Enoch Walked With God & Had a Methuselah Moment — You Can, Too! (Part 2)

Enoch walked with God & had a Methuselah Moment (You Can, Too) Part 2 via www.JeanWilund.com

My Methuselah Moment

Ever had a Magic Moment, the kind that the Drifters sing about?

I have. But even better than a Magic Moment is a Methuselah Moment a moment in time when your walk with God changes forever. 

By that I mean, you walk with God. If you walk away from God, that moment would more likely be considered a Gomer Moment. I’ll have to write about that another time.

My first Methuselah Moment came when I first heard the Gospel message. I’d grown up hearing about Jesus. I celebrated His birthday every December and His resurrection every spring. I loved Him because every time we celebrated something for Him, I was the one who got presents.

Finally, in 1973, God drew me to Himself and led me to a summer youth camp where I heard the Gospel for the first time. I embraced it and began walking with God.

My next Methuselah Moment came when I saw The Red Thread — the presence of Jesus and/or His Work woven from eternity past into eternity future. 

The moment I saw a timeline showing Jesus woven through God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation, I was stunned. It was like I’d found the missing piece of Christianity that made Christianity stop seeming so hard. It changed my walk with God. Forever.

I saw God in a new light. Actually, in more light — as if a veil had lifted. I saw His heartbeat — Jesus.

I saw that Christianity isn’t about living a certain way and then going to heaven. It’s about Jesus. Everything from eternity past into eternity future is about Jesus Christ and His amazing love for the Father and the world. It all starts and ends with Jesus.

When I say it’s all about Jesus, don’t think I’m leaving out God or the Holy Spirit. They’re the inseparable three-in-one.

From first to last, it’s all about Christ, who lives to glorify God and is revealed by the Spirit.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
~ Revelation 22:13

Enoch’s Methuselah Moment

We don’t know what God said to Enoch, but I wonder if his Methuselah Moment came when he saw The Red Thread. There’s no written record that he “saw Jesus threaded through God’s plan for the world,” but we know from Jude 14-15 that he prophesized about Jesus’ Second Coming. And we know Enoch’s ancestors and descendants saw The Red Thread, even though the full reality of Jesus’ first coming remained a mystery.

Adam and Eve received the promise that Jesus would come to save the world from sin (Genesis 3:15).

Abel discovered the importance of the right sacrifice, which points to Jesus, the perfect and final sacrifice (Genesis 4:3-7; Hebrews 11:4).

After Enoch, his grandson Noah experienced the joy of being saved due to being counted as righteous through faith (Genesis 7:1; Hebrews 11:7).

Surely, as Enoch walked with God for 300 years, he came to know God’s heartbeat — that God would bring everything into unity under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10) and give Him first place in everything (Colossians 1:18).

Walk Like Enoch

Enoch had a unique relationship with God in those days, but we have something he didn’t. We have God’s Word in written form — God’s Word, the Bible.

If we dig into God’s Word — and let it dig into us — it will change us.

To walk with God like Enoch, we must walk with the Word.

One of the best ways I’ve found to walk with the Word is The Red Thread Way.

I’ll post about that next, so please check back. 


Share this post and check back for our next look at Enoch’s Walk with God & Methuselah Moment. If you missed Part 1, Click Here.

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Enoch walked with God & had a Methuselah Moment (You Can, Too) Part 2 via www.JeanWilund.com




The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, You Don’t Have To – Christ Holds Us Together

Watch & Read: The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, We Don't Have to. Christ Holds Us Together. (www.JeanWilund.com) Colossians 1:17

Life Unravels

Life unravels. And when it does, so do we. 

Sometimes we get hit in the heart by the loss of a loved one or a broken relationship.

Other times fear smacks us straight between the eyes, like when the doctor uses the “C” word.

Still, other times life blind-sides us from behind. Or maybe a car does. A literal car. That was my story, and I tell it in the short video below.

I hope my story will encourage you — or at least make you laugh. And laughter is good medicine when life unravels.

Transcript:

Good evening, ladies. Y’all look so sharp. I’m used to looking out and seeing hair bows and dirty faces. I’m a preschool teacher, so if I wipe your cheek, I’m sorry. I hope you’ll forgive me.

