Theme: Peace (through judgement)
(Key verses: Gen 6:17-22; Gen 7:1-5)
God is working His perfect one plan of salvation of all within two generational lines which is a natural Adam first, and “afterward” all in that natural man will be made new in the spirit man, Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:22-28; 1Cor 15:45-50). Right in the beginning of the book of Genesis (which is the Greek word for generations) these two lines are established being the two opposing sides of the darkness (which refer to all carnality and physical things) and the light, which is God’s spirit or eternal things (Gen 1:1-5; Isa 45:7; Gen 3:15; John 3:6; Gal 2:3; 2Ti 2:20):
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do.
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
God ordained judgement as a very necessary holy process by which all that dwells in the darkness of the death generation of the first Adam, will be given the spiritual light to learn of God’s righteousness through the last Adam, Jesus Christ (1Thes 5:1-10; Eph 1:10-23):
Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
God works in His elected ones a strong desire to seek after this judgement “early” (in this physical age) as they are being translated by God’s perfect love not to fear the darkness which rules under the god of this world, but to have boldness in this judgement which is on His church now (Acts 26:18; Col 1:13; John 17:3; 2Co 4:4-7; Tit 2:11-13; 1Pet 4:17; Rev 16:10; 1John 2:8; 1John 4:17). In Noah’s days this judgement was brought in type, through a global flood which typifies the eventual destruction of our carnality and flesh, even the total “blotting out” of all sin by God’s “bitter water” (Isa 43:25; Isa 44;22; Num 5:12-28; Ps 51:1; Col 2:14):
Gen 6:17-18 And, behold, I [God], even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
The spiritual mind in God’s elect look at the focus of Scripture of how this historic event applies in their own lives, while the natural mind will always focus on the outward things (Luk 4:4; 2Co 10:7; Rom 2:28). God looks and works on the inside and the salvation of His elect, while the world of the natural man becomes entangled with never ending debates and efforts to save the world in this eon (John 17:9; Jer 7:16). This is why the world of the natural man cannot receive spiritual things in this age (1Cor 2:14). The natural man is puffed up and caught in his own perceptions as he focuses beyond the safe parameters of the written word of God (1Cor 4:6). All these human efforts over centuries to bring peace and salvation to humanity did not bring one ounce of real and lasting peace (2Ti 3:13). Like king Asa of Judah the natural man cannot help himself but to trust on the arm of flesh as he cannot see how God is working all things after His own counsel (Eph 1:11):
2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou [King Asa] hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
King Asa of Judah, asked king Benhadad of Syria to help him against his enemy, which was king Baasha of Israel, in this case. Asa’s own fleshly insights resulted that there was no peace in his land, his family and his own life. It even caused him personal physical ailments for which he was also too proud to seek the Lord for help:
2Ch 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians [of the world].
The theme of godly peace is foundational in our walk as it helps us to focus on God’s priorities and not ours, amongst others. The historic event of the flood in Noah’s days is giving us also a very clear indication of this focus when everything around us is falling apart – as per God’s designated plan (1Pe 3:18-21). Can “good men” really do something to change God’s plan with evil? While havoc and turmoil played out outside the ark, the Scripture’s focus was on the peace and salvation of Noah and the seven others of his household (Ps 46:10; Isa 26:3; John 14:27; Rom 8:6-11; Php 4:6-7; Col 3:15). Judgement in the day of the Lord is more focussed on the revelation of the hidden evils in His elect in this age than on all that is in the world outside – which will be judged later at the appointed time (Rev 20:11-15). Like Noah and his family, God’s elect have the peace of God because they know why things happen. While those outside the ark were engulfed and submerged in hopelessness, despair and death, Noah and his family were safe in the ark (Rom 8:24-28; 1Cor 13:13). We know that all things happen for our sake as the focus is on our own dying to fleshliness and carnality by being baptized into Jesus Christ and into His death (John 12:30-32; 2Cor 4:15-18):
Rom 6:3-4 Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Peace is a very important part of the “demonstration of the spirit and of power” in the life of the elect of God (1Cor 2:4; Gal 5:22). In the process of demonstrating this peace of God in us we also learn the necessary distinction between the good (the day or the light of God) and the evil works (of the night) within ourselves:
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Noah was instructed to take all living animals that lived on the earth and the fowls of the earth into the ark with him, and all the food they will need:
Gen 6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
This good and evil mentioned in terms of the spiritual maturing process inside the elect was also typified for the first time in Scripture in connection with the animals when God brought them into the ark with Noah and his household. These animals were divided between “clean” beasts and “unclean” beasts which relates to the distinction we are being taught to make between the true doctrines of Christ and the false deceptive teachings and thoughts of the world (Lev 11:1-47):
Gen 7:1-5 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance [Hebrew: “yeqûm” = a standing thing] that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
In the process of judgment we are taught to discern the spiritual aspect of how we should try spirits by the words that are spoken (2Co 13:3-5; John 6:63; 1John 4:1-6; Gen 3:1-6; 1John 2:16). All of this helps us to distinguish between voice of the true shepherd and His true doctrine versus the voice of the false shepherds and their false doctrines (Lev 5:2; Lev 7:21; Lev 10:10; Lev 11:1-47; Num 18:15; John 10:1-18). Of the clean beasts and the clean fowls were seven pairs (male and female) brought into the ark and of the unclean beasts only one pair of each because only clean beasts were used after the flood for sacrificial purposes as a sweet savour to the Lord (Gen 8:20-21). Sacrificing the clean beasts refers to complete obedience to the commandments of God to do what is good and profitable (Tit 3:8; Matt 5:29-30; John 6:63; 1Cor 13:3). The following statement is repeated twice here which witness to Noah’s obedience in all things which God commanded him which also links to what godly peace is all about:
Gen 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Gen 7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
Obedience to “all that the Lord commanded” is what inward peace is all about and this is how God’s elect diligently obey all that is written and nothing God is working offends them (Heb 13:15; Rom 5:1-5; 1John 5:1-2):
Psa 119:164-165 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
This “great peace” inside will also be witnessed by those around us as we will “follow [or pursue] peace with all” (especially our enemies). This “great peace” also enables us to endure God’s chastening grace through His judgement and not become troubled and defiled with the poison of resentment or a “gall of bitterness” (Matt 5:44-48; Acts 8:32 Col 1:20-23; Col 3:15-17; Eph 4:1-3; James 3:17-18; 1Pet 5:14; John 20:21):
Heb 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
With this focus inside the ark and the peace of knowing they were chosen by God, Noah and his family waited with surety that God will save them. They had to endure all the “fowls after their kind and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind”, even as God’s elect attends to and regards their own beast created with man on the dry land (Pro 12:10; Gen 1:22; Gen 1:24-25). Within judgement we are incrementally discovering our “earth, earth, earth” or beastly estate (Gen 2:7; Gen 3:19; Jer 22:29; Rev 13:1-18; Ecc 3:18). We have peace when we discover and accept in humility this process as we know that God is trading and ransoming the whole earth to make us His spiritual offspring:
Isa 43:3-6 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
Job as a type of the elected sons of God experienced this exact time of turmoil before He finally could see the beautiful purposes of God’s judgement which he feared initially in his blindness and self-righteous state of mind:
Job 3:25-26 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. 26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.
