Today's Reading: Genesis 8:20-9:17
What is the appropriate response to when we see witness God doing something extraordinary?
One of the things I always try to do whenever I read the Bible (especially the Old Testament), is imagine myself in the position of the main characters. Try to imagine being Noah or a member of his family. Remember what you've witnessed the past 6 months. A catastrophic flood that wiped out every living thing on earth except for you. A show of force unlike anything imaginable! Your life has been spared. You have animals, food...God is good! And now the waters have receded, dry land emerges. The door is opened and everyone and everything makes their way out to begin the hard work of repopulating and re cultivating the land.
How would you respond? Would shrug your shoulders or let out a huge sigh of relief and then go about your work? Or would you feel somehow compelled to mark this moment in some bigger, more significant way?
I imagine my response would quite similar to what Noah and his family do here. And I don't say that because it's the "right thing" to say, but because that has been my very real experience. The story of Noah, like so many in the Bible, is a story of salvation and restoration. When I surrendered my heart and like to Jesus, I was in the pit of hell (per the worldview of a typical 16 year old boy who just broke up with his first girlfriend). At the moment, nothing could have been worse. Then, via the mouth of the camp speaker that night, I heard Jesus clearly calling and inviting me to him in a way I never had before. And I responded. First with amazement, and soon followed by worship. All I wanted to do at that moment was worship God.
For those of us who have been Christians for most of our life, the incredible-ness of the gospel can lose its power. We forget the first moment the gospel really hit us. Noah had as real an experience as any, and in that moment, he worshiped. He built an alter, he made vows. God responded with a rainbow and a vow of his own. There was a recommissioning of the human race. And we are given one of the richest displays of redemption and worship found in the OT!