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The Flood, Our Faith, and Science

 

 
Those who enjoy reading about science and ancient mysteries realize that modern man faces a bewildering array of unsolvable mysteries, given our current attitude toward the age and history of the universe. The educational channels solve these problems by proposing that men from Mars created these puzzles. Below are just a few to consider:
 
Monumental and Technological Marvels of the Past
 
The Great Pyramid remains one of the tallest structures in the world, at 481 feet, compared to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, which is 630 feet. The precision of the Great Pyramid's alignment (north-south-east-west) has never been matched. Its construction remains a mystery. Those who propose slave labor carving enormous blocks must explain how men rolled 120 ton stones up ramps. The waste from the carving has not been found. Others argue for casting of the blocks with a concrete mixture. No one really knows the date or origin of the Great Pyramid, which is dated around 2,000 BC. Giant pyramid structures have been found all over the world, and they are often far more massive than the Great Pyramid, which contains 6.5 million tons of material. Some are in China . Others are in Mexico .

In 1911, Yale professor Hiram Bingham found the amazing, forgotten mountain city of Machu Pichu in Peru , a site proving that ancient people built enormous stone structures with incredible precision. The polygonal stone joints will not allow a knife blade to be inserted. How did they construct this city at 8,000 feet with such large stones, without mortar? The website below attributes Machu Pichu to the late Inca period, around 1450 AD.

The Nasca giant animal drawings in Peru went undiscovered until a plane spotted them in the 1920's. No one knows the exact purpose of the 300 drawings spread over 400 square miles of desert, but one thing is clear they can only be viewed from the air. They are dated variously between 200 AD and 1000 AD.

Maps Require Accurate Chronometers

Another enigma is the problem of ancient maps. Ships without accurate charts run aground or get lost and never return. In 1707 Admiral Shovel ran aground with his ships, losing 2,000 men and the admiral himself, a no nonsense officer who hanged the sailor who argued about where they were. Just about the only way to draw a good map is with a precise clock. It is exceedingly difficult to find the longitude without a precise timepiece. This problem became so acute for the British that they offered a reward for the first person to invent a reliable chronometer for ships. The Board of Longitude finally awarded the complete prize to John Harrison in 1773.

Some are saying, “And?” Here is the problem. We have ancient maps drawn with great precision. The most puzzling is an accurate map of the landmass beneath the ice of Antarctica , dated 1532 AD, but based upon earlier maps.

We now have plenty of physical evidence that the Chinese discovered America around 1421 whentheir fleet of 500 ships circumnavigated the world. Columbus and Magellan both depended upon maps and settled the nerves of their sailors by saying, in effect, “I know where we are. I have maps.”

Debunking the Modern Myth

Many of us were trained as if technology came into being with the Industrial Age. We were taught to look down upon the ancients as primitive, illiterate people who knew no creature comforts and had few skills. Whether we visit Sedona or the Grand Canyon, watch Discovery or Animal Planet, stop at a zoo or a natural history museum, we always hear that the universe is billions of years old, that everything has slowly evolved until now. The Genesis Flood is not worth debating because it has been deliberately forgotten, as the Scriptures promised:

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:5-7

We cannot understand our world or our Christian faith apart from an appreciation of the Flood. Living in this current age without acknowledging the Flood is like going to Niagara and ignoring Niagara Falls . Teaching the Christian faith without the Flood is tantamount to denying the efficacy of the Word.

Alfred Rehwinkel's The Flood in the Light of the Bible, Geology, and Archaeology is an essential book for understanding the Genesis Flood..

We have no reason to use science to prove that the Bible is actually correct. Instead we can use the most common observations of science and history to shed light on the miraculous depth of God's Word. Luther compared study of the Bible to a gold mine where the veins run in all directions. The moregold we take from the Bible, the more we realize how much remains.

The earth is young and recorded history is fairly recent. Why is it that everything in history is vague before 2,000 BC? The Great Pyramid is dated as existing in 2,000 BC, but no one is sure. In fact, no one knows the purpose of the Great Pyramid. If it is the mausoleum of a great king, then they forgot to put the body inside when they sealed it up.

