These were dark days, but God was still there. There was judgment, but there was, also, salvation. There was the flood, and there was, also, the ark. We live in dark days. Everywhere we look, it seems like there’s a ‘flood’ that’s sweeping away everything that stands in its way. Is there any hope, for us, in this story of the flood and the ark? Yes! There is. This is not only the story of the flood. It’s, also, the story of the ark. Is there a message for today’s world? There’s a word of warning. We cannot escape the ‘flood.’ Will we be destroyed by the ‘flood’? Who will survive? There’s, also, a word of encouragement. In his hymn, “Shine, Jesus, shine”, Graham Kendrick invites us to sing, with him, of another ‘flood.’ It’s not a ‘flood’ of ungodliness and unrighteousness. It’s a ‘flood’ of “grace and mercy.” Grace and mercy – Is this the message of the ark, for us, today? What is mercy? What is grace? Mercy is God withholding from us the judgment we deserve. Grace is God pouring upon us the blessing we don’t deserve. Grace and mercy: this is what we need if we are to survive. Where are we to find this grace and mercy? We find grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
When we are sorely tempted, when we are deeply aware of our own weakness, the Lord draws near to us and assures us of His grace and mercy.
Grace and mercy: this is what we see in the story of Noah and the ark. Before Noah built the ark, we have this wonderful declaration of God’s grace and mercy: “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (verse 8). May we, like Noah, “find grace in the eyes of the Lord”, and may we know, deep in our hearts, that the grace that we have found is the grace that has found us. May we, like Noah, be people of faith and obedience, and may we know, deep in our hearts, that it’s, always, by the grace of God that we are led in the pathways of faith and obedience.
May we sing, with John Newton, in his great hymn of praise to God, “Amazing grace”:
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound… I once was lost, but now am found.”
When floods of ungodliness and unrighteousness are sweeping over our world, may we join, with John Newton, in his great testimony of faith:
“‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”