Theme of the Week: Prayer
Bible Verse: “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith”. Hebrews 11:7, ESV
Scripture Reading: Genesis 6:5-22
Two weeks before my dad died—suddenly, at the age of 57, of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—he said to me, “When God looks down at me from heaven, He says, ‘That Leonard Den Houter guy sure sins a lot.’ But then, when God looks down at me, He can’t see my sin because Jesus is in the way.” His words, which didn’t seem very important at the time, have given me tremendous comfort in the days, weeks, and now years since his death. I have no doubt that my dad, who trusted not in his own righteousness but in the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ, is with the Lord.
In Genesis 6:5, God looked down from heaven and “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” (ESV). As a result, God, in grief, decided to make an end of all human beings because, as he told Noah, “the earth is filled with violence through them” (verse 13). But Noah, the Bible tells us, “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (verse 8).
When God looks down from heaven at any of us, he sees our wickedness and sin. He sees even the hidden evil that lurks in our thoughts and intentions. In our fallen condition, we are no better than the people whom God destroyed in the flood. But thanks be to God, through the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross, we receive forgiveness of our sins and favor with God.
Noah received favor with God and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Genesis 6:9 tells us that Noah was a righteous man, but Hebrews 11:7 teaches us that Noah’s righteousness did not come from himself, but from hearing what God said and believing it. Ultimately, Noah inherited the same righteousness that we do: the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
When we believe the gospel, Jesus stands between God and us, so that when God looks down at us from heaven, He no longer sees our sins. He sees Jesus’ own righteousness, imputed to us.
Prayer: Dear God, help me to see myself today as you see me: as a person who is capable of all kinds of sin and evil, but who thanks to your grace has been covered with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Reflection: As I wrestle with my own sinful heart today, how can I trust myself less and believe God more?
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