God created Adam and Eve in 4004 BC, as calculated from the chronologies in the Bible. They sinned and were driven out of Paradise ( Iraq ). In our minds the Flood came next, but an entire world civilization grew across the globe, supported by the luxuriant growth of vegetation, an abundant supply of animals and minerals.

The Flood is commonly dated around 2300-2500 BC. That means mankind had 15 centuries to be fruitful and fill the earth. That time period was more than enough to fill the earth with billions of people. Several factors would have helped:

1. The climate was ideal, without seasons.

2. Men lived as long as 1000 years (Methuselah).

3. Living conditions would have promoted large families and decreased death due to famine and plague.

All civilizations have stories of a golden age followed by a global flood where one family was spared and subsequently replenished the earth. Liberals view this fact as proving that the Bible borrowed the stories and invented Noah and the ark, failing to see how pagans remembered the truth and retold the story in their own way, a bit distorted but remarkably close to the Genesis account.

 
The Pre-Flood World Mineral Abundance
 

We can make several assumptions about the pre-Flood world. We know that minerals were simply lying on top of the earth to be picked up and used. There are modern examples of such abundance. The mining town of Jerome , Arizona was developed because American Indians knew they could pick up raw copper on Mt. Mingus . The simple mining methods of the 19 th century dug billions of dollars of copper, silver, and gold from that mountain. However, the Indians got what they needed from the surface. The California gold rush began when gold was found at Sutter's Mill. Early gold-miners simply panned the stream for flecks of gold.

 
Balmy Climate
 
Seasons did not develop until after the Flood, so the pre-Flood world was uniformly watered by a mist. The climate was warm and balmy; people were spared our violent weather caused by distribution of heat (hurricanes) and clashes of cold fronts with hot, humid weather (tornados). We know that plant and animal life was super-abundant because the fossil record preserved by the Flood shows tropical plants and animals evenly distributed across the globe, including such harsh places as Siberia . The combination of warm weather and abundant moisture meant that crops grew easily, that men did not wear themselves out through labor, that people obtained plenty of nutrition from their food. After the Flood, the only places supporting a large population were those areas where food production was remarkably efficient. Before the Flood, this was true throughout the planet.
 
Technology
 
Most importantly, man developed remarkable technology before the Flood because of his longevity, his relative ease in producing food, and the mineral resources available. The effect of a longer life has already been seen in this last century. Social Security was established with the assumption of retired people living one year past their entitlement age of 65. Now those who reach 65 can expect to live to the age of 85 and be active most of those years. My sainted mother traveled all over the world (including Machu Pichu) after retirement, living in Davenport , St. Louis , New Ulm, and Glendale . Before the Flood, when men lived to bealmost 1,000 years old, they had time to accumulate astonishing skills and train others for many generations. When the World Trade Center collapsed on the heroic firemen of New York City , it was said in the press that these highly trained men were simply irreplaceable because of their decades of experience with specialized equipment and unique situations.
 
One Modern Man
 
A few people realize the impact of one brilliant man pursuing his ideas in technology. The world advanced very little in technology between the time of the Roman Empire and the 1856 birth of Nicola Tesla, the son of a Serbian orthodox priest. Scientists knew about electricity, but Tesla invented the alternating current generator and trounced the DC generating schemes of his former employer, the great inventor Thomas Edison. Tesla wired the Chicago Exposition, built the generators for Niagara Falls , and invented radio, only to see the Nobel Prize go to Marconi, who used 14 Tesla patents to make his radio work. Tesla was constantly hampered by lab fires, financial troubles, and opposition to his genius, but he won 700 patents for his technological genius. Tesla laid the foundation for television, laser weapons, and remotely guided weapons.

If we look at the technological progress of the last 90 years, we can easily talk to people who remember having their farms wired for electricity,who recall seeing their first horseless carriage, who flew to Europe on a jet and used a computer to send email to friends. Germany still relied on horses at the end of WWII, even though they were competing with America to build a nuclear bomb and the first military jets. Therefore, it is not unlikely that the pre-Flood world enjoyed the same burst of technological progress. Much of this knowledge could have accompanied Noah on the ark. Nostalgia about the Golden Age before the Flood is recorded in this brief and often misunderstood account.

