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The Promise of God in the Midst of Evil

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“And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest… shall not cease” (KJV, Gen. 8:20-22).

“And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord”

Father, I thank You for the grace that has been given to me in Jesus Christ. Thank You for this opportunity and the privilege that I have to be able to speak with You. You are high above the heavens, and I am of the dust of the earth. You are the Creator, and I am the creature. Nevertheless, You have seen fit to give me Your attention.

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I see that Noah was concerned with building an altar to You. He was concerned with making a place of worship. I pray that You would give me a heart of worship unto You. I know that I have been created to worship. I pray that You would incline my heart to You.

You are worthy of my worship and adoration. There is none like You on the earth or in the heavens. You are set apart from Your creation. I pray that I would have the same attitude as that of Noah – that my heart would be an altar for Your name’s sake.

“and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl”

I also see that Noah took of the clean animals that had been on the ark and offered a sacrifice unto You. This makes me think of the spotless Lamb of Calvary, Your Son Jesus Christ. What an amazing story I see in your Word. What an awesome God You are. I thank You for the finished work of Christ this day. I thank You for His life, and I thank You for His death.

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I thank You that when I was going astray, Jesus came and sought me out like a faithful Shepherd. I did not deserve Your love, but You loved me nonetheless. I did not deserve Your sympathy, but You pitied me in my helpless state. I cannot imagine the cost that You paid to give me what the Bible deems to be a free gift. While the gift cost You the life of Your Son, the gift of salvation and righteousness is free to me.

In Christ, I see a Savior that is full of love and compassion. I see my sinless Savior hung high upon a tree. I see Him as the only hope that I have to inherit eternal life. I thank You for making a way that I could be reconciled to You and at peace with my Creator.

“and offered burnt offerings on the altar”

While Noah offered burnt offerings upon Your altar, I see that I am called to do something different. I am called to look upon Your Son and rejoice in the person and work of Christ. I am called to praise and worship for all that You have done. I am called to give thanks at all times. Please make me a thankful Christian. I have much to be thankful for, but I often get off track.

I also see that in the New Testament, You have called me to give my life as an offering. I am called to give my life to You and to offer myself as a spiritual act of worship. Please, Father, would You guard my heart in the midst of this world so that it would not be conformed to this world. Please, Father, would You teach me to store up Your Word in my heart that I would be transformed by the renewing of my mind.

You gave Your Son up for me as an offering for my sin. Work in my heart so that I would gladly give my life as an offering unto You.

“And the Lord smelled a sweet savour”

I see that Noah offered up an acceptable sacrifice to You. I also see that Jesus, Your Son, offered up an acceptable sacrifice to You. Furthermore, I see that there were many instances in Scripture in which men offered up acceptable sacrifices to You. However, I see that Nadab and Abihu made a sacrifice to You that was not pleasing in your sight. I see that Abel was a man whose sacrifice You accepted, but Cain’s offering You rejected.

I pray that You would align my heart with Yours. I pray that You would give me wisdom and discernment to know what is pleasing in Your sight. I can see many obvious matters shining forth clearly in Your Word. Of these matters, I know what I ought to do. I see that you have called me to love You and be kind to others. Nevertheless, there are times in my life when I find it difficult to know what would make You happy.

Please, Father, help me to know how to be a sweet savour unto You at all times. Give me wisdom to this end, Lord, I pray. You are worthy of my devotion and my life.

“and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man’s sake”

I thank You for relenting of Your wrath. I thank You for not making an end of mankind, even though You would have been entirely just in doing so. I thank You that in Your Word, I can see the many ways that You have persevered with man although man has rebelled against You.

I thank You that even in the midst of the rebellion, You sent Your Son. I thank You that while the rebels of the earth crucified Your Son, the heart of God was put on display. Jesus cried from the cross that His murderers would be forgiven. I see that You answered His prayer and forgave the Roman centurion. I see that You forgave the thief that was crucified next to Christ.

You are clearly a gracious God, so much so that the world will never truly know the depths of Your mercy and grace. The people of the earth do not see you rightly, but, God, I pray that it would be evident in my heart Who You truly are. Shine the light of Your Word into my heart that I would know You in greater measure.

“for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”

Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace is on display yet again in the verse at hand. Man’s heart is full of corruption. Thank You for not holding my sin against me. Thank You for not looking upon me and casting me into the sea of forgetfulness. Instead, Your Word tells me that You have cast my sins into the sea of forgetfulness and that You have trodden my sins under Your feet.

What an amazing blessing it is to be forgiven. I have many reasons to rejoice. I see Your law, and I see the way that it condemns me. I see that I have not measured up and that I have missed the mark. But I see in Christ a solution to my problem. I see a Savior Who came and died for me. I see a Savior Who loved me unto death. Despite the fact that I have been corrupted by the fall, despite the fact that I compound sin, You have walked with me and have never let me go.

“neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done”

I see Your promise shining forth. I thank you for Your many promises in Your Word. I thank You that You are a God Who does not lie, nor can You lie. You are a God of honesty and integrity. You are a God Who stays true to Your Word. I thank You that I can trust You.

I see in Your Word that You will finish the work that You have started in my life. I thank You for this assurance and encouragement. No matter how I might feel, I must always remember that Your Word is truth. You will start what You finish.

I also see that Your Word tells me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. What an amazing promise. Once You have saved me and called me to Yourself, You will not let me go. You will be with me through all my ups and downs, and You will bring me to Your desired end.

I also see that in your Word You have told me that You will provide for me if I seek Your kingdom first. I am tempted at times to seek the things of this world. I pray that You would lead me not into temptation, Lord. Guard my heart that I might seek You first.

You have given me many reasons to trust in You and Your promises. Keep my faith strong and active.

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest… shall not cease”

Father, You have promised that You will sustain the earth and everything in it. Life will go on, as well as what is needed to sustain life. However, a time will come when this world will pass away and all things will be made new. When this takes place, sin will be no more, nor will there pain and suffering. You have promised that there will be a time of great joy, and for that time, I eagerly wait.

I thank You that Jesus will one day return to the earth. I pray, Lord Jesus, that You will come and come quickly. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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