I’m glad God believes in new beginnings. I’m reading in the Book of Genesis about how God created the earth and mankind. It doesn’t take too long before we discover people corrupting themselves and the earth. “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain” (Genesis 6:5-6). God had seen enough. The floods came and destroyed what God created. However, that wasn’t the end of the story. “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark…” (Genesis 8:1). All life was not extinguished. God’s grace gave us a new beginning through Noah and his family. They were protected from the flood and stayed on the ark for many months. Finally, it was time to leave the ark. “By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth” (Genesis 8:13). There’s something in this verse I had not noticed before. God dried the earth for Noah and his family at the beginning of the new year! It’s as if God is saying, “I’m giving you another chance by giving you a brand new year.” While reading about Noah this morning, the Lord put the words of Jesus on my heart: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37). Yes, we are living in times that resemble the world before the flood. Wickedness is growing. Violence is increasing. Most people live as if there is no God. Be sure that God is the righteous Judge and all evil will be accounted for. His plan, however, is not to simply destroy the earth through judgment, but to provide a new beginning for His people! Be among the faithful—like Noah, who found favor in the sight of God (Genesis 6:8). May the beginning of this new year remind us of Noah. We are given a new opportunity in this new year to follow Jesus, love people, and share hope!
Pastor Mark Boucher