Then the LORD shut him in

Then the LORD shut him (Noah) in.

Genesis 7.16

It cannot have escaped your notice that the account of Noah and the Ark has to a great extent been denuded of its key meaning as children are introduced to the story as being all about cuddly animals going into the Ark two by two with little or no reference to the tragic reasons for the flood. The result is that even the bow in the sky as a sign of God’s covenant is not understood and has been assumed as a thank you symbol for the NHS and  sadly, admittedly with a colour missing as the symbol of Gay Pride.

In the light of this we need to see this cataclysmic event in its proper perspective in the story of redemption and God’s dealing with his creation.

The event, as recorded for us in Genesis chapters 6-9 is clearly one of judgement see 6.13 yet at the same time of salvation for Noah and the continuation of the line of Seth which eventually leads to Jesus – the ultimate seed of the woman who will bruise the serpent’s head.

Noah is given detailed instructions as to the design and building of the Ark and how it is to be populated with all that is necessary for a fresh start on an earth cleansed of the evil that had grown to such a terrible level.

It was a massive task. It took years and as many have pointed out probably caused Noah a lot of ridicule from those among whom he lived. But surely this is not the main point of the account which is that Noah lived a godly life in an ungodly world as a consequence of God’s gift of grace bestowed upon him.

However I do want to draw an inference that is not explicitly stated in the Genesis account namely that as the day drew near on which the ‘springs of the great deep burst forth and the flood gates of the heavens were opened’ (7.11) he must surely have felt anxiety even fear of what would follow.

The gracious hand of God in this situation is revealed in the six word sentence at the head of this piece.

‘Then the LORD shut him in’

He was in God’s place, in God’s rescue vessel and that simple statement must have been a huge reassurance for him as he floated into the unknown – safe in the Ark sealed in by God!

All of us who have found favour in the eyes of the LORD are in the same position, sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.30) and therefore secure and safe whatever we face, known or unknown.

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