Shabbat shalom! It’s a rainy morning here in Michigan, which is fitting for the day we read about the rains and floodwaters covering the earth in Noah’s time.
It’s a day of rest, so I’m going to keep my journal short. I hope that you have others to fellowship with, or that you can at least find a moment to read through today’s Torah portion, which is Genesis 44:18-47:27. I’m not going to cover those chapters here in my journal, but Sabbath fellowship is highly important, so if you can’t find anyone, contact me and I’ll see if I can help somehow.
A Purpose and a Function
I saw a little bit of repentance from dead works today, in Genesis 8 and Psalm 4. It was more of a call, a plea, to each of us, to stop living worthless lives.
“I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21).
“How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood?” (Psalm 4:2).
My plans and inventions have a tendency to be worthless. The word evil (Strong’s #7451) is the opposite of good, but it doesn’t mean wicked like you might think. It means “dysfunctional; impaired or abnormal action other than that for which a person or thing is intended; something that does not function within its intended purpose.”
The Father is calling us to function according to the purpose for which He created us! He created us for good, or to have a reason for this life we live!
But any time we pursue our own purposes, even though we might invent all kinds of possibilities for ourselves, if it’s not the function for which the Creator made us, it will just be worthlessness and lies. And then we wonder why our lives lack any meaning or joy….
“For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Distinct; Set Apart for Him
I saw a little bit more of “the doctrine of baptisms” again today. Okay, a LOT bit…. After all, washing the world with a flood that covers the highest mountains is probably the epitome of making something clean. As we learned on January 1, washing something also means learning to divide between the dirty and the clean.
YHVH knew that mankind had a tendency toward worthless endeavors, or not fulfilling the function for which He had created them. But from this point on in Scripture, He has promised to never again destroy all mankind again, and this time, He is going to start making a distinction between the good and the evil.
“But know that YHVH has set apart for Himself him who is godly” (Psalm 4:3).
To be set apart (Strong’s #6395) is “to be distinct; to be clearly distinguished; to have a marked difference; to be prominent; separated out completely.”
And He needs to teach man to make these distinctions, too.
So He starts by teaching Noah which animals were clean and which were not, and He has Noah bring 7 pairs of clean animals on the ark and only 1 pair of unclean animals. Two by two, as the animals marched up the ramp into the ark, Noah was learning to make these distinctions. (You can get a complete list of the clean animals in Leviticus 11.)
A Man of Faith
And finally, we can’t leave today without mentioning Noah’s great faith. Both yesterday and today, it was greatly emphasized to us that Noah obeyed, even though he didn’t understand YHVH’s plan.
“And Noah did according to all that YHVH commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).
The writer of Hebrews says it this way:
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).
Abba Father, please give me this heart of faith and obedience!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.