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This particular portion of scripture starts out with one great tragedy and ends with another. One: the destruction of the world and Two: the destruction of a tower to Heaven. One was very evident and one was very subtle. One dealt with actions of men and one dealt with the attitude of mans heart. In both cases the God of Heaven intervenes and brings about judgement. This is something that people like to use all the time against God. Judgement! If God is so good and loving, why would He wipe out the entire world and kill millions. I mean He was so grieved in His spirit with the actions of men, God wished He had never made man. He killed the entire earth, even the animals and all of creation. This could seem harsh but in the middle of this story, if you have eyes that see God clearly, you will find MERCY. The story of Noah and the flood is found all over the world. Most of the time it makes me laugh because Noah and the flood is typically depicted in the nurseries of children and children books. The majority of the time the story is told with colorful cartoon characters and lovely animals. Told as a favorite bedtime story for many children. I laugh because the story of Noah is actually about the near extinction of the human race. Tell THAT as the bedtime story. Tell about how crooked and evil the world had actually become and that the bible says that every inclination of mans heart was Evil. Sounds like a good bedtime story to me. The best part comes when Noah shows up on the scene. In a sea of selfishness and depravity, we see Noah, a man found righteous in Gods eyes.

I love to read about Noah because in a world of total depravity, he shined like the sun because He chose God. I always think, what actually made Noah righteous. How did this man keep his way pure when everyone around Him was shouting EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY! Come on Noah you big old fanatic everybody’s doing it. I can just hear them now because it is the same type of chants we hear today. The same type of nagging we get from family, friends, co-workers, and worse, other christians. Its not that bad, come on, it's ok, stop being so religious. Noah had a backbone and THAT is what I love about his story AND the fact that just a couple chapters later he messes up and the covering of the Lord is there to protect him BECAUSE Noah chose God. Noah was found righteous because he obeyed God and He walked with God. So, Noah did what God asked of Him because He walked in Intimacy with God. Noah was not a hypocrite, he lived with conviction, he had morals and in a world that spit in the face of God, Noah was not perfect but he had a relationship with God. One great principle from this story is that people who choose God should STICK out from the world around them, they should be DIFFERENT! Another principle we can grab hold of in the story of the flood is that sin effects everything around us, it is not just ME< MYSELF< AND MINE. The sin of men affected the entire earth and everything paid for it including the animals. Every time we sin no matter how private or public we affect way more than ourselves and our sin is most definitely not an expression of love to those around us. Our willful knowing sin, our EAT< DRINK< AND BE MERRY SIN actually contributes to the destruction of the world. It is a partnering with darkness. On the flip side when we choose righteousness and we do not bend our knee to darkness, when we bring justice, speak truth into a situation, make peace in the midst of strife, we partner with God in returning the world back to its original intent.

Did you know that it actually took Noah 120 years to build the Ark. The entire time that Noah was building the Ark people were asking him what the heck a doodle he was doing. I would have been. Noah day after day after day for 120 YEARS would tell passerby’s, LOOK the God of heaven is sending a flood because of the wickedness of men..REPENT! This is why I say people see judgement but the right eyes see MERCY. 1 Peter tells us that it was Gods patience that waited 120 years for Noah to build the boat. It also tells us that Noah preached to his generation. If you KNOW the God of the bible, then from Genesis to Revelations you see Mercy not Judgement. Read Ezekiel 33:11 even God says he takes NO PLEASURE in the destruction of the wicked. God used Noah to warn the people but their hearts remained proud and stubborn. How many times does God use things in our everyday life to warn us? Sometimes we listen and adjust but if we are honest sometimes our hearts remain proud and stubborn and we pay for it. Man oh Woman I want to live on the side of humility and willingly submit to the leadership of Heaven. After all, God is a covenant God and keeps his promises. Though he judges sin harshly, he always provides a way out and a covering for those who chose Him because God desires to walk in peace with His people. Gods love will always prevail. That is what the RAINBOW is for, to remind us that storms come, we will all experience trouble, but GODS LOVE WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL. (take back the rainbow, it is a covenant of mercy) *******that was a side note.

