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#546 – Sin is Serious (Genesis 7:20–22)

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“The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them 15 cubits deep, and all flesh died that moved on the Earth. Birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the Earth and all mankind, everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.”
(Genesis 7:20–22)

For those who are familiar with the Bible, the story of Noah and the ark and the flood can become fairly commonplace. We kind of know the gist of the story, and we can almost read through the story in Genesis 6 and 7 and not really feel the weight of what is happening here. It’s why I was drawn, especially on this day, to verses 20, 21, and 22, because these are humbling, sobering, heavy verses. We just read about everyone on Earth, everything and everyone, with the exception of Noah and his family dying, experiencing the judgment of God due sinners.

The wages of sin is death. Thanks be to God for His mercy that Jesus has endured the flood of God’s wrath due us. We have been freed and forgiven.

It’s just a reminder that sin is indeed serious before God. God is holy. The God who created all of us is holy, and sin against an infinitely holy God is infinitely offensive. The payment for sin, we see all throughout scripture, it’s just made crystal clear in Romans 6:23, the payment for sin is death. We all deserve to die because of our sin. We all deserve to experience eternal death, eternal separation from God. It is only the mercy of God that this story in Genesis 7 doesn’t happen in the world today. Obviously he promised after this not to do this.

At the same time, we know that every single one of us has sinned against God, will one day physically die, and if we die separated from God, we’ll spend eternity separated from him. This whole picture in Genesis 6 and 7 just causes us to cry out for the mercy of God. We need his mercy.

The good news is God has made his mercy available to us. We are sinners who deserve to die, and Jesus has come to die for us. Jesus has come to pay the price for our sin, to experience the just judgment and holy wrath of God, to experience the flood of God’s wrath due us. This is what he did when he went to the cross. Jesus took the full cup of God’s wrath due us. He drank it down. He took it to the full, turned that cup over, and cried out, “It is finished. I have paid the price for sinners.” For all who trust in Jesus, we don’t have to fear death. We don’t have to fear the judgment due our sin. We have been freed and forgiven.

This passage just provokes us to pray, God, thank you. Thank you for your mercy. God, thank you for not giving us the just judgment we deserve. Thank you for sending Jesus to pay the price for our sin, to take the judgment we deserve upon himself. God, we praise you for sending Jesus to bear your wrath against sin in our place as our substitute.

God, I pray for anybody who’s listening right now who doesn’t have faith in Jesus, who’s not trusted in Jesus, turned from their sin in themselves and trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. God, I pray they would do that now. I pray they would do that like right now, that they would not wait another moment.

Then, O God, for all who have turned and trusted in Jesus, we just praise you. We thank you. We thank you for the hope of eternal life. Jesus, we thank you for saving us from our sins, and we pray that you would use us today to proclaim this good news to others.

God, we know you promised not to flood the Earth like this again. At the same time, we know that the people around us right now who are separated from you are on a road that leads to an eternity separated from you if they don’t trust in Jesus. God, help us to proclaim Jesus with urgency today. God, please give us boldness to share the gospel at work, to share the gospel in our neighborhoods, to share the gospel in our apartment complexes. Wherever we find ourselves today, give us boldness to share the gospel with others that we might warn people of your coming judgment in eventual death and your available mercy right now in Jesus. O God, as we thank you for this salvation, we pray that you would use us to spread your salvation. We pray all these things in the name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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