Vs. 19, “They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” The flood has been an interesting debates among scholars of all kinds. There are convincing perspectives on both sides regarding a universal flood vs. just a local flood. However, I would be quick to point out to those of you who may perceive this and inconceivable have forgotten that God is not bound by our human laws of nature. Though the waters poured out from the sky for 40 days and 40 nights, it would be over a year that Noah, his family and all the animals would be in the ark. Question: Why so long? They had to wait for receding of the water to finally come upon dry ground. Earlier in the chapter (vs. 2-3), the extra pairs of animals were used for food and sacrifices.
Regarding application…Willing to Obey. Vs. 5, “And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.” I believe this can be an understated verse that can get lost in the explanation of the ark and flood. I’ve heard Pastor’s share this before, “half-obedience or even delayed obedience is really just disobedience.” God blessed Noah because Noah had complete obedience and faith. When I reflect upon my own life, the times I was most blessed was when I was doing “all” that God had asked. Noah had to be different in a world where everyone else was going the opposite way. When people asked me in the past if I was aspiring to be a Pastor since I went to Bible college in my early twenties, I would often cringe at the very thought of such an assumption. Yet, now I find myself many years later realizing that God had begun planting the seed into my heart. I just needed to be willing to obey Him. Question: How can you trust and obey the Lord this week?
Vs. 8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” As Peter closes this letter, we see that he wants us all to remember our battle is not against flesh & blood. No matter what transpires or what suffering we may have, we are called to remain faithful to the work God has given us (Vs. 1-5). We are also reminded to be humble and think of others as better than ourselves (Vs. 5-7). And lastly, we need to be ever watchful of the enemy and be alert like a shepherd in the night with his sheep (Vs. 8-11). And the culminating factor will be that as we endure to do these exhortations, one day we will eternally be with our Lord & Savior!
Regarding application…Legalism Vs. Willing Heart. Vs. 2, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be...” While Peter is addressing the official leaders in the church, I absolutely believe this admonishment applies to us all! God doesn’t call us to serve the church and then see our heartless attitude. What if you asked a favor from a friend and were really hoping they could help you…and their response is, “Okay, I guess…” and their shoulders sulk and their attitude of their face & actions show they really would rather do something else. Question: How would you feel? First off, not much of a friend…you would probably feel bad for asking them to do that favor…and maybe remember not to ask them again in the future. We should never do things simply because God has commanded it….we should do it because of a willing heart. When we begin to complain or have that bad attitude…simply look to the cross and remember the blood that was shed for you. If that isn’t inspiration enough…than nothing in this life will ever be.