Ben is finishing up Biology and Geometry. I’m figuring out how to come up with a grades (duh, if I’d figured this out last year, he’d have known how to have a study strategy – poor experimental firstborn!) I made an academic calender today and figured out when our quarters and semesters will be. I looked at various local colleges for their admissions policy for homeschoolers and dual enrollment students, Houghton has a great page.
And I wrote out what I’m going to say on Saturday at the Family Fun Fair – I’m the scary proselytizing lady.
God looked over mankind, and the whole society was violent and evil. The leaders kidnapped beautiful women to marry as if they were collecting baseball cards, they bragged about how powerful and smart they were, and the rest of the people acted as badly as their leaders did. Not only were they horrible to one another, they didn’t repent and return to God no matter how long he let them live, they just got prouder, and better at being horrible to each other. God was sorry he’d even made mankind, even though he had made mankind in his image to worship him, and care for the Earth and the creatures. Bragging, kidnapping, pride, and violence are sins. Sin is whenever we don’t do what is right, or we do what is wrong. We can sin in word, thought and deed.
God is so Holy he doesn’t sin at all – he made the universe just by speaking about it, he knows everything, including your name.
He knew only one person who still obeyed him, Noah.
So he told Noah to make an ark – a wooden box with three stories, a window, a door and a covering roof. It was so big that if it were here today, it would cover the parking lot, and this field too. It had the same proportions of a barge, very stable for holding lots of cargo. God told Noah that the animals would come to his family, and that they should pack enough food for all of them to eat while they were safe on the ark, because he was going to flood the Earth until all the other people died out.
It took 120 years to build the ark – people lived longer then. That whole time Noah preached righteousness to the people. Even though God is just and punishes sin, he loves people, and is patient with them, giving them time to repent, to stop doing bad things, turn around and start doing good things. But the people did not stop sinning. They just kept on living the same way they’d been living.
A week before the flood started, God told Noah to load the ark, then God himself shut the door.
It rained for 40 days and nights, the floodwaters of the deep (whatever that is!) opened up, and the water rose and rose. The valleys filled in, the hills turned into islands, then the mountains turned into islands. Finally even the mountains were under water.
But Noah’s family and the animals were safe inside the ark. God had provided a way they could be safe. God has provided a way you can be safe from the punishment for your sins too. 2000 years ago, God the son became a human – the little baby we celebrate at Christmas time. He grew up, traveled around Israel healing people and preaching. In all that time he never sinned. At the right time he allowed the Romans to kill him as a criminal – the people in charge were jealous of how popular he was with the people. When he died on the cross, he took all the sins anyone ever had committed, or ever could commit on himself and paid for them, and we know he finished paying for them, because he didn’t stay dead. On the third day he rose again from the grave, and he’s still alive in his body today. Jesus’ death and resurrection give us a safety from sin, the only safety, just like the ark was the only safe place to be in the flood.
150 days after the rain stopped, the waters went down. The ark came to rest on Mt Ararat – in the part of Norther Iraq some people call Kurdistan. After the ark went bump, Noah sent out a raven. It circled around, but didn’t bring him much information. Can you imagine how everyone and everything wanted to get off the boat after nearly a year inside? He sent out a dove, but she didn’t find a place to rest her foot, so she came back.
The next week Noah sent her out again. This time she came back with a olive leaf in her mouth – some of the deep rooted plants were back! The next week, she stayed out. So Noah took the covering off the top of the ark, and God told him it was time to go on out!
The first thing Noah did was make an alter, and sacrifice some of the clean animals – animals he could eat, that he’d brought extra of. God was pleased with Noah’s worship, and made a covenant with the family, and the animals too. He promised never to flood the earth again, and that the rainbow would be a sign to all living things that he remembered his promise. What a kind sign, they must have been getting nervous whenever it got rainy after living through the flood.
Noah’s family and the animals from the Ark knew a peace in God’s promises to them about no more floods. We can know peace with God too:
Romans 10:9-13 if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But we don’t walk on board an ark to be safe, we call on God to forgive our sins because Jesus already paid for them when the flood of wrath came on him on the cross. Do you want to be safe from the punishment for sin? Have you ever called on the name of the Lord?