A Passage and a Prayer 4/20/18

“In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.’” Genesis 8:14-16

Have you stayed in a motel room for several days? One night only and you’re ready to pick up the suitcase that you never emptied and move on. But stay for three nights or so, and you can get comfortable. It’s a bit cramped, but you’ve settled in and leaving again would mean packing everything up. Besides, if you leave, you go home and you know there’s all that work waiting for you at home. Maybe we should just stay.

Noah and his family spent over a year in the ark, enduring the flood and then waiting for the earth to dry out. That’s a long stay in a cramped room. But consider what’s outside. The slow drying of the world must have left an incredible mess after the destruction of the flood. After a year in the ark, I expect that Noah and family had it as neat and organized as possible. But now God says that they are to go out.

What a bold step! Go out into a raw world. Go out away from the safety of the ark. Go out trusting that the flood won’t return. To face that very reasonable fear, God gave them the sign of the rainbow to assure them that the flood would never return. How fitting that the clouds and water in the heavens were transformed into a beautiful sign of God’s protection.

So we still step out with the boldness of Noah. You might face a world that is far changed from what you had hoped. You might worry that dark clouds are waiting over the horizon. Take the model of Noah’s boldness and the promise of God’s care. More than a rainbow, we have the promise of the cross. There God brought all the wrath and judgment we might ever fear and extinguished them on his Son. We live under more than a rainbow. We live under the lasting cross. That makes us bold to trust his promises of forgiveness and a new life with him.

Our heavenly Father, thank you for the beautiful sign of a rainbow as a promise of your care. But make us even more bold by showing us the cross where you took all the wrath and darkness we fear. Give us bold lives through trust in your work, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.