“By Faith He Condemned The World” ( Hebrews 11: 7, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

Noah condemns the world by his faith in God’s Word. God tells Noah to build an ark, to gather two of every kind of fauna, to put his family into the ark, and to wait while the world drowns via non-stop rain for forty days and forty nights. When Noah obeys God, he condemns the world — the world which does not believe and obey. “The waters surge upon the earth 150 days.” (Genesis 7:24) And, “[God] wipes out every living thing that is on the surface of the ground, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they are wiped off the face of the earth. Only Noah is left, and those that are with him in the ark.” (Genesis 7:23) For over ten months, Noah waits in the ark for God to release him and those with him. Forty days after the tops of the mountains are finally visible, Noah sends out a dove who returns. The second dove he sends out returns with an olive leaf; the third dove does not return at all. Noah waits a few months longer before God tells him to exit the ark with those saved through Noah’s obedience to God’s Word.

The world drowns in God’s rain; and by his faith, Noah condemns the world.

I’m not completely sure I understand why it is that the faith Noah has condemns the world except that his faith leads him to obey God in spite of the world’s derision. That Noah does not stand on a pedestal and shout, ‘repent for the end of the world is at hand!’ is revealing. Rather than striving to save the world from its destruction, Noah strives to do God’s will, continuing to build the ark in preparation for the flood he has been told is coming upon the whole world. Noah regards God as more important than his neighbors and friends, building the ark even as the world goes about its business of ignoring God.

By his faith, Noah saves himself and his family.

“Reconciled” ( Genesis 33: 8, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

Jacob sees Esau coming toward him with 400 men at his side. Quickly Jacob arranges his children among Leah, Rachel, and two slave women, perhaps in an effort to protect as he puts Joseph in the rear position. He goes on ahead, bowing seven times as he approaches his brother, Esau. Jacob, by bowing seven times, is telling his brother that he sincerely regrets earlier deceptions and is ready to submit to the older of the twins.

But Esau surprises Jacob, hugging and kissing him. Together, they weep as they reconcile.

When Esau sees the women and children, he wants to know about “this whole procession” and what it means. Jacob answers that his intention is to “find favor” with his brother. (Genesis 33:8) Esau tells Jacob to “keep what you have.” He says that he “has enough, my brother.” (Genesis 33:9) Jacob says he has seen “God’s face” in the face of his brother and so pressures Esau to “take my present” “since you have accepted me.” (Genesis 33:11, 10) Esau relents and accepts the gift Jacob brings him — now, what is this gift?

I suspect it is the two slave women and their children who are first in the procession. Jacob gladly gives these persons to his brother so as to appease him and show his gratitude for his forgiveness. We know Jacob does not give away Rachel or Leah or his children by them; but he gives Esau something of value, something Esau sees. “What do you mean by this whole procession I met?” (Genesis 33:8) Esau even attempts to leave some of his own people with Jacob, in a kind of tit-for-tat exchange, but Jacob protests, “Why do that? Please indulge me, my lord.” (Genesis 33:15)

So, they part reconciled; Esau going back to Seir and Jacob going to Succoth.

“Why Are You Angry?” ( Genesis 4: 6, ESV ) by Carley Evans

Cain, the “worker of the ground,” is angry. His offering to God has brought him “no regard.” (Genesis 4:2,4) His face falls. God asks, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Then God warns, “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Sin desires to rule over Cain, and succeeds. Cain’s anger against God turns to envy of and jealousy against his brother. He rises up against Abel and kills him “when they are in the field.” (Genesis 4:8)

Anger against God results in failing to be our “brother’s keeper.” (Genesis 4:9) Since we are unable to strike out at God in any direct manner, we turn against our brothers. In our anger is the seed of murder.

Sin has a consequence for Cain, one which “is greater than [he] can bear.” (Genesis 4:13) He “goes away from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:16) “Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7) The consequence – separation from God – “is greater than [we] can bear.” (Genesis 4:13)

Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide, and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)