When we can see that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, we stop glorifying in the flesh as we are always tempted to foolishly do when the spirit of the world of pride and lusts compel us (2Cor 12:11; 1John 2:16):
2Co 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
As we are being judged now we are learning that peace is not in the cessation of hostility or the absence of conflict – that is the worldly concept of peace (Jer 6:14). Like the flood in Noah’s days shows us that Godly peace is truly found in the midst of the storm (Ps 107:23-31). As the ark was that place of peace, comfort and rest, so it typifies the true ark of God. Peace is a person – Jesus Christ. We can only have peace when we have Jesus whose spirit and fruit is clearly demonstrated in us:
Eph 2:14 For he [Jesus] is our peace….
The disciples in their time of flesh, focussing on outside storms, could not understand and had great trouble with this peaceful Jesus. “A gracious God [who is] merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” will always be a big thorn in the flesh of those who want immediate action and quick solutions (Jonah 4:1-2; John 11:17-21). In godly peace and rest more things are done than all the efforts of naturally “good” men. Being diligent in doing God’s commandments also includes accepting God’s ways and not ours (Josh 22:5; Isa 30:15):
Mar 4:36-41 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Here we have an example how the fear for God and His Word should be “exceedingly” higher than our fear for things in this world. The fear for God is in obedience to His Word which brings more peace in us than we can imagine!
Pro 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
Psa 33:18-20 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, 19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.
Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This yoke of judgement is the yoke of Jesus and His yoke is indeed easy and His burden is indeed light when we can see that it is only by His strength we will be more than overcomers (Php 4:13; Rev 17:14):
Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
This also reminds us of Martha, and our own time of being like Martha, when we are so “cumbered” or distracted by things around us. This is when we actually believe Jesus does not care for our wellbeing and is not interested in ‘getting things done’:
Luk 10:40-42 But Martha was cumbered [Greek: “perispaō” = distracted] about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Mary chose this one thing that is just the opposite of being “careful and troubled of many things” which is peace and rest. Mary represents the God-given peace which is only the inheritance of the elect which shall not be taken away from us, even now while we are going through this judgement (1Pet 4:17):
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
That is why God also included the peace offering within the five offerings under the old covenant to serve as a type of the true peace found in Christ (Lev 3:1-19). Peace is requiring a sacrifice from us which is to be added with the burned offering (Christ). In the peace offering, amongst other parts that were sacrificed, of particular importance here is that the breast (harbouring the essential inward parts) and the right thigh (which is the stronger part of the leg) are also to be heaved and lifted up before they are placed on the altar:
Lev 7:30 His own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the LORD.
Lev 7:32 And the right shoulder [Hebrew: “shôq” = upper leg of an animal = the thigh] shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings.
We have peace when we can see that God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher and better than our ideas and our solutions (Isa 55:8-9). This sacrifice (the peace offering) only has grades of the herd and the flock (even when they have “any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts…[but only those] without blemish”, yet not any turtle doves (Lev 3:1, 6; Lev 22:21-25; Mal 1:7-8). This is pointing to a more mature spiritual person who has grown past the “principles of the doctrine of Christ”, and who keeps away from false doctrines (that is what is meant with the words “without blemish”), yet still not perfected before the “third day” – which is what the words “lacking in parts” want to convey (Heb 6:1-2; Lev 22:21-25; Luk 13:32). Only in the peace offering the offerer can eat the meat of God’s Word and also share it with “all that be clean” (Lev 7:19; Num 18:11; Heb 5:14). This is also how we, even in times of trials and tribulations, can sacrifice a gift of thanksgiving – “only to be eaten on the same day” by the offerer in the peace offering. The offerer is also required to make a vow within this peace offering. That points to our desire to be faithful to the Word and doctrine of Jesus Christ, being seated at His table and renewed in mind by His Word – “eaten the same day that he offers his sacrifice…and on the next day also the rest of it shall be eaten” (Lev 7:15-16; Ps 23:5; Song of Solomon 2:4; 2Co 4:15; 2John 1:10; Eph 2:6-10):
Php 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.