Now in my class, I have one main rule. Before I tell them a Bible story, they have to find The Red Thread.

So why am I hiding a red thread?

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comI got the idea years ago when I was studying the Old Testament. I started to notice that from the beginning of time, God had orchestrated the smallest details to the biggest blunders and even outright atrocities of man and nations to fit His divine purposes.

And through every single bit of it, He wove — like a thread — stunning reflections of His Son Jesus Christ.

If we see everything as wrapped in a red thread — our loved ones, our going a little crazy The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comworld, ourselves — wrapped in a red thread of Christ’s presence, and power, and sovereignty, that’s a game changer.

I wanted my preschool kids to learn that early. So I taught them.

One day, after they found the red thread, I made a mistake.

I said, “Would one of you please go get that thread and bring it to me?”

Now, if you’ve been in a group of preschoolers, you know what I just unleashed.

Preschool anarchy.

Hands are waving everywhere. “Mrs. Jean! Look at me! Me! Pick me!”

the-red-thread-ill-get-itLittle Michael and Joey? They’re gone, and they’re fighting it out. “I’ll get it! I’ll get it! I’ll get it!”

Little Suzy and Mary Beth? They’re laid out all over the floor wailing. “I wanted to get it! I wanted to get it!”

Y’all, my class had just unraveled over a six-inch piece of thread.

But seriously. Aren’t we just a little bit like that when our life unravels? Usually — hopefully — not over a six-inch piece of thread, although sometimes I must confess to that at times.

But usually, it’s the big things.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comLike when my mom called and said she had terminal cancer.  My hands went straight up to God.

God, do you see me? Do you see my mom?

And then when my dad was diagnosed with dementia the year my mom died, I was laid out on the floor, wailing.

I don’t want this! I didn’t want this for my dad!

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comAnd then, one day, that one thing too many happened.

I’d been white-knuckle driving down I-20 in blinding rain for 2 hours, and I needed a break.

So I’m pulling off Exit 113, when I remember the restaurants are on Exit 114So I whip it back onto the highway just to face a sea of red brake lights.

Seriously, God? Cause I was just getting off, and You let me get back on?

And then BLAM!

A white cargo van plowed into the back of me and shattered my windshield.

And, Ladies, I pole vaulted past unraveled and went straight into crazy.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.com“WHY? WHY, GOD? You knew this was gonna happen, and You could have stopped me. You could have made me take that exit, and YOU DIDN’T! YOU DIDN’T!”

And then God broke through my crazy into my heart, and He said, “Yes, Jean, I could have stopped you, but I didn’t. Do you trust me?”

“Ugh. I’m trying.”

“Look for The Red Thread.”

So I thought about Daniel. Man, his life unraveled. God let him be thrown into a lion’s den. But He trusted God, and Jesus was with him.

I thought about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their lives unraveled. God let them be thrown into a fiery furnace. But they trusted Him, and Jesus was with them.

I’m just in a busted-up van on I-20. I can trust Him.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comAnd that’s when I saw the Red Thread.

I was wrapped up in it.

I was wrapped up in the presence, and the power, and the peace of Christ, and I knew I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

Ladies, Colossians 1:17 tells us, Jesus is before all things, and in Him — in Him — all things hold together.

The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, Christ Holds Us Together www.JeanWilund.comYes, life may unravel, but we don’t have to because Christ holds us together.


 “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
~ Colossians 1:17


When Life Unravels, We Don't Have to. Christ Holds Us Together #TheRedThread #Hope Click To Tweet


What are you facing today?

Wrap it in the Red Thread of Christ and know that Jesus is with you. He’s holding you. 

Watch & Read: The Red Thread: When Life Unravels, We Don't Have to. Christ Holds Us Together. (www.JeanWilund.com) Colossians 1:17If you enjoyed this, I hope you’ll share it with others who need to feel Christ’s presence today, too.

Thanks!

Jean




The Tower of Babel, Pentecost, & The Red Thread (Part 4) ~ Jesus in the Old Testament

The Tower of Babel, Pentecost, & The Red Thread ~ Finding Jesus in the Old Testament

The Tower of Babel, Pentecost, & The Red Thread ~ Finding Jesus in the Old Testament

 

When God came down to stop the people from building the Tower of Babel, He wasn’t being a fun-sucker. (Genesis 11:1-9)

He was protecting them from the danger of exalting their own name.

