The world wide waters of turmoil, fear, and palpable panic are rising. Many are feeling overwhelmed by the waves of uncertainty crashing into their lives. Each new day brings with it tides of questions. I believe we are in an Ark moment.
The flood of Noah’s day brought with it both judgment and mercy. Judgment, to a world that had hardened their heart’s to the Father’s ways, but mercy to the man who Genesis tells us was found “faithful in his generations”. Noah was not a man who lived according to the circumstance of his day or the feelings of his heart, but rather He built his life upon the spoken word of God. It was his obedience to this infallible word which put his hands to work each day building the ark, a vehicle of trust and salvation for his entire family.
As social distancing, self quarantines, school closures, and market place shutdowns have now swept through the nations, families have been gathered and even forced into their homes for the first time in history. There has been a holy hush throughout the land as the hand of God has shut them in much like He did Noah’s family when the flood waters began rising. What some see as inconvenience, as rights being revoked, may very well also be the mercy of God.
Now, more than ever before, the family is in crisis. I am not talking about the dysfunction, divorce rates, or the fatherless generation, though these all play a part in the break down of the family. What I am talking about is the business, self achievement, and entertainment driven society in which we live. It is this socially acceptable way of life that has brought and even encouraged division within the family, robbing it of time together, the discipline of building homes upon the word of God, and of the power of unity built through trust. The most dangerous part of this kind of fracture is that we don’t often see it, because it has become normal.
We now look to schools to teach our children education, youth group to teach our children God’s word, social groups to teach our children ethics and service, and sports team to teach them team work and diligence. The goals of most mothers and fathers is to survive family life so that they can thrive in their careers, personal ambitions, and retirement goals. The generational family is gone, and I believe this moment has been given to us in mercy to recover what has been lost.
God is gathering families back together. He is sequestering us in our homes and positioning us back around the table because He is merciful.
We all know the famous song of how the animals entered the ark, 2 by 2 of course. But do you know how they left? In Genesis 8:19 it tells us that “everything that moved on earth went out by their families from the Ark.” Some translations miss this word family and instead use by their kind, but either way, they didn’t leave in twos, they left in groups of families. They had multiplied and unified within the ark. And as for Noah, he also left the ark with his family. But He didn’t just place his feet on dry ground and start rebuilding life as he knew it. Instead, He and his family built an alter to the Lord and worshiped Him through burnt offerings.
They came out together, as a family, worshiping their Savior.
And so the challenge before us is how will we emerge from this time tucked away as families in our own little arks.
Will we spend our days lusting after the next news story and rushing life back into normal? Will we seek entertainment to just get ourselves through? Or will we accept this time as His mercy and turn to His words of life? Will we welcome salvation into our house by allowing the Father to draw our families together and strengthen them for the days ahead?
He is challenging our social norms.
He is calling a remnant of families to come back together in unity and worship of Him.
He is re-aligning to whom we commit the formation of our children’s character.
He is looking for a new kind of church. One that begins in the home. Families that are rooted and grounded in the written word of God, and are both led and fed primarily from the home. Resulting in families with generational purpose sharing the good news of the gospel together. Because the good news has and always will be fully magnified through the family.
The power of a father’s heart turned toward his children and the children’s heart turned towards the Father is the very thing Malachi tells us will usher in the coming of the Messiah.
It doesn’t matter how we came into the Ark. The question is how will we leave?