds of judgment, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Then Gen 6:9-7:24 records the preparations of the ark and the flood judgment itself. There are several themes on display throughout the flood narrative (e.g. decreation à recreation), one of which being the sovereignty of God. In contrast to many pagan, Ancient Near Eastern flood accounts which picture a pantheon of gods affected by natural forces, the Biblical account highlights throughout the sovereign initiative and action of God. God says, and it happens. God says, and Noah obeys. And one aspect of God’s sovereignty that is highlighted is his sovereign grace. After Noah completes the preparations for the ark and he and his family are safely inside, the text reads, “And the LORD shut him in.” There are two related points to note.
First, as already mentioned, Moses is highlighting God’s sovereign action in redemption. As the ‘world that then existed was deluged with water’ (2 Pet 3:6), God preserved his people. He rescued his people as the waters of judgment destroyed all that had the ‘breath of life’ and cleansed God’s creation from sin. But note what is plain in the text. This was God’s doing … not man’s. It was God’s work of grace … not man’s work. And to underscore the sovereignty of God, it is explicitly stated that God both commanded Noah to enter the ark and shut him in the ark (7:16).
And second, it is noteworthy that the covenantal name of God is used in this text: “And Yahweh (LORD) shut him in.” Interestingly, Exodus 6:3 tells us that the full significance of the name Yahweh would not be revealed until the time of Moses and the Exodus – for it would be through and subsequent to the Exodus event that God would bind himself by means of covenant to his people Israel (Ex 19-24). But here at this great redemptive event in which God graciously preserved his people through the waters of judgment (note the parallels to the Red Sea account), God reveals himself as Yahweh, the promise-keeping God who personally relates to his people. In other words, Noah’s ‘salvation’ and ‘redemption’ thorough the flood was a covenantal event – it was a gracious and sovereign work of the God of the covenant. God ‘saw’ Noah (compare with Gen 22:12) and acted personally to deliver his church (which at this time included only Noah and his household). God sees – God acts – God shuts his people in the ark – God delivers his church – God acts personally and covenantally towards his people.
And dear friends, that is exactly what the Lord does today. He has acted once and for all in the person of his son to bring full and final salvation to his people. Just as Noah was preserved through judgment according to God’s grace, so we are preserved though the final judgment through our Lord Jesus Christ. And just as the waters cleansed the world from sin, so the blood of Christ cleanses his people from all sin (1 John 1:7; Rev 1:5).