(In my series What Was So Wrong With The Tower of Babel? we looked at those dangers. If you don’t know what was so wrong with the Tower of Babel, and why we should even care, check it out.)

Now we’re going to look at how God, in the midst of all the drama, masterfully wove into these events several Red Thread Clues.[†]

Quick Review of The Tower of Babel:

After the flood, God had given Noah and his sons the command to spread out and fill the earth. (Genesis 9:1)

Many basically responded, “We choose ‘No to that.” (Genesis 11:1-9)

Instead, they settled in Shinar and began to build a tower to their own “great name and praise.”

Therefore, God came down and confused their language so that no one could understand each other.

Having lost the power to communicate, they lost the ability to build the tower to their own greatness — and they got the message that God — and His name — was greater.

God then scattered them out across the earth as He’d originally told them to do.

Now, let’s fast forward from Genesis to the book of Acts to see some Red Thread Clues.

Red Thread Clues: Babel & Pentecost

(If you’d like to open up to the scene in Acts in a new tab, click here: Acts 1:1-11 & Acts 2.)

Pentecost was originally solely a Jewish holiday, also known as Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. Think of it as kind of a Thanksgiving Day celebration.

In Leviticus 23:9-22, God commanded the Jews to count fifty days from the Feast of First Fruits, hence the origin of the name Pentecost.

Eventually Pentecost also commemorated the day God gave the Law at Mt. Sinai in the days of Moses.

At the time of Christ, Jewish law required the men to come to Jerusalem from wherever they lived for Pentecost.

Jesus rose from the grave on the day of the Feast of First Fruits, and fifty days later on Pentecost, the believers were gathered together in Jerusalem and received the Holy Spirit, which Christ had promised to them.

Pentecost is now a Jewish Holiday & a Christian Holiday.

 

It doesn’t take long before the events in Acts 1-2 begin to reflect the Tower of Babel — only opposite.

On the day of Pentecost, all the believers (those who believed in Jesus Christ for their salvation from sin) were meeting together. Suddenly the sound of a rushing wind filled the place and what looked like “tongues” of fire rested on each of them.

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)

At the Tower of Babel, God came down and removed their “power.”

At Pentecost, God’s Spirit came down and filled them with His power. 

 

Each one of them, now filled with God’s Spirit, began to speak in other languages by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)At the Tower of Babel, the people all spoke one language until God confused their language, leaving them unable to communicate with each other.

At Pentecost, God’s Spirit gave the believers the ability to speak and understand other languages.

 

(How much would you have loved for God to have done that for you when you were in your foreign language class? After three years of a language some have still only mastered counting to ten. Did you know I speak German?)

At Pentecost, devout Jews from every nation were living in Jerusalem. (These weren’t believers, but rather Jews dedicated to the Law of Moses, but who refused to believe the things Moses wrote about Jesus.)

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)At the Tower of Babel, God scattered the people across the world, creating different nations.

At Pentecost, God brought the Jews together into Jerusalem from every nation.

When the Jews heard the sound of the rushing wind, they ran to see what was happening. (That had to have been quite a sound for it to travel around that crowded city.)

When the Jews heard their own native languages being spoken by Galileans, who shouldn’t have been able to speak their tongues, they stood in shock.

(It makes me wonder how they knew they were Galilean. Was it like hearing a Southerner speaking French? No matter how well a Southerner knows the foreign vocabulary, they’re probably still going to sound like they’re from Paris, Tennessee — not Paris, France.) 

What were the believers saying in these many languages?

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)At the Tower of Babel, everyone spoke one language and talked about the wonderful things they were doing and would do. They exalted their own name.

At Pentecost, the believers spoke languages from every nation, all exalting God’s great name and the things He’s done.

Of course, those who perhaps didn’t want to deal with the truth that they crucified the Son of God, grasped for an excuse.

“They’re just drunk, that’s all!” they said.

How ridiculous is that?

Alcohol impairs the ability of someone who’s drunk to speak even their own language well. No one is suddenly fluent in Swahili after one too many beers.

This large group of believers had not come together at 9:00 am to drink Mimosas and then instantly became fluent in the languages of every nation.

