Dear Heavenly Father,

Praise

I praise you today for your loving-kindness. You remember me in times of trouble (Gen 8:1), and you are my refuge in the storms of life. I praise you for being a God of new beginnings and second chances. Even though men continue to sin against you, you are faithful to keep your promises. You promised to keep the ark safe, and you did. You promised to maintain the seasonal cycles of the earth, and they have always come on schedule. You promised to never again destroy the earth with a world-wide flood, and you haven’t. I praise you that I can rest in your promises.

Today in Your Word

Today you told me about the end of the flood and mankind’s new beginning on the earth. Noah’s first action after coming out of the ark was to build an altar and worship you for your mercy and faithfulness. This teaches me to always take time to praise you for your kindness and love. I also learned that the whole earth was re-populated from Noah’s three sons, and the nations that arose in the Middle East were built by their descendants. Yet evil was not destroyed by the flood. It lived on in the human heart and quickly inspired men to rebel against you. I saw this in two ways: Ham’s behavior toward his father and the people’s refusal to fill the earth. First, Ham’s offense was not that he saw Noah naked, but that he neglected his responsibility to cover his father’s nakedness. This led Noah to utter the first recorded human curse. His words were a prophecy of divine judgment on Canaan’s descendants for their perversion, a perversion which was foreshadowed by Ham’s sin. This teaches me that I must never find secret satisfaction in the faults and failures of others. Instead, I should take action to cover, restore and heal. Second, the people’s offense was not that they wanted to build a city, but that they refused to fill the earth as you commanded. This led you to confuse their language and scatter them across the world. This teaches me that you know best. In those times when I think my way is better, I must submit myself to your will and obey no matter the cost.

Reflection

Noah sent out several birds to see if the earth was dry, but he didn’t leave the ark until you told him it was time. Like Noah, I need to trust you and be patient while I wait on your direction.

Request

Father, I ask you today to instill in me a sense of gratitude for your mercy. May my life, like Noah’s sacrifice, be a pleasing aroma to you.

Thanksgiving

Thank you for bringing me safely through the hard times in my life and for speaking to me personally through your Word.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Suggested Hymn: “God is Our Refuge and Our Strength” by Samuel A. Ward.
Meditation Verse: Genesis 9:13.