WORSHIP SERVICE - 4.18.2021
PART 15 - DE-CREATION AND RE-CREATION
- The flood in essence was a divine reset of creation to its primordial form.
- God uses the flood as a global reset on creation, to erase all of the corruption, violence, and defilement that had taken place on his earth.
- And after the flood waters subside from the earth and it dries up, a re-creation takes place.
MAIN POINT: The flood resets creation and God begins again with a new Adam on a new earth.
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, 3 and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 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.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9 two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
II. PARALLELS WITH THE CREATION STORY
- The flood story is like the creation story.
- There are many parallels between Genesis 1-4 and Genesis 6-9
- There are over 30 elements that are that are exact literary parallels between the creation story and the Fall and the story of the Flood.
- Moses and those who compiled the oral tradition where quite careful to make the correlation between these two accounts to show their interconnectedness and how the Flood inaugurates a new creation—God is staring over.
Douglas VanDorn “Let the following facts wash over you. Both talk about the face of the ground. Both talk about pain (God’s pain, the woman’s pain). God “forms” man, man “forms” evil. Both stories have “generations.” In both stories man walks with God. Adam and Noah each have three sons. God looks at creation and sees that it is good, then he looks at the earth in Noah’s day and sees that it is corrupt. Both stories talk about male and female. Both have animals coming to a man. Both talk about kinds of animals. Both have food for the animals mentioned explicitly. Both are centered on the number seven. Seven days is a theme common to both. In one, all flesh comes to life, in the other all flesh dies. The formula “God said” is repeated in both. There are sacrifices in both, covenants in both. Both stories say be fruitful and multiply. Both have plants for food. Both talk about the image of God. Both have a garden. Both have a man eating from the fruit of a tree/vine, being naked, and falling into sin.”
III. WHAT'S THE POINT OF THE FLOOD STORY
- The central theme of the flood narrative is not the flood itself but rather the covenant that God re-confirms with Noah.
- As God is determined to reset creation, he extends his grace to Noah who is now being placed into covenant relationship with God.
- Everything God promised and stipulated to Adam is now extended to Noah.
WHAT IS A CHIASM
- A chiasm is a very common literary device used to emphasize, parallel, and contrast ideas.
- The simplest chiasm would start with an idea, move on to a new idea, and then return to the first idea.
- It’s like a mirror effect, the ideas are reflected back by use of a repeating word or phrase.
- They ideas are expressed using a series of letters with each letter representing a new idea. diagramed with a kind of A,B,A or A,B,B,A or outline.
- An example would be Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
- Sometimes, writers use another idea that is inserted in the middle before the reflection or repetition.
- This becomes a central idea and is emphasized by being placed in the middle. These are diagrammed with an ABCBA
- An example would be 1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
- The entire flood narrative is formed around a more complex chiasm with multiple repeating words and phrases with a central theme.
- The central theme is God's covenant with Adam, reconfirmed with Noah.
IV. DE-CREATION AND RE-CREATION
- THE LORD ENSURES THE DELIVERANCE OF THE REMANT SAVED BY GRACE
- Opens with the Lord’s command, “The the Lord said to Noah…”
- Noah is to take all of his family into the ark
- There is a restatement of Noah's virtue, “I have seen that you are righteousness before me in this generation.”
- Noah is contrasted with the wicked and corrupt world; God sees the corruption and God sees Noah’s righteousness.
- A distinction is made between clean and unclean animals.
- The clean animals are the ones that will be used in worship.
- The concept of clean / unclean which is found through all of the teaching of the ceremonial laws, especially with regards to sacrifice, reaches back to the original creation.
- God makes this distinction between clean / unclean and so should we.
- They are to be male and female which shows God’s intent to repopulate the earth with living creatures. “To keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth”
- Numbers are important in Genesis.
- 40 in Scripture is always used to represent a period of time, sometimes a long period, which introduces a new age.
- Bruce Waltke in his commentary on Genesis notes,
- Both Isaac and Esau marry their wives at 40 years of age
- Moses is on the mountain for 40 days
- Israel’s spies are in the land of Canaan for 40 days…
- And because of their unbelief, and all of the people’s, God sentences them to 40 years of wilderness experience before they can take possession of the promised land.
- Elijah takes 40 days and nights to return to Mount Sinai.
- Jesus is tempted in the wilderness after having fasted for 40 days and nights.
