Friday, January 3, 2014

Do you tend to blend in or stand out?

Genesis 6:5-8, 9 (MSG) God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.” But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. [emphasis mine]

Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God. [emphasis mine]

Adam and Eve bit into forbidden fruit and the world, as they knew it, changed. Because of their disobedience (sin), they were banished from the Garden of Eden and all humanity would be susceptible to the curse of sin. Now men and women would have to decide to honor God by remaining faithful to Him or fall prey to the desires of the flesh.

As the earth increased in population, sin weaved its way into the minds, hearts and actions of men and women. The world had become something dark and hideous…a far cry from the peace and serenity of the Garden of Eden. A review of Genesis 6:5-8 shows God’s disappointment in what the human race had become…down-right evil. The Message paraphrase says “God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart.” As I think about this, I think I understand the feeling of disappointment. After all, God had created man in His own image and placed him in a magnificent, lush garden. He and man were able to commune face-to-face in the garden and life there was peaceful and calm until man believed the lie.

God was sorry he created the human race…except for Noah. Genesis 6:9 tells us “Noah walked with God.” This morning as I thought about walking with God, my mind jumped to the words of the very first Psalm. “Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 NCV)

The world in which Noah lived had become over-run with sin…but that didn’t stop Noah from holding on to the Lord and his teachings. He didn’t allow the culture around him to determine or defer to direction of his feet. His feet were firmly planted on God’s solid rock. Noah’s faithfulness and obedience to God was what set him apart…and he and his family were spared from destruction.

Fast forward to present day. Are you holding firm to the teaching of God’s word? Or are you allowing the world around you to sway away?  It is vital to remain faithful to God even if everyone around you is marching to the beat of their own drum.

1 Chronicles 28:9 (MSG)  “And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father’s God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he’ll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he’ll leave you for good. Look sharp now! God has chosen you to build his holy house. Be brave, determined! And do it!”

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