The Perseverance of Noah

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THE PERSEVERANCE OF NOAH

Out of all the Old Testament saints, one of my favorites is Noah. That’s because he exemplifies what perseverance of a saint looks like. According to Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe, a man who perseveres may not see the fruit of his labor in his day. He said, “Ours is a ministry of faith, and we don’t always see the results. The harvest is not the end of the meetings or of the church year. The harvest is the end of the age, and the Lord of the harvest will see to it that His good and faithful servants will get their just rewards.” Here in North America, where many professing Christians choose whatever is convenient and whatever is the easy way out, we need to learn what it means to persevere and what it means to be steadfast. Hence, consider the perseverance of Noah.

(If you’re interested in reading the rest, click here.)

Theology of Suffering – Part 2

Continuing from Theology of Suffering – Part 1

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I’m currently teaching Genesis at our midweek study. Last week we were in Genesis 45. We finally got to hear Joseph’s own interpretation of all that he went through up to this point. We got to hear how he saw all the wrongdoings he received (e.g., wrongly imprisoned, false accusations, mistreatment, injustice) from others, including his own brothers!

If there’s someone who had legitimate reason to complain, it would have been Joseph. If there’s someone who had legitimate reason to retaliate or revenge, it would have been Joseph. Yet he did none of that. Rather, he viewed the whole thing in utterly theocentric ways!

Joseph exemplifies a man who trusts in the sovereignty of God. The narrative doesn’t depict a man who is consumed with himself, how he feels, or how he’s hurt though he’s painfully aware of what he went through. At the end of the day, he realized that God had a bigger plan and purpose. According to Joseph, he suffered in order that others would greatly benefit (vv. 5, 7, 8, 9). And that is theology of suffering!

I’m not sure how many of us think of suffering that way, namely, we suffer so that others would become the beneficiaries!

Yet, this isn’t a foreign concept in the redemptive history. Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). This is certainly true of the voluntary, sacrificial, and substitutionary death of Jesus. He died so that we would become the beneficiaries.

All that to say, theology of suffering is real and relevant. And this doctrine must have a strong grip on God’s people because he promised that his people will suffer.

Calvin On Productivity (Or Lack Of)

NAU Genesis 2:15 ¶ Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

On this verse, Calvin made following comments:

Men were created to employ themselves in some work, and not to lie down in inactivity and idleness. This labour, truly, was pleasant, and full of delight, entirely exempt from all trouble and weariness; since, however, God ordained that man should be exercised in the culture of the ground, he condemned, in his person, all indolent repose. Wherefore, nothing is more contrary to the order of nature, than to consume life in eating, drinking, and sleeping, while in the meantime we propose nothing to ourselves to do.

That’s a Godward goal to have and maintain on this new year.