- And the resurrected Christ appears to his disciples for 40 days before his ascension.
- A restatement of God’s intention is made, “Every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”
- Judgment will be comprehensive, complete and all-consuming.
- Noah does all that the Lord had commanded him. (A phrase that is repeated)
- V16, “and the Lord shut him in.”
- Noah has done all that the Lord commanded him, but this phrase tells us that they will be preserved by the Lord’s doing.
- Noah’s salvation is by divine grace.
2. THE LORD'S JUDGMENT COMPLETELY DESTROYS THE WICKED AND THEIR WORLD
The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
- The flood waters reset Creation.
- Back to Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
- This is a record of catastrophic judgment.
- “All flesh died…"; “Everything that had the breath of life died.”
- It was a reversal of creation; a de-creation.
- No part of the sinful world could remain.
- The flood narrative with its horrifying judgment on wicked humanity testifies of God’s power and freedom over his creation.
- If God can create, then he can also de-create. It is his sovereign right to do so.
- Creation is NOT the Creator—He is!
- The story teaches us that God is holy.
- It demonstrates that he is a God who judges sin in his just wrath.
- This was recorded so that every generation of sinners would be warned of the coming wrath of God.
- Jesus interprets this passage as an analogy of the final judgment in Matthew 24.
- The unrighteous will be swept away in judgment.
- The world keeps going on as if there will be no final judgment.
- But God has the last word on the matter.
- The other side of the story is of those who entered the ark and were shut in by the Lord.
- Those outside of the ark died , but those inside of the ark surfed over the judgment by water to the shores of a new age.
- God graciously rescues them.
- God’s gracious redemption shines so brightly against the background of unrelenting judgment.
- This portrayal of grace and redemption points us to Christ.
- He is the ark of our salvation.
- Only being in Christ will save you from the judgment to come.
3. THE LORD'S RESTORES HIS CREATION WITH THE REMNANT
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, 4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
- The phrases used throughout this chapter parallel the creation theme
- This is now re-creation.
- The waters abated, dry land appeared, foliage grew, man and animals and all living creatures are placed on the new earth to inhabit it.
- Here we have the hinge idea, the central idea and theme of the flood narrative...
- God remembered Noah and all of the living creatures that were in the ark.
- The Hebrew word also means ‘to consider’.
- The essence of God remembering is his considering or acting in light of a previous commitment.
- In this case, God is acting upon a previous commitment to a covenant partner.
- God faithfully kept his promise to Noah, to preserve him and his family,
- And God does that by intervening to end the flood.
- “God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.”
- The flood and the subsiding water are subject to God’s undisputed will.
- So by God acting on his covenantal promise, he shows himself to be trustworthy.
- God’s people can take God at his word!
- All of the parallels to the creation story are to show that God is making a new beginning with Noah and the creatures that were with him in the ark.
- The flood resets creation and God begins again with a new Adam on a new earth.
- Noah is the new Adam in a renewed creation.
- God is making a new beginning with the seed of the woman.
- "the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat."
- Notice the use of the word ‘rest’.
- That’s what God did on the seventh day.
- It meant that God’s work was complete.
- The ark coming to rest is the completion of the de-creation / re-creation.
n the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.
- Noah waits patiently almost another two months until it is completely dry and waits for the divine word that it is safe to disembark.
- They did what God commanded them to do and the remnant steps into the new earth.
- Noah’s consistent obedience is highlighted throughout the story.
- John Calvin in his Genesis commentary wrote, “How great must have been the fortitude of the man, who, after the incredible weariness of a whole year, when the deluge has ceased, and new life has shone forth, does not yet move a foot out of his sepulchre, without the command of God.”
V. WE ARE A NEW CREATION
- Keep in mind what all of this points us to.
- God was showing through all of this that one day, His people would become a new creation.
- How does this happen?
- Through a baptism!
1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
- Through Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, we are brought to God, and we are made right with God.
- And Peter says that Baptism corresponds to how the eight were brought safely through water.
- They were brought safely through into the newly renewed earth; cleansed by water.
- We too are brought safely through in Christ who is the firstfruits of the new creation.
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- Being in Christ is being united with him in his baptism of death and resurrection.
- We become a new creation if we are in Christ.
- Not only that, we have the promise of a future, physical new creation.
- There will be a new heaven and a new earth.
Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
- What a glorious future awaits us!
- A new creation for those who are a new creation!
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