Despite some detractors, many listened to the message with humble hearts. They asked, “Brothers, what should we do?” (Acts 2:37)

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)The people in Babel had heard God’s message and rejected it, refusing to “scatter and fill the earth.” Their hearts were full of pride.

The people in Jerusalem heard the message and accepted it. They trusted in Christ, repented of their sins, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Their hearts were humble.

About 3,000 were saved that day.

Fast forward to Acts 8.

God once again scattered the people, but this time for a different reason.

“. . . And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”
~ Acts 8:1

God didn’t create the persecution; He just used it. (He’s good at using man’s own evil choices to fulfill His purposes.)

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)In Babel, God sent the people off in shame and confusion, babbling as they went.

In Jerusalem, God sent the believers off in unity and in the power of His Spirit – no babbling – to proclaim the singular message of God’s incredible grace in offering salvation to every nation through His Son Jesus Christ.

The Lesson For Us Today:

♦ When we humble ourselves before the Lord, we’ll be blessed.

♦ When we choose not to humble ourselves and exalt ourselves instead, God is able to humble us for our good, and His glory.

♦ We must rest in the sovereignty of God. His ways don’t always make sense to us, but He always knows what’s the absolute best in every situation.

♦ God is exceedingly patient. He’s willing to wait thousands of years between giving a promise and its fulfillment. Don’t let doubt steal you of your joy as you wait for God to move in a situation. 

All of the Old Testament prophets eagerly awaited the first coming of Christ into the world, and all were blessed, but none lived to see it. We must not lose our eternal perspective. God’s timing is best. 

♦ When we learn to rest in Him and listen to Him, we’ll follow Him wherever He leads without regret.

May the Name that is above all names be exalted!

And what a difference it makes when the right name is exalted: 

“They worshiped together at the Temple each day,
met in homes for the Lord’s Supper,
and shared their meals with great joy and generosity —

all the while praising God and
enjoying the goodwill of all the people.
And each day the Lord added to their fellowship
those who were being saved.”
~ Acts 2:46-47

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If you’ve enjoyed this post and series, I hope that you’ll share it with others via FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, and good old fashioned email. (Ha! Email is now actually old fashioned!)

QUESTION: How has God taken you from a Tower of Babel mentality to a Day of Pentecost heart? (Let me hear from you in the comment section.)

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[†] (BACK TO POST) A Red Thread Clue is a term I came up with to lump together any picture of Jesus Christ revealed in the Old Testament.

They can range from official prophecies given by the great prophets of God to mere reflections of Christ in the works or character of those we see in the Old Testament.

God left prophecies, types, and symbols of Christ throughout the lives and history of the Old Testament so that those living in the time when Christ came into the world in the form of man would have no excuse not to recognize Him as the Promised One — the Messiah.

This was important because many individuals, who came before and after Jesus came, claimed to be the Messiah, but only Jesus Christ fulfilled every single prophecy, type, and symbol.

Over two thousands years later, we can open the Bible and see how God worked every detail of every life to fulfill His purposes, including the purpose of pointing those living in the days of the Old Testament forward to His Son Jesus Christ, and those who’ve lived in the New Testament days back to Jesus and the Red Thread Clues of His Coming.

There are still many Red Thread Clues in the Old Testament that have yet to be fulfilled. Their fulfillment will come when Christ returns for the church, brings judgment upon those who have rejected His salvation, and sets up His Heavenly Kingdom.




The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Summary

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Summary

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Summary

What a journey we’ve been on through The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark!

It’s taken awhile, but I hope you can now see God’s work in Noah’s Ark that sails past your childhood Sunday School lessons. 

Below, I’ve collected each of The Red Threads we’ve seen, and I’ve shown how we can apply them to our lives today.

For more information about each Red Thread, click on the titles or the small photos below. The links will take you to the original post.  

To read the full story of Noah and the Ark in the Bible, click on this link: Genesis 6-9.

 

1. The Man

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah was blameless in his desire to follow God in all his ways. He found favor in God’s eyes. 

Jesus was sinless in all His ways. He found favor in God’s eyes. 

Respond to this truth by accepting the grace God offers and come to Christ just as you are — sins and all. (They should make a song about that, and Billy Graham should use it in his revival meetings.)

