Let the Righteous Take Refuge

By Michael Cotton
Scripture:
Genesis 7:1(ESV) “Then the Lord said to Noah, Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.”

There comes a time when enough is enough. Our God is slow to anger, but He will not let the wicked go unpunished. Evil must be judged. God will show humanity marvelous amounts of grace and mercy before unleashing His wrath, but there comes a time when He will not withhold His judgements any longer.

Noah had spent most of his life among the rest of the world. He lived among the people of the world, despite their wickedness, and he remained righteous. But just as God brought righteous Lot out of Sodom before it was destroyed, God called Noah to get into the ark before He sent the flood. Noah had built the ark, by God’s command in preparation for God’s coming judgement on the earth. The rest of the world did not fear God, so they were altogether unprepared. They hadn’t done anything to prepare for a flood.

On the day of God’s judgement, God called Noah to take refuge. God had given him everything that he needed to survive the days ahead. Now it was time for God to shut him into the ark, with which he would be able to survive the flood. God saw that he was righteous, so He set Noah apart for Himself.

What did Noah have to do in order to enter the ark? He had to leave the world and all that was in it behind. By getting in the ark, Noah was surrendering the world in order to obtain God’s salvation. He couldn’t have both. He was releasing all the cares of this world, and giving it up to the judgement of God. Paul in Galatians 6:14 says, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” To the world, Noah must have been an outcast, for he would not join them in their wickedness. He was crucified to this world and the world to him. What would have happened if Noah had not gotten onto the ark? Would God have become unjust and spared the wicked? No, of course not. That is against His nature. Noah would have perished in the flood along with the rest.

We also must not love the world, for it is perishing (1 John 2:15-17). Jesus is coming back. His judgement is immanent on the earth toward both the righteous and the wicked. He is calling His church to prepare herself for His return. Christ’s return will mean the salvation of the righteous, but it will mean death of the wicked. This present world will be consumed by fire (2 Peter 3:7). Every refuge of man will perish. Only those who are found in Christ will be saved.

There will come a time when God says to us, “You’ve been in this world long enough, now it is time to leave it behind.” Paul said in Philippians 3:7, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” We must have the same attitude concerning this world. Jesus isn’t coming back for a church that is still in love with this world. He’s coming back for a church that is in love with Him. As long as we’re still flirting with this world, we are in danger of God’s judgement. In the parable of the sower, the seed of the gospel was choked out by the cares of this world and it bore no fruit. God is very gracious and merciful and He will give opportunity for all to repent. But His judgement is at hand and the time is short. We must cast off the works of darkness and put on the works of light. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:21).” We must be careful that our hearts are not drawn away to worldly lusts, but are found in Christ. He is our refuge.

When the day of God’s judgement comes, we must be prepared to leave behind all that is in this world. We do not know when that day will come, but it will be soon. Do not wait until the last minute to seek God’s salvation. By then it will already be too late. Seek Him now, while He may be found. Let the righteous take refuge in Christ.

 

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