So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
- Genesis 6:7-8
Genesis has opened my eyes lately. Often when people speak of God's promises or His love, they speak from the New Testament or perhaps from Psalms. Yet as I read Genesis this winter, I'm not only travelling the familiar roads of history that I recall from childhood; God is showing me how very long His history with us runs. Even before He sent Christ to live on earth, even before we had the church, God knew He had these big plans for us!
In this account of the Flood, we learn that the sinful behavior of humans on earth greatly grieved and displeased God, and God decided to destroy them. But He spared Noah and His family, whom He loved. And not only do we see God's wrath tempered by mercy and grace here in this account, but as I read this story and others in Genesis, the connections to God's plan for us as shown in the New Testament become so clear. And I can see that God's mercy is not a New Testament concept alone.
In Luke 17, Christ Himself draws the connection for us. Talking of His second coming, he says in Luke 17:26-27, "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." As I read these passages, I cannot help but feel some awe as I realize that even as God sent the flood, He knew that these events in Luke would transpire. We speak so often of God's plan in terms of Christ, but even as far back as Genesis, God had a plan and He knew how He would save us.
There's something comforting about reading Genesis and seeing these mirrors between the events of the Old Testament and the ways in which God uses them for us today. We see the Flood in Genesis, and then in Luke, we have Christ telling us that His return to Earth will come upon us all just as suddenly someday. And God has always intended that! And in a beautiful picture of God's love, we see in Genesis 22 how Abraham obeyed what must have been a frightening command from God to prepare to sacrifice his only beloved son - a foreshadowing of God's own sacrifice of His only beloved son for our salvation.
There is such meat to the Old Testament that I think sometimes gets neglected in favor of the New. And yet, as I read, the knowledge that God has known and has planned these centuries of history stands out to me, and I find myself falling in love and seeking His face ever more strongly.
What do you find in the Bible when you go back to the beginning?