Don’t wait until you’ve “cleaned up your life,” and don’t think that just living a “good life” will get you where you want to be in the end.

Noah found favor in God’s eyes because he trusted in God and His promises. God’s #1 promise that Noah trusted in was God’s promise that He would send a Savior. He did. His name is Jesus Christ.

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Man

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Man

 

2. The Family

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah’s wife, his sons, and their wives weren’t righteous in God’s eyes, but they belonged to his family. 

Likewise, none of us is righteous, but all who accept Christ as their Savior are adopted into His family. His righteousness becomes ours.

Respond to this truth by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

When you do, you’ll instantly be adopted into Christ’s family and receive salvation. Once you’re in Christ’s family, no one can ever remove you from it. You’ll become a child of God and a co-heir with Christ forever.

The Family

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Family

 

3. The Choice

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah and his family accepted God’s invitation, entered the ark and were saved from the flood. All who refused to enter, perished.

Likewise, all who accept Christ’s invitation to enter into salvation through Christ will be saved from sin. All who refuse, will perish.

Respond to this truth by making your choice today what you will do with Christ’s invitation.

If you have chosen to accept it, rejoice and walk in the freedom of Christ.

If you haven’t chosen to accept it, realize that not choosing to accept it is choosing to reject it. There is no neutral ground.

All who choose to do nothing about the invitation have chosen to accept eternal separation from God along with those who actively choose to reject Christ.

You can believe in God and still spend eternity separated from Him, because God has chosen Jesus Christ, His Son, as the only way to Him. (John 14:6)

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Choice (Photo by Kaitlyn Barkley)

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Choice
(Photo by Kaitlyn Barkley)

 

4. The Work

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah alone is credited with the work of building the ark — the means of their salvation from the flood. He did all God commanded him.

The work of salvation from sin is a work of Christ alone. Christ did all God commanded Him. “It is finished.”

Respond to this truth by letting go of any notion that you can do one single thing to save yourself, and freely accept that Christ did it all.

It’s not Christ plus something else – it’s Christ alone. Christ must do it all – and He has.

Then live the rest of your life exactly as you came to Christ – by faith, not by works.

Your good works should be a response to God’s love, not an effort to earn favor from Him or manipulate Him. 

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Work

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Work

 

5. The Door

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)The one way to be saved from the flood was to enter the ark through the one door. 

Likewise, the one way to be saved from the penalty of sin is through faith in the saving work of the one and only Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Respond to this truth by embracing the one way to God — faith in Jesus Christ.

I’ve heard people say that Christians are arrogant for thinking that we have the only way to God. I’d actually agree if there were other ways, but there aren’t. Christians didn’t make this up.

God chose the way, and He has the right to decide. His choice wasn’t random, either.

Sin comes at a high cost – death. He chose, out of love, not exclusion, to make His Son pay the cost for all of us so that we don’t have to. That’s not arrogance – that’s amazing love.

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Door

Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Door

 

6. The Time

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)God alone chose the time when the door of the ark would be shut, and He alone shut the door.

Likewise, God alone has chosen the time for us to be born and to die. He alone controls it.

Respond to this truth by living every day as if it might be your last.

I don’t mean live in fear, but live with intention. Some things can wait until tomorrow. Some things can’t. 

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)The choice to believe and enter the ark had to be made before the door was shut and the flood came. Afterwards, it was too late.

Likewise, the choice to trust in Jesus for salvation must be made before we die and face judgment. After we die, it’s too late.

Respond to this truth by choosing to accept Christ before it’s too late.

God is exceedingly patient, but the time will come when we will all be judged for our sins.

If you’ve accepted Christ, you’ll be found free of all guilt.

If you haven’t, you’ll be held accountable. You’ll finally believe as you stand before Him, but it will be too late. 

Decide to trust Christ as your Savior before you’re standing before Him as your judge.

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Time

Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Time

 

7. The Hiding Place

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah and his family’s security from the flood wasn’t dependent on what they did on the ark, but on their hiding place — the ark. 

Our security from judgment of sin isn’t dependent on what we do after we enter salvation, but on our hiding place — Christ. 

Respond to this truth by releasing all fear of your future or your present.

Don’t rush around trying to do good works to ensure that you really get to go to heaven. If you’ve trusted in Christ, the work is done. Christ did it and you can’t un do it.

