What Is God’s Standard?

Last week we storied Gen 8: 1-22. This is the story following the flood where the waters begin receding. God has covered the earth and killed all the land walking creatures except those in the Ark. The waters slowly abated and the Ark came to land on Mount Ararat. The process of the waters receding took much longer than the flooding and we read Noah sending our a raven and doves to see if land is exposed yet.

Once the dove does not return Noah builds and altar and makes a burnt offering to the Lord. When God smells the aroma he promises to never again curse the ground because of man and also promises to never strike down every living thing again. Promising that as long as he earth remains, the seasons and weather will not cease to support life.

This is an interesting story and very well known. As a group we discussed some of the ramifications of this story that we are supposed to learn.

  • Is this a model for the future remnant’s God will leave behind when others have fallen away from His ways? It sure seems like it, although it is much more extreme than most of the remnant stories we see throughout the Bible.
  • Life is short, we do not control the next minute, let alone tomorrow or next year. As such we need to understand God is not waiting for us, he is demanding our attention. If flooding the planet does not get your attention, what will?
  • As current believers in the Son, we can consider ourselves already on a spiritual Ark, from which we are fishing for others to pull them out of destruction.
  • Many people will use this story to say God is not just. This story shows just how just God is. Who are we to judge the Creator? He will save those whom He will save and condemn those whom He will condemn.
  • What is the standard that God uses to judge humanity? Is this standard unknown or is it available to us?
    • Thankfully God has not left us in the dark. God has made known the standard through His son because the Law condemns us through sin. God is great.

After we discussed these things we considered who might be impacted by this story we could engage. The story of the flood receding is an excellent story for people that have experienced a tragedy in their life. This story gives us a chance to comfort someone in their time of need by describing how righteous God is and that all deserve death, but God has provided the means for the future. A seed of righteousness that we can all find security in through the grace of God.