Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Ark of God's Mercy

I am preaching a sermon on the Flood from Gen. 6-8 on Sunday. Today I spent most of my time writing the first half of the sermon, on the sinfulness of man and the judgment. I was meditating on passages like this:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . . So the Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land." (Genesis 6:5,7a)
And this:

And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence." (Genesis 6:12-13)
And this:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it. (Jeremiah 17:9)

I was confronted all day with how sinful we are by nature, and that God hates our sin so much He destroys sinners. It is what we deserve. Our hearts are sinful and opposed to Him. By nature we are dead in our sins and rebel against God. Then I came home and hugged my wife, a gift from God. Then I picked up my daughter and we spent a couple of minutes laughing together, about nothing in particular. Then I thought about how I get to speak God's word on Sunday. Then I thought about how God has fogiven me, and has given me a new heart, and has given me His Spirit, and about how He has promised that no flood of water or fire will ever eternally destroy me. I was overwhelmed by mercy. I deserve to be a floating dead man in a flood of God's wrath, but God has mercifully let me on His Ark of mercy. I do not deserve even one good thing I have, which makes each good thing seem even sweeter. Thank you Jesus, my Ark and my God.


Cousin Jason said...

Amen and amen!

I too am regularly so blown away by God's grace and mercy. Thanks for the reminder and the imagery of your family to carry home the point.

Michael Baker said...

Hey Mark, It's good to hear from you. It seems like only a few months ago that we were at CBU. Your latest blog entry is very good as well. It's often too easy to forget what we're being saved from. Thanks for the reminder. As for church, I've been going to St. Andrew Orthodox Christian for about three years now. I remember not too long ago there were rumblings that you were going to be serving at FITP. Are you still thinking of coming back out this way, or are you going to stay east for awhile? Tyler says you're coming out here to visit soon. How long will you be around?

Kyle said...

God's Ark of Mercy. What a powerful illustration. School starts soon and I look forward to studying things like this. Thanks Mark for your insights.

Mark and Stephanie said...

Thanks for commenting, and for your encouraging words.

For me it seems a little longer than a few months ago, but it doesn't seem like 7 years.

I'm planning to stay out this way for a while. I'll be heading to the Chicago area to start a Ph.D. in theological studies with an emphasis in Historical Theology.

I'll be in So. Cal. for 3 days. I'm coming out to see my new nephew. I'll be preaching at FITP on Sunday night, the 29th. Keep in touch dude. My email address is

Jason and Kyle,
Thanks for the encouraging words. Have fun in school Kyle.

- mark