If you’re facing trials that seem like they’ll drown you, know that God has you secure in His hands, and He’ll deliver you either: 

from it (as He did Elisha and his servant when they were surrounded by the enemy),

in it (as He did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when God brought them out of the midst of the fiery furnace),

or through it (as He did when He brought Noah and his family through the flood, or when He brought John the Baptist home to his great reward in heaven. You may not feel like John was saved, but this world held nothing more for him. It was his time to get to go home into God’s presence.)

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Hiding Place

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Hiding Place

 

8. The Resurrection

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah and his family passed through the waters inside the ark, as good as dead and buried, until God brought them out — Resurrection!

Jesus Christ died and was buried in the grave until the third day, when God raised Him from the dead — Resurrection!

Respond to this truth by embracing the resurrection life available in Christ.

In Christ, your old life is dead, and you’ve become a new creation.

We’ll not only experience a true resurrection of our bodies, but our old life of slavery to sin is dead. From those of us who’ve needed a “ctrl+alt+del” in our lives, can I get an “Amen!”

The Red Thread of Jesus in Noah's Ark -- The Resurrection

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Resurrection

 

9. The Altar

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)Noah built an altar on which he willingly offered a costly sacrifice as a pleasing offering to God.

Jesus is the altar and the sacrifice. He paid the ultimate cost, presenting Himself as the final sacrifice, wholly pleasing to God.

Respond to this truth by placing your faith in Christ’s sacrifice for your salvation.

I realize I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but my whole intent in tracing The Red Thread through the Old Testament is to show you how intentional God was from the very beginning to provide a way of salvation from our sins.

God didn’t make the promise in the Garden (Genesis 3:15), wait a few thousand years, and then randomly decide to send Jesus . . . “NOW!”

God was laying a body of evidence across history to prepare the world for the time the Savior would come, so we’d have no excuse not to recognize Him when He came to offer Himself as the final sacrifice for the payment of all sin.

The Red Thread of Jesus in Noah's Ark -- The Altar

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Altar

 

10. The Rainbow

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)God set the rainbow in the cloud as a sign of His covenant of grace. He’d never again judge the world’s sin by destroying all living flesh on earth with a flood.

God sent Jesus Christ, who established a new covenant of grace, taking the full judgment of the world’s sin upon Himself.

Respond to this truth by walking in the incredible freedom of the grace you’ve received in Jesus Christ.

(I’m assuming that surely by now, you’ve decided not to wait any longer and have chosen to trust Christ for your salvation. If not, why not, and why not now?)

For those who have, we should thank God every day that the grace we’ve received through Christ will never be revoked – there’s nothing we can do that’s so bad, we’d lose our salvation. Amen to that!

My biggest rebellion came after I began to follow Christ, but His grace never left me for a second. He didn’t change His mind about saving me. What an incredible promise.

I’m still basking in God’s grace towards me and am determined to get better at passing His grace on to the next person I meet.

"I have set My bow in the cloud..." ~ Genesis 9:13 (Photo by Kaitlyn Barkley)

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Rainbow
(Photo by Kaitlyn Barkley)

 

11. The Cloud

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)The rainbow symbolizes God’s grace. The cloud symbolizes God’s holy presence, dwelling and dealing with man according to His righteousness.

Jesus came to dwell with man and offer grace. When He comes again, He’ll deal with man according to their sin and His righteousness.

Respond to this truth by living life in a manner that’s worthy of a Christ follower.

God’s Spirit dwells inside of every believer from the moment of salvation.

A lamp doesn’t make a light bulb glow. The electricity flowing through the lamp does.

God’s Spirit gives us the power to do all He’s called us to do – which includes living holy lives while spreading the great news of the Gospel.

We just need to let His power do its thing. (Philippians 2:13, Hebrews 13:21)

The Red Thread in Noah's Ark -- The Cloud

The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark — The Cloud

 

And that, my friends,
is The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark as I see it.

I hope you’ll never look at Noah’s Ark the same — and as you look at it differently, I hope you’ll never be the same. 

 

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The Cloud ~ The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark (Part Eleven)

Rainbows & Clouds ~ Grace & Righteousness find themselves in Jesus Christ

Rainbows & Clouds ~ Grace & Righteousness find themselves in Jesus Christ.

