Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, and God placed them in the Garden of Eden. They enjoyed the blessed relationship with God, but Adam and Eve followed their own desire and fell. Their sin suddenly made them feel fear of God when being with God. Was God changed to be fearful? No. The sin severs the most blessed relationship with God. They used to go to God to see His face to and talk about what happened on that day in the Garden of Eden. God also loved to see their faces and to hear the story of Adam and Eve, who were lovingly smiling while talking to God. Sadly, the blessed relationship abruptly ended.
Adam and Eve hid themselves from God. Although God called them, they could not come to God into the light because their sin made them children of the darkness. The darkness could not be together with the light. God, who exactly knew what had happened, came to Adam and Eve to show His constant love, and most of all, to give a chance that Adam and Eve repent their sin. But they did not. They wanted being in the darkness because they were of the darkness. Their sin prevented them to go back to the light. Indeed, they could not live with God anymore. Thus, God had to send them away from the Garden of Eden. If not, they had to hide themselves forever.
Out of His love, God made a blessed plan for Adam and Eve who was being sent out from the Garden of Eden, and their descendants. It was His salvation plan saving the fallen human beings, and restoring the beautiful relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who would die for sins of the world on cross as a perfect sacrifice. God then foretold the battle between the darkness and the light. First, the darkness would strike Jesus Christ by crucifying Jesus Christ on cross, but it became the moment of complete destruction of the darkness, which would result in a complete restoration of the blessed relationship that Adam and Eve used to have with God in the Garden of Eden. Yes, God carefully prepared all of His blessed salvation plan to the minute details for Adam, Eve and their descendent out of His love. God also made clothing from animal skins for Adam and Eve for their protection. All of the above were a proof of God’s love and His covenant of saving His people out of sins, which came in initially through the fall of Adam and Eve.
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)
The wage of sin is death, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. This is the truth. God first demonstrate this truth by making the leather clothing for Adam and Eve, and it was also a manifestation of God’ love and truth. Yes, all sins are really terrible, but falling into a sin is really easy because of our own temptation in our hearts. Thus, even the moment of sinning is delicious like the biting off the forbidden fruit, but the consequence of the sin, which we should clearly remember, is death. Not just a physical death, but an eternal death, which is a total separation from God, Our Loving Eternal Father.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Yes, Adam, Eve and their descendants have to die due to sins committed, but God prepared the gift of God — eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord. This is the love of God, which was manifested even before the first man and woman made a first step into the world where we live now. God’s love continued from the time of Adam and Eve to all generations after. In fact, each one of us is a recipient of the gift of God – eternal life which only can be given to us through Jesus Christ. This is the God’s unfathomable love. Give thanks to God!
Sins that came into Adam and Eve, however, tenaciously clang to Adam, Eve, and their descendants. The most terrible sin of all quickly came into the first family – killing of Abel by Cain, his older brother. Before this killing, Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel lived together – laughing and crying together, working and playing together, eating and sleeping under one roof together. Under such an intimate environment, how could one kill another loving brother? Yes, it is unthinkable, but it was not. Satan knew this and how to make one human being commit such a terrible sin. In fact, it took a small push from Satan – just injecting a small jealousy in human’s heart. Cain felt a jealousy on Abel, because Abel’s offering was better received by God. His jealousy quickly grew. First, he just did not like his brother, but soon it became a hate of his brother. It did not stop there, but it was growing bigger and bigger. Finally, it became a monster. It became an unthinkable desire of getting rid of his own brother. Once getting to this point, Cain became out of control. He was driven by his evil monstrous desire. He ended up to made a plot to kill Abel, his own brother. Following his own evil plot, he brought his brother to the fields where they used to go. Abel without knowing this evil intent of his older brother followed Cain as usual. But when they got to a quite place, Cain suddenly turned into Abel. Then Cain killed him. As he planned, he got rid of his own brother Abel. This gave a huge satisfaction to Cain, but God saw this every step by step. Then God came to Cain, but Cain lied to God without repenting his terrible sin. God explained the consequence of his sin, he begged God’s protection. Even before the murder of Cain, God was still love. Before sending Cain away, God gave His word of protection on Cain. Again and again, we can see God’s unfathomable love.
God blessed Adam and Eve again. Eve gave birth to another son. Eve named him Seth, for she said, “God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom was killed by his brother, Cain.” The birth of Seth was an enormous gift and comforted for both Adam and Eve. Seth was growing up in love of Adam and Eve. God’s love was with Adam, Eve and Seth. However, the people at that time did not know how to worship God yet. In other words, they did not know how to express their heartful appreciation of God’s love, their thanksgiving to God along with their love to God in turn.
When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. Seth was rejoiced in God, and gave his heartful thanks to God by worshipping God. This was the time that people began to worship God by calling upon His name.
Adam continue lived another 800 years after becoming the father of Seth who was just like him – in his very image, which in turn the image of God. God’s blessing starting from Adam continued to Seth. Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, and he continued having other sons and daughters. Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.
Seth was the father of Enosh. Enosh the father of Kenan. Kenan the father of Mahalaiel, Mahalaiel the father of Jared, and Jared the father of Enoch.
