The Way Of Escape
A daily devotion for April 25th
13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you (Genesis 6:18).
When Noah came into the ark, God said to him,
I will make my covenant with you. It was not merely the ark that saved Noah. That was the means by which his salvation was accomplished, but what really saved Noah was God's agreement with him. The word and promise of God—that is what saved him. Therefore, we too must look beyond the means by which we are saved to the great motivation that brought Christ to earth, to the promise of God that underlies everything else and makes covenant with us, a new arrangement for living. Whenever you see this word covenant in Scripture, do not think of it as a contract that God makes with people. It is that, in one sense, but it is primarily a new basis for life, an arrangement for living. This covenant here goes further than simply saving Noah; it is to govern his life and the life of the world after the flood is over. It requires but one attitude on Noah's part, that of obedience.
I am disturbed by the ease with which many seek to use the Lord Jesus as a Savior to save them from going to hell when they die, but they have no intention of allowing Him to govern their lives while they live. But here the story of Noah is very clear. It was not merely the fact that God brought Noah into the ark that saved him; it was that Noah was obedient to a new arrangement for living. Noah obeyed God.
This is what saved Noah, and this is what saves us. It is not the fact that we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, thus agreeing that we belong to Him and will be saved when we die. It is the fact that we have received Him as Lord. We recognize His rights over us, His right to rule, His right to regulate, His right to command us and for us to obey. The heart is to respond immediately in obedience to all that God commands, as Noah did here. That acknowledgment of lordship is the basis of salvation. That is the basis on which we not only will survive the disaster that hangs imminently over our age, threatening to strike at any moment, but also the individual disasters of every life that can cut the ground out from beneath the house of life and demolish it, washing away the sands upon which we build.
We must, rather, establish it upon a rock that cannot be moved, which rests upon the most unshakable thing in all the universe--the Word of God. That is what created the universe. There is nothing more dependable than the Word of God. Ultimately, everything that is present in all the universe around us has come from that source. When we rest, therefore, upon the word of God, the covenant of God, we rest upon the most certain and sure thing the universe knows anything about.
Heaven and earth, Jesus said,
will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).
Lord, thank You for the New Covenant, which is a new arrangement for living, and which grants to me the freedom and power to obey You.
Life Application: God established a covenant whereby through obedience we can be saved and enter into a new Life. How does the story of Noah picture this new way of living?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.