Friday, February 19, 2016

Water Walkers

Genesis 7:17-19
"17The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered."

It's a story we have heard from our youth......all those animals and a family of faithful humans, saved from the destruction.  God's instructions were clear to Noah.  God's intentions were to destroy the very people he had created, because "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."  Genesis 6:5.

God knew of the righteousness of Noah and his family, so they were given the construction contract for the ark.  They also carried the responsibility of rounding up all those animals, two by two.  They were faithful to their orders, and the scene was set for the oncoming flood.  Now go back and read the three verses at the top of the page.  This is where they fit in.  Focus your attention on the middle part of verse 18, "and the ark floated on the face of the waters." 

I must tell you at this point, my renewed interest in the details of the flood, Noah and his family, the animals, and the ark, started at mid-afternoon today when I received an email from my younger brother.  He had done some research into the original Hebrew word from verse 18 which is translated to the English word "floated."  Before today, I didn't have any doubts about my lifelong understanding of all the details, but today, I learned the Hebrew word which our English versions translate "floated," is literally translated "walked."  That's almost funny in my mind....thinking of seeing a huge ship walking across the water. But that's the literal translation.

Now, follow me to the New Testament to see a group of the followers of Jesus, in a boat which is floating and in danger of sinking.  The anxious people in the boat then see Jesus, walking on the water and coming to them.  Peter was invited to step out of the boat and for a while he walked on water, too.  Then he lost focus of Jesus and began to fret about the winds and the waters and he began to sink.  Is there something in these two events, one of an ark walking on water, the other of Jesus walking on water, that makes a connection for us?  Do you think these Jesus followers had ever considered a water-walking ark?  

I have only speculation about what they must have been thinking, but I have learned something new about God's love and the salvation of his people.  That water-walking ark became the salvation of Noah and his family.  And the water-walking Jesus becomes salvation for you and me. Following Gods plans Noah and his family came to escape the destruction of the wicked.  Following Jesus, we learn how much our Father loves us, and brings our salvation through the gift of his Son.

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