Read Matthew 24:36-44
This isn’t a cheery passage, and it isn’t supposed to be. Unfortunately the natural follow-up to last week’s sermon (The Fall) is this week’s sermon: The Flood. God is perfect, and his judgment against everything that doesn’t meet his perfect standards is going to be severe and complete. In this passage, we see that there will be a final judgment when Christ returns. This judgment is compared to the “days of Noah,” which we just heard about this week. In other words, lots of people will be evil and oblivious to the judgment that awaits them. But! There is one recourse offered in this passage: to stay awake. To be ready. Noah is a good example of what this looks like; he was a righteous man who was listening to God. For us, that means accepting salvation through Christ (and His righteousness) and being immersed in Scripture.
Question for Reflection: What steps have you taken to “be ready,” as this passage says?
Read Isaiah 54:8-10
This passage is the beautiful counterpoint to God’s judgment. It is about God’s covenant with us. A covenant is a promise from God. When God promised not to flood the earth again, he made a covenant with all people; in this passage, he makes a covenant with a specific nation, Israel. He promises never to depart from them again, because they are chosen and He loves them. The good news (literally) is that God makes this covenant even more specific in the New Testament. God has a new covenant with every individual that is a believer in Jesus. And despite how scary judgment is, and how perfect God’s standards are, anyone who believes in Jesus gets to share in His righteousness. Meditate on God’s promise here, “…My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed.”
Question for Reflection: Does knowing about God’s judgment make his covenant feel more important?
Reflections by Wayne and Amy Giacalone