The books of Genesis and Matthew are the ones of my favourites. I think that because both of them lay the foundation of Christian beliefs.
Some people believe that the New Testament, as a new covenant, is the only important part of the Bible. Others, extending the boundaries to the Old Testament, including the books of prophets, Proverbs and Psalms (for the sake of the wisdom, I guess).
But I firmly believe that both the OT and NT are equally important, and we have to read the Bible as a whole. I like how Dr. John Neufeld from the Back to the Bible Canada refers to the OT – he calls it First Testament. And I think it makes sense.
On this week’s insight, we will look into the Genesis 7-9 & Matthew 3
Prehistory. In previous chapters, men have proved that they have no desire to repent of their transgressions. Evidently, after the death of Adam, the wickedness of men went even higher than before.
The Bible says that all their imagination and thoughts were perpetual evil (Genesis 6:5). But only Noah, son of Lamech, found grace in the eyes of the Lord because he was just and perfect (Genesis 6:8).
Thus, God said that He will destroy all the living creatures upon the earth by flood. But He made a provision for the righteous that is Noah’s wife, his three sons and their wives. So, the Lord commanded Noah to build the ark.
Genesis 7-9. First, God commanded Noah and his family to enter the ark that Noah and his sons built. To save animals, God also commanded Noah to take two of every kind of animal.
Second, God caused the flood on earth that destroyed everything that was not with Noah on the ark. After 371 days, when the water already dried up, Noah, his family and animals went out of the ark.
Third, right after exiting the ark, in thanksgiving to God, Noah worshiped the Lord by offering a burnt offering (Genesis 8:20). And God established His covenant with Noah, and with all descendants after him, that He will cause any flood no more (Genesis 9:11).
Matthew 3. Here, Matthew wrote about John the Baptist and his ministry of baptism by water unto repentance (Matthew 3:11). John the Baptist was preaching the repentance of sin.
Indeed, John the Baptist was the first Christian: as a witness of God’s word, as a preacher, as a Christian prophet, and as the first Christian martyr.
In this chapter, in the Jordan river, John baptized Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus like a dove. And then God said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:13-17.
Insights Into The Scriptures
How long do you think it takes to build an ark capable of sustaining eight people and hundreds of animals for the whole year? I think it takes quite a time. And I am sure that a construction project like that would not happen without public attention.
A mere human curiosity would bring many people to Noah. I am sure he would take an opportunity to warn people about the coming destruction (Genesis 6:13). Thus, Noah must have preached about repentance of sins.
In like manner, John the Baptist was preaching repentance (Matthew 3:2). And just like Noah, John knew that the Kingdom of heaven is coming. And that would bring along an unescapable God’s judgement and wrath with it.
John the Baptist was angry with the Pharisees and Sadducees who sometimes were coming to look at him when he was baptizing people (Matthew 3:7). And just like the people of the times of Noah, they were not repentant and were exceedingly wicked – generation of vipers.
Generally speaking, these two passages that we have studied today perfectly complement each other. Though those two accounts are so far from each other – 2,500 thousand years – they are so close in the sight of human nature.
- All men of all times were wicked and have no desire to repent. Moreover, men’s desires and thoughts are only evil.
- God is merciful and longsuffering.
- God never forsakes us. He always leaves humanity with a righteous man to reach out to them and preach to the wicked ones.
- As Christians, we must be that “man” who is reaching out and preaching repentance and salvation.
- As a non-Christian, you must repent to be saved from imminent destruction and God’s wrath. Do not wait until tomorrow – it may not come, do it now – Accept Jesus Now!
Dear Heavenly Father, we glorify Your mighty name. We thank you, Lord God, for your limitless mercy upon us. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your shed blood for the remission of our sins.
Jesus Christ, you are the ark that saved us from destruction. Because of You, Lord Jesus, we can have eternal life with our Father in heaven. Let Your word sound loud to warn people and give them hope in Jesus.
All these we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.