 
Hints of the Pre-Flood Glory
 

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:1-9

The Tower of Babel follows the death Noah (at the age of 950) and the genealogies of Genesis 10. Why did they want to reach into heaven? Had men been there before? We should not rule out any capacity of man before the Flood, given our own progress in the last 50 years. All theories about men from Mars can just as easily be turned into ones about earthmen on Mars. Nevertheless, God has goodreasons to limit our knowledge of the pre-Flood world. We should remember instead that the Flood is a constant reminder of what went wrong in that era.

 
Modern Parallels
 

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:1-5

If we understand “sons of God” to be the believers who were trained to be faithful to the Word, then this passage loses its mystery. Instead of marrying believers, the prosperous men in the pre-Flood era considered physical beauty more important than faith in God, so they increased the numbers of pagans as their religious indifference grew. God said He would not always strive against man to keep him on the straight and narrow. The giants in the earth were the ferocious tyrants of the ancient era. The marriage of believers (sons of God) to unbelievers (daughters of men) led to the birth of godless, powerful men. Mankind degenerated so much that every thought was wicked.

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:6-9

Our country – our whole world – seems to be eagerly following the pattern of the pre-Flood era.

•  Christian leaders and laity are zealous in expressing their approval of pagan religions.

•  As one commentator noted recently, the cathedrals of France are empty, except for tourists, while 5 million Muslim adherents in France worship fervently and fruitfully multiply. The dominant social factor in all of Europe is the fast-growing group of Muslim teen-agers.

•  Conservative Lutherans in America , once a respected religious force, are so weak today that they could not knock the skin off a pudding.

• Phoenix reached a new low in having a Catholic diocese so lax that Boston 's Cardinal Law sent some of his worst pedophile priests here. Phoenix Bishop O'Brien welcomed them and obstructed  justice – a felony – when the priests got caught. Bishop O'Brien is now famous for signing a confession of sorts, fighting against it in public, and then running from a car accident in which he ran down and killed a carpenter.

People are tired of hearing warnings, but this one should be heeded:

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37-39

Ecclesiastical leaders should be especially mindful of this admonition:

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:1

 
The Genesis Flood
 

Noah was once called the least successful preacher of righteousness in the history of the world. However, his denomination did not shrink under his leadership, in marked contrast to the Church Growth leaders of the LCMS and WELS . I would like to think that Noah borrowed heavily to build the ark, only to see his loans, notes, and debentures liquidated, but we have no record of Noah's debts.

And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. Genesis 6:10-14

Noah built the ark, which was the largest ship created until modern times. It was not a cute little tug with giraffe and sheep smiling out the windows, but a small, squat battleship-sized vessel. The size depends on the length of the Biblical cubit. The ark was between 450 and 600 feet long. Few people realize how much volume a ship of that size can carry. Nevertheless, problems remain for the rationalist. Children wonder about feeding and mucking that many animals. How could a family of eight keep up? Just as God commanded the Flood through His efficacious Word, He also gathered the animals for the ark through His Word. Whatever needs the animals had could have been provided through His Word as well. Some propose that the animals spent their time in a state of hibernation. We should emphasize that God provided for them, even as He does now.

If someone spends just a little time with God's Creation, the wonders seen on a daily basis will quench any need for rationalistic answers. How can an ugly monarch caterpillar feed on dreadful milkweed leaves, fatten up, and sudden create a “jade coffin with golden nails”? When we lived in New Ulm, we adopted two monarch caterpillars we named Koenig and Tiefel. Suddenly one night each bloated caterpillar turned into a beautiful chrysalis. The “golden nails” looked like real gold. Later the shape and color of the monarch wings could be seen through the delicate green wall of the chrysalis. Soon a monarch emerged, dried off, and took flight. In Phoenix we have viceroys instead of monarchs. Predators see the monarch coloration of the viceroy and avoid it, since milkweed-fed monarchs taste awful to birds. No one can explain how the caterpillar turns into its own transformation machine and then into a butterfly, nor can anyone figure out how or why the viceroy decided to mock the monarch.

