Week 1 Day 4

Genesis 6:5-8, 22
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
Genesis 7:1-24
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. 2 You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” 5 Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.

6 Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. 7 Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood. 8 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, 9 there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 10 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. 12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

13 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, 14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. 15 So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. 16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him.

17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. 21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; 22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. 23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. 24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.
Joni Earekson Tada, who was rendered quadriplegic in a diving accident at age 16, once said, “My wheelchair is a severe mercy. Oh, it's a tough, hard bruising of a blessing. It's a dark, dark guest, but it is a friend.” Severe mercy. That sounds like an oxymoron to us. Yet, God’s mercy is often severe. God is willing to go to any length to redeem and transform fallen humanity. The initial display of God’s severe mercy is found in Genesis 3 as God judged Adam and Eve by banishing them from paradise into a world of problems, pain, and ultimately death.

We believe there is nothing worse than physical death. But a life at odds with God—spiritual death—is infinitely worse than physical death. In his wisdom and love, God did not want the pinnacle of His creation, fashioned into His own image, to live forever without fellowship with the Creator. So, God banished Adam and Eve to life outside the Garden and away from the tree of life so they could not live forever without God.

God’s severe mercy was spotlighted again in the global flood, out of which only eight people were saved. The world had become swamped by sin, even demonic intermarriage with women in an attempt to derail God’s promise of a deliverer from the seed of the woman (Gen 6:1-4). The only solution for this mess was for God to start over with a “new Adam” and a new creation cleansed by a global deluge.

God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, so we can someday be returned to paradise. God engulfed the world with water, so our lives can be flooded by His grace and mercy. It was all accomplished by the ultimate severe mercy of God at the cross. Jesus endured the severity of God, so we can experience His mercy.

Thank God for His severe mercy!  

Reflection and Prayer

When has there been a time of "severe mercy" in your life?

What does God's severe mercy throughout history tell us about his love for us?

Thank you for loving us. Thank you for your great and severe mercy through your Son on the cross. Teach me to live in light of this great gift.

Faith Bible Staff