Enoch was really different. He lived in close fellowship with God. One day he disappeared, because God took him. Enoch was the first man taken to God without experiencing his physical death.
Methuselah was born as one of the sons of Enoch. Methuselah was the longest-lived person on earth. He lived 969 years before seeing his death.
Lamech was one of the sons of Methuselah. He had many sons, but one of the sons name was Noah.
The people began to multiply on the earth. And all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. The sin coming through Adam and Eve also was multiplied in the hearts of the people. The people were getting more wicked every day.
God observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently evil. So God was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart. God loved the people who created, but they became all evil, who liked living in the darkness. However, God found one person Noah, who was upright before God. Noah found favor with God.
Yes, Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God like Enoch. Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. He raised his children and managed his house godly. All of his sons were righteous as Noah.
God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. So God said to Noah,
“I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!
“Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.
“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” (Genesis 6:13b-22)
Noah was truly faithful to God, and Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him. This is one excellent example of Noah’s faith. Noah built a big boat (i.e., an ark) in the middle of nowhere, not near an ocean or a river. Many people shook their heads while looking at what Noah was doing – building a big ark in the middle of the dry land where they walked by. Many of his friends came and persuaded Noah to stop building his ark building by telling all kinds of rationale and reasons. Noah did not hear them. Why? Noah heard God’s command of building an ark. He simply ignored all but God and His covenant with Noah because he believed God. Out of his faith, Noah told the people about the eminent judgement in a form of a flood that nobody had ever experienced before. The floor, then, would destroy all living things on earth. All of his friends laughed at Noah while telling “Noah, you are a lunatic.” All worried about Noah and His lunatic behavior of building the ark. However, in reality, the flood was actually on the way.
As delaying one day, the judgement day with the greatest flood in the human history was one day closer. Nobody believed. All thought that it was a joke. Have we experienced a similar situation that Noah confronted? Although we talk about the truth, God’s love, His salvation, and His judgement, people don’t listen. They treat us as lunatics. They think God’s judgement is a just story that will never happen. How sad it is! Without believing the truth and God’s judgement, and His holy salvation plan, they continue running their hell-bound race. How many years have passed from the time of Noah to today? People have not changed. People heard the same message – the judgement to come and God’s salvation, but their behaviors haven’t changed at all. They continue running their own race to a total destruction. Our hearts are really breaking when we know that our loving families, friends, spouses and spouses-to-be are part of them — who are running their hell-bound race. Of course, we tried many times before like Noah, but no one listens to the message of God. They are deaf from the truth. Then what can we do? The answer is God. Only is God who can change the hearts of these people. Therefore, we should pray to God for His mercy and love on those whom we love so that they can be touched by God and can become His children like us.
Noah put all of his energy building the ark without being swayed by the people’s opinions. Noah had an immoveable faith, and which made all of his family members secure in faith. They focused on the ark building only. None of them were astray from building the ark. Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth were also visited by friends. All said the same, “Noah, your father, is crazy. You are right-minded persons. You should look at what you are doing. Is it reasonable to build a big boat in a middle of land? You also keep telling me that a greatest flood is coming, which will fill the ocean, river, lake and even this land too. Are you crazy? We have not seen such thing throughout the history. You must be out of mind. Or at most, you have been deceived by your father, Noah. I still believe Noah, your father, is lunatic. The one person to whom we should not get close. Please wake up and see directly what you are doing. Then be a sane person whom you used to be. Look around the land filled with green trees and bird flying over the blue sky. Please come out of your craziness. We really care for you. Don’t you see our heart of loving you? “
Many came and tempted Noah’s family, but they were not moved. They fixed their eyes on God and His command, and continued building the ark in the middle of the dry land. They also never forget the warning of God although none of their friend and family members believed.
It took a long time to build the ark because nobody helped the Noah’s family. Then they could complete the ark as God commanded. It was a triumph of their faith and their obedience to God against all kinds of pressures and temptations from all kinds of people around them. Pressures and temptations from peers, friends and families are the most difficult to overcome as we all know. In other words, the Noah’s family took the narrow gate although the rest chose the wide gate. Why? They believed God and His promise.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. (Matthew 7:13)
Having faith in God is actually entering the narrow gate. Many enter through the wide and broad gate because it is easier and more appealing. However, the eventual destruction is waiting for those who enter through the wide and broad gate. For example, falling in a temptation is easy and even delicious like biting a forbidden fruit. However, the pleasure of eating the forbidden fruit was transient like a fog under the sun. We know the truth, and we also believe God and His infinitely goodness. Following Him and His command is like building an ark in the middle of a dry land, at which many would laugh.
However, it is true that as one day goes by, the day of judgement of God is closer by one more day. Those, who keep the faith till the end, will receive the crown of life. Thus, we should not be discouraged, and encourage each other as the Day is getting closer. Together after we overcome all temptation in this world, and run the race given to us, we will see the day of our eternal salvation. Yes, as the Day is getting closer, together we renew our faith in Him moment by moment by prayer and thanksgiving to God while rejoicing in Him in all circumstances so that God, Our Father, be glorified by us and our lives. In fact, for us, this is one and only one purpose and goal living on earth. Let’s fix our eyes on Him, and run the race given to us till we all win the prize prepared for us by God in His unfathomable love.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12;2)