The Flood was not a local disaster, as the apostates still insist today, but a vast global catastrophe. We have all seen what a shift in the weather can do with the El Nino and El Nina effects. Picture this probable scenario on a global scale, all accomplished through God's will and command, His efficacious Word:

•  The mantle of moisture watering the earth lost its equilibrium and turned into rain - “and the windows of heaven were opened.” Genesis 7:11

•  Volcanoes burst through the earth, producing an enormous volume of steam, as they still do today.

•  Earthquakes pushed up the ocean floor and send tsunamis across the land. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up…. Genesis 7:11

God caused the rain to fall 40 days and nights. The water rose up for 150 days. Those of us who went through the great flood of 1993 remember 60 days of rain and the rising of the Mississippi . Bridges closed. Streets were under water. Dikes were destroyed to flood thousands of acres of farmland, to spare the cities and especially St. Louis . For a long time it seemed as if the flood would never end. The reek of the flood lasted a long time afterwards, with bloated farm animals floating like enormous balloons on the filthy water.

The Genesis flood covered all the land masses, even the mountain tops by 15 cubits.

Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. Genesis 7:20

One can well imagine the effect of the rising waters. Every living thing headed for higher ground. This gathering forced predators from a wide area together with their prey. The common fear felt by the smaller animals toward the predators was overwhelmed by the panic caused by the rising waters. The result should have been high ground where thousands of animals died together with anunusually high percentage of predators. As Rehwinkel shows, there are many elevated locations where fissures are filled to a depth of 300 feet with shattered bones of animals. An island near Corfu is called the mountain of bones because of the bones from its base to its peak. (Rehwinkel, p. 180)

 
Fossil Fuels
 

Our discussions about energy betray one of the most important effects of the Flood. Everyday the environmentalists worry about the depletion of fossil fuels: coal, oil, natural gas. As I learned in grammar school, coal is formed from vast amounts of pressure and heat upon plant material. Leaf-prints are often found embedded in lumps of coal. Oil in Michigan is associated with brine, the residue of a vast sea that once covered the area. Brine encouraged Dow to move to Midland , Michigan , to make chemicals. Brine-wells still dot the area. Oil from Michigan is high in salt and corrodes pipes quickly. Oil deposits are also associated with vast shoals of suddenly killed fish.

The fossils found in rocks are additional footprints of the Flood. Science teachers seldom tell us that animals and plants do not turn into stone when they die. They rot while being eaten by the creatures appointed by God to recycle the elements: molds, bacteria, springtails, sowbugs, pillbugs, maggots, centipedes, millipedes, earthworms. Fossils can only be formed under special circumstances: heat, pressure, and an abundance of minerals. The global distribution of fossils is another reminder of the global catastrophe.

 
Dinosaurs
 

Dinosaurs are supposed to be the poster boys of evolution. According to old earth advocates, dinosaurs evolved until they suddenly died off in a great cataclysm. A comet or meteorite strike is currently popular as the bell-ringer for all dinosaurs. Let us pause to enjoy the picture – once offered – of newly evolved rodents eating all the dinosaur eggs. We realize now that the rodents would have died of high cholesterol from such a rich diet.

The Flood killed all the dinosaurs, except those on Noah's ark and those in the oceans. Dinosaurs have been caught in the ocean recently, so they are not extinct. The land dinosaurs gradually lost ground to the growth of human civilization, leaving behind stories of flying dragons. Marco Polo saw dinosaurs in China . Also, the post-Flood shift in weather did not allow for the luxuriant growth that once fed the dinosaurs. Doubtless the cold weather also made it difficult for the large dinosaurs to adjust.

Dinosaur bones are often found in vast amounts together, washed together in a jumble. For the bones to turn into stone and be jumbled together, all the actions of the Flood are required.

