Theme of the Week: Genesis
Bible Verse: Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. Genesis 9:1
Scripture Reading: Genesis 9:1-29
YouTube has this great feature where if you put your cursor or finger over the scroll bar, you can see what you are fast-forwarding over. I wish we could do that with this story. There is simply no way to cover all the important details of God’s story in Genesis. For instance, it would be awesome to talk about how we should read the birth of Cain in light of the promise of God to Eve. We should read that with great expectation. Will this seed be the one to crush the serpent? Or how we should be more than morally outraged when Cain kills Abel. The seed has killed another seed? What now? Too often we allow our knowledge to control our reading.
But fast forward we must. Because though the seed, at least those immediate seeds, have not yet crushed the serpent, God is not done acting.
What happens in the story broadly is that instead of the seed proving to be a crusher of the serpent, things seem to get worse. The anticipation that accompanied Cain is replaced by near disgust of the depths to which humanity seems to have sunk. Cain’s murder of Abel spreads into the rest of humanity and the violence gets worse. So bad, in fact, that the protagonist shows up again. We don’t actually hear from God between what he said to Cain and the admission that the world is terribly evil. So evil in fact that God decides to start over.
Massive flood. The separation that God made part of the goodness of creation are all mixed again. Waters above collapse into the waters below, dry land no longer separated. The creatures that walked the land, are destroyed along with evil humanity. But not entirely. God starts over.
Unwilling to allow His good creation to be defeated, God saves a remnant of both humanity and animal life. A remnant. God then utters familiar words to what is left of humanity, “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth’” (Genesis 9:1).
This is the hope of restoration. God has not given up on his creation. But as we read, we are left with a question. Is Noah different? Noah was called righteous. He is the new beginning. Would he be able to do what Adam and Eve could not? Would he stay true to God? Is he the seed, separated by so many generations, that would crush the serpent? His story starts well, but it does not take long to read that Noah would follow the path of his ancestors.
What will God do next?
Prayer: God, thank you that you are faithful to your creation. It is easy to think that this story is about me, both in Scripture and in life. But the truth is that this is your story and I am part of how you tell it. Thank you for your faithfulness and the hope that you bring.
Reflection: When we read the story of Scripture well, we ask more questions and we see more clearly who we are and what God is doing. Are you surprised by Scripture? When was the last time you found something new in the Bible’s story?
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