Day 18 (October 17)

Remaining: Genesis 7:13-24

(Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot, Day 5)

 

 

1.  Center Down 

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I desire… ” As you exhale whisper, “…to remain with You, Lord.”

2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:

(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)

On this particular day Noah, with Shem, Ham and Yephet, Noah’s sons, and Noah’s wife and his sons’ three wives, came into the [ark], they and every living thing by its species, every animal by its species, everything that moves on the earth by its species and everything that flies by its species, every bird and every winged creature. They came to Noah into the [ark], two each of all flesh in which was living breath. So the ones who came, male and female from all flesh, came as God ordered him. And Yahweh shut him in. The deluge went on for forty days on the earth, and the water increased and lifted the [ark], and it rose up from on the earth. The water grew strong and increased greatly on the earth, and the [ark] moved on the face of the water. When the water grew very, very strong on the earth, all the lofty mountains under the entire heavens were covered. Seven metres higher the water grew strong; the mountains were covered. All flesh moving on the earth breathed its last: birds, animals, living things, all the things teeming on the earth, and all humanity. Everything that had living breath in its nostrils, everything that was on the dry land, died. It wiped out everything that existed that was on the face of the ground, from human beings to animals to moving things to birds in the heavens. They were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the [ark] remained. And the water grew strong on the earth for 150 days.

For further exploration:

3.  Concepts to Consider:

Like  a  sukkah  (which  represents  the  temporary  shelters  of  Israel’s  40-year  desert  sojourn),  the  ark  is  a  sign  of God’s provision and protection. Noah may indeed have been an able shipbuilder and tender of animals, but a relatively small vessel bobbing about in a vast deluge for over a year without loss of life is nothing short of miraculous.

The key word of this somber passage is “remained.” Those who were with Noah in the ark remained, i.e., they “were preserved and escaped.”   The Hebrew here is ראַשׁ who “were left over” or “escaped” from a battle. (sha-ARE) and this word is often found in contexts associated with who “were left over” or “escaped” from a battle.

In Isaiah chapter 4, the prophet pulls on these common flood, preservation, and (re)creation images, and envisions God’s restoration of Zion in a New Jerusalem—an “ark” of safety for “everyone who remains.” God’s ultimate desire is not annihilation but cleansing and restoration. (Note: we also see these Genesis/Isaiah concepts linked to Revelation 21 and the vision of the New Jerusalem.)

 

On that day [the Day of the Lord; a day of final vindication]

The Branch of the Lord [Messianic imagery] will be beauty and glory, [Garden of Eden imagery] and the fruit of the land will be honor and splendor

for the survivors of Israel

Everyone who remains (ַאר שָׁ) in Zion,

everyone left in Jerusalem Will be called holy:

everyone inscribed for life in Jerusalem [in the Book of Life, Exodus 32:32]. When the Lord washes away [flood imagery!]

the filth of the daughters of Zion,

And purges Jerusalem’s blood from her midst with a blast of judgment, a searing blast,

Then will the Lord create [ָראבָּ,Genesis 1:1 imagery] over the whole site of Mount Zion

and over her place of assembly,

A smoking cloud by day

and a light of flaming fire by night [Exodus 13:21-22]

For over all, his glory will be shelter [a sukkah,ָהכֻּס

shade from the parching heat of day,] and protection:

refuge and cover from storm and rain [flood imagery!] .

(Isaiah 4:2-6, NABRE) 

4.  Reflection Question:

(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries).

  1. First of all, it’s ok to struggle with the distressing scenes of all of the known earth’s human and animal population being utterly annihilated. They’re meant to be dramatic and distressing, as a point of literary style. It’s helpful to realize that the backdrop to the Biblical flood story is a tapestry other ancient, Near-Eastern

(see: http://b.link/AncientFloodMyths ).

By comparison, Yahweh–the God of the Bible–is portrayed as less capricious than the surrounding deities, and one that is not self-absorbed. He actually pays attend to humanity. In these Biblical passages God is anthropomorphized (given human-like qualities) so that we can better relate. In the narrative, God is seen to be genuinely hurt by humanity’s violence and depravity, and he seeks a way to restore rather than to destroy utterly. That “way” is through Noah and his family. So, as you’ve read and studied this story of Noah afresh, what new things have you discovered about God? What does this story also tell us about humanity?

5.  Prayer for Today:

A Prayer for Peace in Jerusalem

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.  Lord, You are great and mighty in power; Your understanding is    infinite. We exalt You Lord, our God, and worship at Your holy hill. You are Holy. We give You thanks, O God. Your wondrous works declare that Your Name is near. Father, thank You for Jerusalem and for re-establishing the Nation of Israel. Thank You for remaining faithful and steadfast to the covenant You made with Abraham. Thank You for including us as children in Your covenant and for giving us a rich heritage. Lord, You are good. Your mercy endures forever. You are a faithful, loving and compassionate God.

Loving Father, in the Name of Jesus, we pray for peace to return to Jerusalem. We stand on Your Word that all who love this city shall prosper. We unite and declare that peace be within the walls of Jerusalem and prosperity in her palaces. For the sake of our families and friends, peace be unto you, Jerusalem. For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, we will seek what is best for you, Jerusalem. Father God, we, Your peacemakers, sow Your Word, in the Name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The seeds of Your Word of peace will reap a harvest of righteousness and peace in Jerusalem and in Your Kingdom here on earth. Your Kingdom is of people who have right-standing before You and who embrace Your peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We are obedient to Your Word, Father, and know that You, Father, the God of Peace, crush satan under Your feet. Your grace and peace are with us, Your ambassadors of peace to the city of Jerusalem, through the knowledge of You, Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. We claim all spiritual prosperity, all necessary good, and freedom from fear, agitating passions and moral conflict for the envoys of Your good will and intentions for Jerusalem.

Father God, we pray Your shalom, Your peace – comprising Your health, prosperity, rest, safety and welfare – be administered to the people of Jerusalem. We covet that Your ambassadors from around the world will unite in prayer to You, to hear and obey Your voice to receive the blessing of Your peace plan for Jerusalem. Father, we lift up to You faithful American and world leaders who are still working to achieve peace in the Middle East. We pray that these leaders will act to influence the minds and spirits of Israeli leaders. We covet that the Holy Spirit be used to influence the decisions of the representatives of the Palestinian state. May Your will be done to bring peace to Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine, the wider Middle East, and the world as a whole. Holy Spirit, remind our Christian leaders that peacemakers who plant seeds of peace reap a harvest of righteousness in the development of God’s Kingdom here on earth.

What can you do to support bringing peace to Jerusalem?

Lord God, forgive us in the body of Christ when we fail to be concerned about Your holy city, Jerusalem, and Your people, the Jews, both those who inhabit Israel and those of the Diaspora around the world. Forgive us when we are mindful only of the desire for peace in our country and not for peace in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, for You love all the world and desire that all people come into Your Kingdom. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive; and we will be quick to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals, say, “I forgive name of person(s).Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

Almighty God, You alone are our God, the One who is able to do mighty miracles. As Your Name deserves, You are praised in Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory! O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may Your name be praised forever and ever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:

If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.

© Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.   ©2019 Caldwell Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved — No reproduction of the material is permitted without the expressed permission of CMI

 

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