God will end the violence. And here is how
God will end the violence. And here is how.
Since basic Bible knowledge is so significantly declining I cannot simply assume that you know the story of Noah, his ark, and the Flood. So here it is – at least in bare outline. And I ask your attention to it for a very specific reason. It has a message for today’s increasingly violent society – a message both of warning and of hope. We will be wise to take heed to it.
“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence”. So reads the account in the book of Genesis. And this was God’s decision: “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth” (Gen.6.13). And God followed through. What he said he would do he did. Not straightaway. In his astonishing patience he waited no fewer than 120 years. But the day of destruction did eventually come.
Which brings us to Noah, his ark, and the Flood. They have so often been illustrated in cartoon form that to many they must seem fictional. But they are not. Noah was real, the ark was real, and so too the Flood. Opinions may differ over how much of the globe it actually immersed. But there is no questioning the effect of it. All of humankind, eight individuals excepted, perished. And these eight – along with a vast array of animals and birds – owed their lives solely to the ark which God had instructed Noah to build.
It is a history that will one day repeat itself – though not in precisely the same way. God is not going to destroy us again by the waters of a flood. That is matter of divine promise. But he is going to act in a way that parallels it. That is part of the use that the Bible makes of the Flood. It presents it as a picture of what will happen at a future day. God will again intervene to bring violence and all other wickedness to an end. And he will do it in broadly the same way. By an act both of destruction and deliverance.
And first the deliverance. All who took refuge in the ark were spared. So also will all who have taken refuge in Jesus. He is God’s graciously provided Savior from sin and from wrath. No one who is looking to him to be the Savior they need will perish when the day of God’s judgment comes.
And then the destruction. It came with great suddenness in Noah’s day and Jesus warns us that it will be exactly the same at the end. He himself will appear in blazing fire to take vengeance on his enemies. And myriads of our fellow humans will be as unprepared and as unable to escape as the people overwhelmed by the Flood.
And then the aftermath. Yet another new beginning! But this time with one massive difference. Noah and his family took something into their new world that would prove to be its undoing. Their sin. It passed to all their descendants. That’s why history has repeated itself. That’s why the violence has continued. That’s why God will act again in terrible and righteous judgment.
But no one will carry sin into God’s wonderful future world! Those whom Jesus saves he will make as sinless as himself. It means there will be no more violence. No more wickedness in fact of any kind. And no need, therefore, for God to judge us ever again.
Warning for us to heed. Hope for us to cherish.
Grace Baptist Church
777 W North Street
Carlisle, PA 17013