Day 17 (October 16)
Showers of Destruction or Blessing? Genesis 7:1-12
(Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot, Day 4)
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, “Help me to be…” As you exhale whisper, “…faithful in this generation!”
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.)
Yahweh said to Noah, ‘Go into the [ark], you and your entire household, because I’ve seen that you’re a person who is faithful before me in this generation. Of every pure animal take with you seven of each, a male and its mate, and of an animal that’s not pure, two, a male and its mate, also of the birds in the heavens seven of each, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of the entire earth. Because in seven more days I’m going to make it rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights and wipe out everything that exists that I made, from on the face of the ground.’ Noah acted in accordance with all that God ordered him.
Noah was a man of 600 years when the deluge happened, as water on the earth. Noah, his sons, his wife and his sons’ wives with him came into the [ark] because of the water of the deluge. Of the pure animals, of the animals that are not pure, of the birds and of everything that moves on the ground, two of each came to Noah into the [ark], male and female, as God ordered Noah; and after the seven days the water of the deluge came on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the springs in the great deep broke out and the apertures in the heavens opened. The rain came on the earth forty days and forty nights.
(Genesis 7:1-12, BfE)
3. Concepts to Consider:
In some of our readings from Genesis last week we discussed that chaos (tohu va vohu—Genesis 1:2) had begun to crawl back into creation through the hubris of humanity. In this passage from Genesis 7 we observe that chaos is now released in torrents. As alluded to yesterday, in the flood God essentially unmakes the world He created.
The “windows/apertures of heaven” imagery appears elsewhere in Scripture. In Malachi 3:10, the “windows of heaven” are seen to pour out blessings, not destruction, if only the priests would stop doing economic violence—stealing—the people’s tithes from the temple offerings, which were meant to be distributed to the poor. In Isaiah 24:18, however, the prophet commandeers the “windows of heaven” idea to describe “The Day of the Lord” (aka The Day of Final Judgement). As it was in the beginning, so shall it be at the end of all things.
But, even in the midst of all these dramatic descriptions of dissolution, God’s grace still shines through. He always keeps a remnant of hope alive. The ark–with all its animals, Noah and his family–is the tangible and narrative symbol of God’s enduring, covenantal love (hesed). Having once decided to create this universe and this earth, and these beings, Yahweh persists in demonstrating His desire to live in covenantal relationship with humanity, no matter what. (What amazing grace and love this is! How precious we must be to Him!)
4. Reflection Questions:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries).
- One of the hardest things for us to realize is that we are the beloved of He not only loves us, he likes us, too. We are precious in his sight. If you’re truly honest, is your view of God overly harsh? If so, why? How can the persistent covenant love of God found in the Genesis account help give you a better understanding of God’s love?
- One of the points of the Noah story is to take account of our own lives. It’s our choice whether we experience God’s grace and presence as joy and blessing or as dis-ease and dis-comfort. How can you reposition yourself to begin to live life on God’s terms rather than your own?
5. Prayer for Today:
A Prayer of Blessings for Our Church Family
Faithful Father, we thank You for the Pastors and members in our Church Family. Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings upon our church, homes, and jobs. Thank You for Your amazing presence in our lives, both corporately and individually. Father, may Your glorious Name be praised! We exalt Your Name above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord; You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship You. We will give to You, Lord, the glory You deserve. We will bring our offering as we come into Your presence. We will worship You in all of Your holy splendor.
Exalted Father, let it be unto us according to Your Word. As a Church Family, we confess that as we come close to You, You will come close to us. We expect that all Your blessings will come upon us and overtake us because we are committed to obeying Your voice. We confess that our towns and our fields are blessed. Our children and the works of our hands are blessed. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we are blessed. We are refreshed by the autumn rains as well as the rains of spring. Lord, we decree in our lives that which was lost is restored and we will eat plenty and be satisfied. According to Your Word, we will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, we will possess a double portion of honor. We will possess a double portion of prosperity in the land and everlasting joy will be ours. Lord, we always expect You to pour out Your Spirit upon us and show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth. We declare that our marriages are blessed and holy, our families are whole and vibrant, and our bodies are healthy and strong.
What areas of your life appear to be lacking? Find God’s promises concerning those issues and declare them over your situations:
Holy Spirit, as blessings begin to overtake us, remind us to be a blessing to others. Flood our hearts with light so that we can understand the confident hope that the Father has given us, His holy people, who are His rich and glorious inheritance. Help us to continue to grow spiritually as a Church Family. Remind us to always be thankful to God, our Father, and Jesus, our Brother. Help us understand that it is God who gives us the power to be successful so that the covenant He made with our ancestors will be confirmed. Lord, please help us to be faithful to the vision of our church and the steadfastness of Your Word.
Generous Father, please forgive us for the sins of disobedience, hypocrisy, selfish-ambitions, pride, gossip, and perversion. Forgive us where we have misappropriated Your blessings in the past. Forgive us for not studying Your Word like we should and neglecting our prayer life. Forgive us for depending on our own strength and intellect instead of Your supernatural power and authority. Forgive us for not operating in the fruit and gifts of Your Spirit. 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.
Triumphant Lord, You are our stronghold. The heavens declare Your glory and the skies display Your craftsmanship. You are the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth. Lord, You are worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. You created all things and they exist because You created what You pleased. 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