January 3

Read Genesis 7 -- 9

In Today's Reading:

Noah, his family, seven pairs clean and one pair unclean of every living creature enter the ark as God had commanded (Gen. 7:2,9); the great flood; the Rainbow Covenant.

The LORD said to Noah, Enter the ark, you and all your household (Genesis 7:1). Noah was able to save his family and preserve mankind because his faith in the spoken word of God led him to build the ark. During the many years spent in constructing the ark, he was also known as a preacher of righteousness in an ungodly world (II Peter 2:5). This illustrates the New Testament truth that faith without works is dead (meaningless) (James 2:26). The ark was a secure refuge from certain death; it was also a type of Christ, who provides spiritual refuge for believers. Christ, our spiritual Ark, is calling to the lost today: Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

For Noah and his family, there came a day, prior to the flood, when they were told to enter the ark, and the LORD shut him in (Genesis 7:16). This is a reminder that now is the day of salvation (II Corinthians 6:2). All who wait for a more convenient time to be saved need to realize that no one knows on what day his door of opportunity will be shut forever. Therefore be alert, because you don't know either the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13).

Just as Noah was able to rest within the ark, secure from the waters of death, so we can be assured of spiritual rest, for our lives are hidden with the Messiah in God (Colossians 3:3). As soon as he was once more on dry land, Noah built an altar to the LORD . . . and offered burnt offerings on the altar (Genesis 8:20). The obedience of faith and the worship of God go hand in hand. Just as Noah was not given an exact day when the flood would come, neither do we know the day of our Lord's return.

As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn't know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be. . . . This is why you also should get ready (Matthew 24:36-39,44).

Christ Revealed:

Through the ark (Genesis 7:1,7; Acts 4:12; I Pet. 3:12,20). Christ, our Ark of safety, protects the believer from the coming judgment.

Prayer Needs:

Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific · Major languages: English and Gilbutese · Religious freedom · 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal His perfect will for you (Psalms 25:4).

Optional Reading: Matthew 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 1:23