 
Geography
 

The geography of our planet betrays the muddy footprints of the Flood. Vast deposits of clay can only be explained as the result of inundation. The red rock formations of Sedona are crowned with ocean fossils at the highest level. The Great Lakes draining into the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River are so exquisitely poised that slightly different circumstances would have emptied them instead of giving us a vast source of fresh water, fish, and navigation.

Science teachers patiently explained to me and others that the Colorado River spent millions of years creating the Grand Canyon . The features of the canyon match the results of a rapid scouring by a vast flood pouring through the area. Flood waters pick up rocks and debris, turning the stream of water into an irresistible force. Our pool pump picks up gravel and moves it around like popcorn. A flood does the same for boulders, rocks, and sand.

Scientists today remain puzzled by many features of our planet. Charles Darwin saw many signs of a battered and bruised earth on his lengthy voyage, even while developing his version of evolution. Many modern explanations strike me more as deus ex machina than the Biblical version, which is commonly mocked. The glaciers are the secular substitutes for the Flood. The anonymous comet is another cause, when Martians do not fit the scenario. Immanuel Velikovsy had some strange ideas, but he was instrumental in getting people to realize that the ancient stories of global catastrophes were rooted in fact.

 
Collapse of Technologies in the Past
 
Noah and his sons lived out the enormous life-spans granted before the Flood. Now people laugh at Methuselah living to be 969 years, Noah having children at the age of 500. People seldom think about Noah and his sons living into the modern age, bringing pre-Flood technology with them, and that technology collapsing after the men of the Golden Age were gone. Many assume that man gets more skilled as the years go by. The history we know tells me that civilizations are more likely to collapse, only to have primitives wandering around the glorious but misunderstood monuments of a previous age. Arizona once supported a large Indian nation that used irrigation canals, that had many skills and crafts. Did the Hohokam move away ordid an extensive drought destroy the cohesiveness and drive of the nation?
 
Implications for Today
 

God gave the rainbow as the visible sign of His promise never to flood the earth again. Therefore, many view the rainbow as the first sacrament.

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Genesis 9:13-16

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. Isaiah 54:9

Now the rainbow is favored as the symbol of the occult, often found on cars with unicorn stickers, and as the logo of multi-culturalism.

The seasons were established:

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

Just as nitrogen replaces oxygen in a chemical plant, preventing fire and explosions, so the environmental movement has replaced and supplanted God's Creation as motivation for our care of the earth.

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than theCreator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Romans 1:25

The countries where Marxism flourished have destroyed vast areas of the countryside with their nuclear waste and accidents (Russia), their misuse and manipulation of the land (Aral Sea, Russia), and their self-important projects (Three Gorges Dam, China). Enormous areas of China and Africa are evolving into desert. Perhaps man should use some introspection when blaming God for so much harm in this world.

 

 
 
 
Holy Baptism
 
Jesus mentioned Noah in His warnings about the Judgment, but we should also remember Noah's ark being the symbol of Holy Baptism in 1 Peter. This particular passage is so clear about the efficacy of baptism that most of the revisions of the King James Version, while stating their desire to remain true to the original, consciously avoid the plain meaning of the passage. As Martin Jackson said about the Baptist editors of the modern KJV Bibles, “They know their customers.” What is this offending passage, that must be modified, bent, and twisted in all the modern versions?

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. 1 Peter 3:20-22

Holy Baptism is like Noah's ark, saving us when the world is threatened by a vast, destructive flood of political and religious propaganda. Rehwinkel theorizes that the shape of Noah's ark was squat and rounded, like the kuffa still being used today by primitive tribes, a ship useless for speed but almost impossible to capsize. Holy Baptism is notglamorous and exciting – we never see one on religious TV – but God's promise remains with the water and the Word.

The Flood should remind us always about the power of God's Word to destroy what is evil and the efficacy of God's Word in saving us through the merits of Jesus Christ.

 
The Genesis Flood and Creation
 

When we look at the world around us, we are really looking at two manifestations of His power in the Creating Word: Creation itself and the world shaped by the Genesis Flood. Although the wise men of the age willingly overlook the obvious, scraps of history confirm what the Bible reveals.

