What’s the longest you’ve been without a shower? I mentioned at SS that I once made it through the whole of Soul Survivor A without one. Mike was disgusted. Fortunately Beth wasn’t there…
There’s a whole load of washing going on in today’s passages. First we read about the flood and then we meet John baptising anything he can get his hands on…
From Genesis yesterday we learned the human race has turned its back on God (the Fall). As the story continues today we find out that things get so bad God regrets ever making humanity. You know when you do something to upset someone and they get angry – that’s pretty bad. But isn’t it so much worse when their reaction is just sadness…? That’s how God reacts to humanity, what a terrible and amazing verse:
“The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”
Is that a little harsh?
Let’s remember God isn’t a teddy bear. We should fear him. He’s a God of justice and he hates sin. If God didn’t care about sin things would be much worse (the psalmist knows God cares that’s why he complains!). The flood is God’s first way of dealing with sin.
Where does that leave us?
Well we go to the New Testament and here we meet God’s final way of dealing with sin. In Genesis God picks the one ‘righteous’ man on the planet, Noah (Gen 6:9), and he’s the only one who doesn’t have to get wet. Amazingly in Matthew, the one righteous man on the planet – Jesus, insists on getting wet! Noah avoids the flood but Jesus insists on going through ‘the flood’ of baptism.
Did you notice John is reluctant to baptise Jesus? (Mt 3:14) That’s because Jesus is faultless, he’s pure, and he’s done nothing wrong. The baptism is symbolic of what later happens on the cross. Instead of the whole world being flooded Jesus suffers (is washed) in our place. It’s so God can wash away our sin without washing us away…
So from today’s readings we can get a number of things:
- If we are angry because someone is treating us unfairly we know we can be real with God, he hates sin and he cares about it.
- If we are worried or guilty because we’ve messed it up we can have confidence we’ve been forgiven – not because of who we are but because of who Jesus is.
- In the light of God’s mercy for us in Jesus we should strive as much as possible to show mercy to people around us – even that person at school, or the parent, or the annoying sister.
End of day thoughts…
Ali Martin, Mike Pilavachi, Andy Croft
This is just amazing! More than 12000 of us are joining together to read our bibles this year and on Wednesday alone over 13000 people visited this site. We are astounded and delighted. Its fantastic to read your comments and questions and see how so many are digging deeper and getting stuck in to God’s word.
Its obvious from reading the comments that loads of you are loving this and finding it really encouraging, which is great. But there’s a fair few of you who are finding it tough – tough to read and tough to understand. Despite how you might feel you are not alone, there will be plenty of others like you who are not finding this comes easily and who aren’t feeling passionate about each and every sentence. We want to encourage you to keep going.
Don’t worry – and don’t be surprised – if you find it hard going sometimes. God’s word is like food for us – it sustains and grows us. Some days it will feel like we’re eating a delicious roast and other days maybe its more like eating broccoli and peas – really nutritous but not everyone’s favourite. Either way its doing us good. The Bible reveals God’s character, plan, heart and his love for us. As we read on we’ll begin to see the big picture as well as the amazing detail of what God is like and how he loves us. And like any habit it will get easier with time.
So, try not to get discouraged and don’t give up. Keep going – keep asking God for his help, keep reading, and keep checking in on this site to remember you’re doing this along with several thousands of others.
Whether you are loving every minute or finding it really hard, we think its amazing you’re going for it. We are right here with you and will be throughout the year to cheer you on.
With our love
Mike, Andy and Ali
PS.From now on we will add something around about this time of day here rather than in among the other comments and questions – just so you can find it more easily.