 

“I set my bow in the cloud . . . ”
~ Genesis 9:13

 

in the cloud . . . not in the sky . . . not in the heavens . . . in the cloud.

Could this mention of “the cloud” be nothing more than a random detail? 

If rainbows couldn’t be seen anywhere else but in clouds, I might not have stopped to think about it, but they can, so I did.

I’m not going to tell you why God stated that He set His bow “in the cloud” because I can’t.

I can’t find any verse in Scripture that explains exactly why He didn’t set it “in the sky” or “in the heavens,” but let me tell you what I did find. It just may take your breath away as it did mine.

But first, we need to review the beauty of the rainbow.

The Rainbow

The rainbow is the symbol of God’s covenant of grace that despite the sin of the world, He’ll never again judge it with a flood.

Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s new and better covenant of grace that despite our sin, He will not judge us accordingly if we’ve trusted in His Son Jesus Christ as the payment for those sins. 

Insert collective “Whew!” here.

So what about the cloud?

The first time we see the word “cloud” in the Bible is here:

I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.”
~ Genesis 9:13

Setting the rainbow in the cloud, God declared His promise of grace upon the earth. At this point, the cloud seems a nice, but insignificant detail.

But then I looked to see where else I see God mention a “cloud”:

  • God’s presence dwelt in the wilderness with the Israelites in a pillar of cloud (Exodus 13:21-22).
  • God came to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai in a thick cloud and gave them the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 19:16-17
  • God covered the Tabernacle with the cloud at its dedication. The glory of the Lord was in the cloud and dwelt with the Israelites. (Exodus 40:34-38)
  • God appeared in the cloud above the Mercy Seat, which was the place where the blood of the sacrifice for forgiveness of sins was sprinkled each year. (Leviticus 16:2)

These are just a few of the occasions we see God choose to dwell or deal with Israel in a cloud in the Old Testament.

Are you starting to feel that God setting the rainbow in a cloud might not be so random after all?

Now we come to the New Testament.

In the most outrageous display of grace, God dwells with man again for the sole purpose of providing the way of forgiveness for all sin for all time. 

Jesus Christ, who was called “Immanuel” — “God with us,” came to earth in the form of man. (Matthew 1:23)

Jesus didn’t come at that time in a cloud, but the cloud shows up.

  • When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain with Moses, Elijah, and three of the disciples, God spoke from a bright cloud,This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5)
  • When Jesus ascended into heaven, He ascended in a cloud. (Acts 1:9,11)
  • When Jesus returns, all the peoples of earth will see Him coming on the clouds of heaven. He will be coming with the clouds. (Matthew 24:30Revelation 1:7)

The last time we see the word “cloud” in the Bible is in Revelation:

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.”
~ Revelation 14:14-16

This passage sounds great until you get to the sharp sickle. Then it’s not a happy scene if you’re one of those who’ve rejected Christ and His gift of salvation. (Remember, not choosing to accept Christ is choosing to reject Him.)

Jesus is pictured here sitting on a white cloud waiting on God’s orders for the earth to be reaped. 

The orders come.

In another display of extravagant grace, the earth is actually beyond ripe, withered and wasted away: “xērainō” (Rev. 14:15)  

The time of grace for sin has finally reached its very end, and from the cloud, Jesus begins the final, terrible judgment of sin — from a cloud.

Back when God first introduced the rainbow in the cloud, it would be so easy for us to have dismissed any importance in the mention of the cloud. However, from this brief overview of the cloud as we see it in the Old and New Testament, it’s clear the cloud symbolizes the glorious presence of our holy and righteous Triune God — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Let’s now look at our Red Thread Clue:

Red Thread Clue:

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)The rainbow symbolizes God’s grace. The cloud symbolizes God’s holy presence dwelling and dealing with man according to His righteousness.

Jesus came to dwell with man and offer grace. When He comes again, He’ll deal with man according to their sin and His righteousness.

It’s what we’ve seen throughout the Bible. Paul taught this great news in Romans: 

Grace reigns through Righteousness.

 “so that, as sin reigned in death,
even so 
grace would reign through righteousness
to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
~ Romans 5:21

Every now and then a truth of God just jumps out and grabs me. Romans 5:21 is one of those. I like to wallow all up in this truth.

