Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Genesis Chapter Seven, Part 2

7:1 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark
Note that God was in the ark, calling Noah and his family within to join Him. A believing father is a strong foundation of truth for his children, and such was Noah. Looking ahead to New Testament times we read about the Philippian jailor who asked Paul what he must do to be saved. Paul replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household,” Acts 16:31. Elsewhere Paul writes about the benefit of a believing parent: “otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy,” 1st Corinthians 7:14. The concept is not one of heredity. A child does not inherit the faith of their parent; common sense and daily life attest to this. But a godly parent living their faith and praying daily for the conversion of their child is a strong witness to the child looking to see the validity of the faith their parent espouses and proclaims.
A child raised in a godly home is made holy in the sense that the parent trains such a child, to the best of their ability, to discern right and wrong and what is pleasing to the Lord rather than what is pleasing to the flesh. They are set apart for the Lord. God addresses this elsewhere: “But did He not make [a married couple] one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring,” Malachi 2:15. The family, beginning with godly parents as the nucleus, must be of one mind in training their child in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Why has God made the institution of marriage? One reason being that together husband and wife comprise a considerable force to protect new life from the influence of a godless world and to teach a child the reason they have been born, and to whom they are accountable. God preserved Noah knowing that Noah would preserve the faith on the earth and pass such knowledge to his children, which he did. How the children responded to this knowledge is another matter; one that is entirely between them and their God.

7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens
The superficial discrepancy between God’s command to take animals two by two, and then by sevens, is easy to unravel. The latter portion of the verse states that unclean animals were to enter the ark “by two” or in pairs, while clean animals, that is animals fit for sacrifice, were to be taken in sevens. The reason being was that when Noah and his family had safely left the ark he could sacrifice to the Lord without endangering the species. Here was also clear internal evidence that clean and unclean animals had been separated into what could be presented before Lord, long before the time of Moses and the Mosaic covenant. This logically reached back to Abel, when he sacrificed to the Lord the firstlings of his flock, Genesis 4:4. It reaches farther still by implication to Eden, when God slew animals to clothe Adam and Eve with their skins, Genesis 3:21. It would indeed make sense that the law of sacrifice for atonement for sins was instituted at Eden, right after our race fell into sin. The word “atonement” literally means “a covering” or “to cover over.” Thus was God teaching our race that the blood of animals was a mere covering over of our sins to hide them from God’s sight until the fullness of the times, when God’s Son would arrive to put away sin forever by the sacrifice of Himself. This was promised from the first, Genesis 3:15. In fact, it was promised before time began, Titus 1:2.

7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights
“For yet seven days” means “after seven more days.” The week of the Flood had come by this point, and the shepherding of the animals into the ark was now an earnest business. The number forty is significant in the Bible and appears in numerous places. God informed Abraham that his descendants would be slaves four hundred years (40 times 10, of course.) Moses was forty days and nights on the mountain with God receiving the law. Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness when they refused to enter the Promised Land. Elijah was forty days and nights wandering to the mountain of God after Jezebel threatened his life. The prophet Jonah preached about Nineveh’s destruction for forty days. Jesus roamed the wilderness forty days and nights after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. After Jesus arose from the dead He was seen by witnesses for forty days and nights. God is a mathematician, and an unparalleled one at that. The numbers 3, 7, 10, 12, and 40 are very prominent in Scripture and are repeated often. Try to keep track of them if you can, and you will find yourself with a full time occupation!

7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month
If you examine chapter 8:3-4 we find: “the waters receded, continually from the earth. At the end of the one hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month.” There is a clear progression of five months between the beginning of the Flood and its recession, but those months only measure a static 30 days apiece. The ancient calendar of the Hebrews only had 360-day years, so the account was clearly following the Hebrew calendar at this point. In fact it is widely attested that most of the ancient kingdoms followed this 360-day a year calendar; this in turn has become the prophetic calendar since it appears to be how God measures time in both apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation.
To be Continued.

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