Kneeling on cold concrete, Sharpie in hand, I was scrawling Isaiah 61:1-2 on the floor of the new Pulse Movement office. The potent scent of permanent marker filled the open space as several of us penned promises for staff to stand upon before the installation of new flooring.
We would dedicate the office to the Savior we love, for the proclamation of the gospel we love. Ultimately this is a launching pad for salvation of college students that He loves, as Pulse founder Nick Hall has been sent out by God with His good news.
I write verse 2:
“To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor . . .” I smile at this as I press hard on the felt tip, drawing letters. How I cherish His favor, His grace, His protection and provision.
Then, as suddenly as joy forced the smile, I paused at the unpleasant part to come. I rehearse the meaning of the words.
Without understanding this part, the gospel has no value. So I write the next words, considering their importance.
If there is nothing to be saved from, who needs a Savior?
Today I read in Genesis 7: The LORD then said to Noah, (after grieving that the whole earth and all of it’s inhabitants had become corrupt Genesis 6:11-12) “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.”
The whole earth was corrupt, except for one man.
Noah was righteous, and God saved him and his family.
I remembered a quote I’d read a few weeks back: “One basic ingredient in the Old Testament idea of righteousness is relationship, both between God and man and between man and man.” ~New Bible Dictionary; 3rd edition.
How that resonated.
When I act rightly with kindness, integrity, and humility, I build relationships. If I act corruptly in selfishness, arrogance and deception, I destroy relationships. It’s especially true of my relationship with God.
I seek the definition of righteousness: Conforming to a standard of right behavior. Conforming to what is right and fair.
God is right and fair. Righteousness then, is really conforming to God.
I recall words from James 2:13, “. . .mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Notice how mercy held out as God waited long for the corrupt ones to repent. Jeff Kinley, in his book, “As It Was In The Days Of Noah” says this: “With every hammer blow, a call to repentance and faith echoed throughout the land.”
I imagine when God shut the door that day; His tears flooded the earth; I know how rejection feels.
Noah was the only man on the earth who trusted our God of love. The only one who listened to and honored Him. It’s clear to see the reason Noah and his family were saved.
Noah loved God. Love always trusts.