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Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 7

The flood story continues here in Genesis 7 (LINK). This chapter addresses the story of the actual coming of the flood, including more details of the directions God gave to Noah regarding animals. We tend to remember the instruction to bring two of every kind of animal, but this chapter actually gives an expansion. It was two of every kind, and seven of the clean kinds.

There are some questions that the chapter leaves unanswered, such as exactly which animals are to be considered clean and unclean. The Mosaic law that will dictate that for the Israelites is still several centuries away, but there is apparently a known distinction even then. It is also a logical thing: if these are the animals that can be eaten and considered "acceptable" then you're going to need more of them. You're going to need them quicker, too.

The focus, though, for this chapter falls in verse 1. The Lord tells Noah to go into the Ark. This is important.

Why?

Consider this: for a hundred years, Noah and Sons have been in the ship-building business. They have, alongside doing whatever was necessary to survive, been building a ship that exceeds any thoughts of seaworthiness or control: it's going to be a big, floating box that is too big to steer, too big to move to the water, too full of animals to keep it clean…

The whole effort could have been a waste. Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth all could have decided not to bother getting in the Ark. They could have decided that building it was enough. They could have decided that they had done what God had commanded: build it. Now, they're commitment was proven and it was time to call it a day.

Yet what would that have accomplished? Not a thing. Not one single thing.

If they don't obey and get in the ark, then they die in the flood. Failing to finish their obedience would result in an overall failure.

Can you see where this is going?

What are God's commands for us? Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly before your God, perhaps? (Micah 6:8) Love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself? (Matthew 22:36-40) Make disciples of all nations? Not just converts and notches in the pulpit and tally marks on the attendance rolls, but disciples? (Matthew 28:18-20)

These things are not to be half-done. They are to be completed.

Not because our salvation depends upon it—God in His grace saves sinners, even ones who do not fully obey Him. Our faithfulness is at stake.

And our faithfulness reflects on the One we serve. It affects people's response. Our incomplete obedience to the Gospel drives people to distrust us and our teaching and our Master.

So, the goal ahead is this: finish. Take the last step, finish the task ahead and do all of what God has commanded you.

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