Enormous precious gems gathered by hand seem to be the ingredients of a magical story, yet the Robin Fox biography of Alexander the Great records that the Greek soldiers came across an area near India where no one was aware of the value of gems. They found them in great abundance and gathered up the treasure. Likewise, people in the past have found large gold nuggets, deposits of silver slabs, and enormous diamonds within easy reach.

Coal was discovered in America when a man built a fire under a cliff and set the hill on fire. He was not aware that his cliff was solid anthracite, the hardest and best type of coal. The coal, oil, and natural gas companies should really be called Genesis Flood Deposits, since their fossil fuels continue to give energy to the entire world. How novel it would be if the geologists of the world said, “When God renewed the world with the global Flood, He also provided for its future needs with gigantic supplies of carbon-based fuel.”

"And this our life, exempt from public haunts, finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything." (Shakespeare, As You Like it)

Everything we love and value in this world is designed and fashioned by God, through Jesus, the creating Word. The teaching of Jesus is so filled with images from His Creation that all the plants and animals continue this teaching, reminding us of the wisdom of God.

The love which we value is first of all God's love, exemplified in the giving of His beloved Son to die for our sins and rise to eternal life. The life God gives us is just a foretaste of the eternal life won for us in the death and resurrection of our Savior. All the sins of mankind were paid by Him on the cross, just as all the promises of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Him.

To gather His Creation into the Kingdom, God gave us the revelation of His will in the Scriptures, and united His Holy Spirit with the Word so that we will never doubt its efficacy. He also united His Gospel promises with the most basic elements of nature to give us concrete examples of cleansing and forgiveness.

 
 

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,

that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth,

fainteth not, neither is weary?

there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint;

and to them that have no might

he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

they shall run, and not be weary;

and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 
Divine Plan
 

When God gave life to Adam and Eve, He placed them in an earthly paradise, which foreshadowed that eternal life which was freely offered in the Gospel Promises of a Savior, even after our First Parents sinned and lost the Garden of Eden. The proclamation of this Good News, which began with Genesis 3:15, continued throughout the Old Testament. As many as believed in Him were counted as sons of God and given eternal life.

Noah preached this righteousness through faith.

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person , a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2 Peter 2:5

Abraham was justified by faith and became the example for all those who would be justified by faith.

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:5

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise,that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Romans 4:12-13

Moses has been identified exclusively with the Law, but this hero of religion should been seen as a man of faith, a believer in the coming Messiah.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt , not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land : which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. Hebrews 11:23-29

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:2-4

Job lost his children, his property, and his health, scraping his sores while his comforters besieged him with accusations and his wife shouted, “Curse God and die.” Nevertheless, Job believed in Christ:

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body , yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Job 19:25-27

From the beginning of time, the Lord of Creation has gathered His elect into the Kingdom of God , and bestowed the fruit of the Christian faith upon them. When time comes to an end on the Day of Judgment, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, with the heavenly Jerusalem descending in glory.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21:1-14

 
Jerusalem the Golden
 

Jerusalem the golden,

With milk and honey blest,

Beneath thy contemplation

Sink heart and voice opprest.

I know not, oh, I know not,

What joys await us there,

What radiancy of glory,

What bliss beyond compare.

 

They stand, those halls of Zion ,

All jubilant with song

And bright with many an angel

And all the martyr throng.

The Prince is ever in them;

The daylight is serene;

The pastures of the blessed

Are decked in glorious sheen.

 

There is the throne of David;

And there, from care released,

The shout of them that triumph,

The song of them that feast;

And they who with their Leader

Have conquered in the fight

Forever and forever

Are clad in robes of white.

 

O sweet and blessed country,

The home of God's elect!

O sweet and blessed country

That eager hearts expect!

Jesus, in mercy bring us

To that dear land of rest,

Who art, with God the Father

And Spirit, ever blest.

 

(Hymn #613, The Lutheran Hymnal )

 

 
 
 
 
 
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