Any who loo, listen… there is no greater story of Gods covering than what’s depicted when Noah drinks a little too much of His good wine and is laying out naked for all to see. His three sons come upon Him and two different things happen. One son, good old Hambon

( yes I call him this because he was a bone head for what he did), went and blabbed their fathers shame to the other sons. Shem and Jap actually chose to honor their father and cover him in his shame. When Noah, a righteous man who had made a mistake, woke up and heard what happened, Hambone got cursed and the other two were blessed. Look, if you follow the enemies of God they are all from Hambones line. Yep that curse carries a long way all because Hambone wanted to expose and humiliate the weaknesses of another. Shem was actually the line that produced the people of God the Israelites and eventually Jesus because Shem and his brother decided to honor the man they knew Noah to be and cover him in his weakness. NOW THAT CAN PREACH! Beloved we need to live in such a manner that when those around us mess up we don’t expose and humiliate them but rather we love them into the truth and cover them from others. It is the difference between cursing and blessing.

This passage of scripture ends with the destruction of the Tower of Babel which means “gate to God”. These crazy offspring of Hambone wanted to build a gate to Heaven so that they could be just like God and worse be God. Things have not changed, we all at times are striving in different ways to be our own God. Striving to make a name for ourselves, trying to get fat bank accounts, sacrificing family and faith to build careers and gain powerful positions, making up our own rules trying to obtain some goal that is gonna make everything perfect. Here is the truth, NO PUSUIT outside of Gods leadership in our lives will ever get us to that desired goal. All the things we spend our lives doing trying to be our own Gods will only bring exhaustion, regret, and broken relationships. God is God and we are not. When we spend our lives trying to obtain stuff or accolades rather than prioritizing worship and awe of God and quality family relationships, we are building bricks for the tower of Babel.

Side note to all of us reading this, we are all related through the line of Noah so that means NONE of us can be prejudice against any ethnicity. They are all our brothers and sisters, Get to loving and stop being stirred up by the adversary seeking to destroy yo family line!

Now to my Man Matthew… let me just say that after I read through the sermon on the mound with Jesus. I was a weeping fool. I was like Jesus, Brian, Anybody for the LOVE OF THE LORD… am I even saved. I was like I need and ark God right now. Let me first point out to you guys a couple of things. One when Jesus was baptized there was a reason why the Holy Spirit descended down onto His shoulders and God audibly spoke. In that day if a new Rabbi came preaching a message He had to be confirmed by two authorities for people to take Him seriously. It was the Holy Spirit(1) and Father God(2) who bore witness to Jesus and then immediately he was led into the wilderness. Yep, led by the Spirit. It was His time of testing and Jesus always overcame with the WORD. Then the Spirit ministered to Him and he came out Empowered by the Spirit. There is always purpose in our wilderness and if we cling tightly to the word and allow the Spirit to get us through, AND NOT RUN, we will come out empowered. After this Jesus starts his ministry and this is what I want you to see. Hundreds came to see Jesus but only the disciples followed Him up the mountain and set at HIs feet. Yep when He climbed the mountain he set down and taught HIs disciples. Others were in ear shot but the disciples not only heard his heart, they saw his passion, felt His passion, could see his heart pounding, eyes at time glistening… crowds can show up and experience but disciples learn the Master. Crowds can sit in the presence and never be moved, disciples sit in the presence and become that which they see. I was on the floor crying out to God because I heard the sermon as if Jesus was looking me in the eye and teaching this disciple. The one that got me was, if you see your enemy in the street don’t wait until they say something to you, YOU GO TO THEM! What good is it if you only love the lovable Kristi. I literally was messed up all morning and then right there in the middle of the church an ARK CAME… the worship team started singing… HOLY, THERE IS NO ONE LIKE YOU, THERE IS NONE BESIDE YOU, OPEN UP MY EYES IN WANDER, SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE, AND FILL ME WITH YOUR LOVE, AND LEAD ME IN YOUR LOVE TO THOSE AROUND ME. YEP, right there in that moment God sent me an ARK. Kristi, you do fail, you do miss the mark, but you know what baby girl my grace is sufficient and my covenant with you stands. Remember who I am in the backdrop of your failure and open your eyes to the strength I give you to overcome. Fill yourself up with me and I will lead you in love. You better believe I jumped on that Ark and road it all day through the storm of my disappointment until the rainbow appeared in my heart and I cried out, not how horrible of a failure I was but HOW MERCIFUL MY GOD IS!

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