Why?

Because no where in all of the universe, for all of eternity, will you ever find the demands of holiness met with pure grace other than in Jesus Christ — and He is mine!

Because of the extravagant grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ, ALL of my bold, blatant rebellion against our holy and righteous God is swallowed up and removed far from me through Christ’s loving display of unearned grace toward me.

Christ took my sins upon Himself and clothed me in His righteousness, and all I had to do to receive it was just that — receive it — receive Him.

That’s all anyone has to do.  

When He comes again in a cloud to judge sinners, I won’t be among them, even though I’m as guilty as the worst sinner.

People opposed to God cry all the time that God’s not fair. They’re right.

It’s not fair that God should place all our sins upon His righteous Son so that we could be set free from the penalty we fully deserve.

It’s not fair at all. That’s why it’s called grace — extravagant grace.  

Think about this truth the next time you see a rainbow set in a cloud: 

The Rainbow & Cloud ~ Grace & Righteousness
Jesus Christ!

Falling on your knees and praising God would be a completely appropriate response right now.

Accepting Christ’s free gift of salvation is the most necessary response. 

The Red Thread of Jesus seen in the Cloud: Behold, He is coming with the clouds . . . (Rev 1:7)

Behold, He is coming with the clouds . . . (Rev 1:7)

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this series in Noah’s Ark. Because we’ve had so many Red Thread Clues in this series, I’ve been requested to do a summary of them in my next Red Thread post. I thought it was a great idea, so that means this wasn’t actually my last Red Thread in Noah’s Ark post. We’re going to end with an even dozen. Wow. 

To see all of the posts in the series, click on this link:
The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark

You may also enjoy these posts:

God set His rainbow in the cloud and gives us a #RedThread clue of #Christ. Click To Tweet

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NOTE: “Red Thread Clue” is not an actual biblical term. You won’t learn it in seminary. It’s a term I use to refer to anything in the Old Testament that gives us a clue of what Jesus Christ would do when He came in the New. Yes, that rhymes, because I work with pre-schoolers. Red Thread Clues may include actual prophecy and biblical types, but they may also be simple instances in the Old Testament in which we can see the character or work of Jesus Christ and His glory that would be displayed in the New Testament, such as in a cloud placed in a rainbow.




The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark (Part Ten) — The Rainbow

 

"I have set My bow in the cloud..." ~ Genesis 9:13 (Photo by Kaitlyn Barkley)

“I have set My bow in the cloud…” ~ Genesis 9:13 (Photo by Kaitlyn Barkley) www.JeanWilund.com

 

Noah and his family stepped out of the ark into a new world.

After Noah worshipped God at the altar, God responded.

“Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:  ‘I now establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.

I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.’” ~Genesis 9:8-11

Don’t gloss over this monumental moment in the history of the world:

God established a covenant with all living beings on earth that He would never again, no matter what, ever flood the whole earth again.

This was no pinky swear.

In the ancient world, you couldn’t back out of a covenant without tremendous consequences to your honor, family name, and future — and they cared much more about those things than we do today.

To them, breaking a covenant brought lasting shame. To us, at least in the western world, covenants, contracts, vows, etc. are “made to be broken.”

In ancient times they had only one chance of getting out of a covenant, besides death. If the covenant was “conditional,” they were released from keeping their end of the agreement if the other party failed to keep theirs.

This was not that kind of covenant.

God made this covenant with Himself. It was not conditioned on man, but on Himself, and He never breaks His covenants.

This covenant couldn’t fail.

Think back on the experience Noah and his family had just endured, and you’ll understand why this covenant was so comforting.

When you hear rain softly pitter patter on your roof, what sort of reaction does it create in you?

I feel a sense of serenity. Ah, a gentle cleansing shower watering my garden.

Noah and his family wouldn’t have felt serenity — maybe insanity, but not serenity. They’d have been tempted to run, screaming, back onto the ark.

They no doubt greatly appreciated knowing that God absolutely would never ever, under any circumstance, ever send them on another yearlong cruise.

Now, think back on why God sent the flood to begin with, and you’ll see why this covenant was so astounding.

Before the flood, the world had become evil to the point that every intention of every heart was evil.

Through this covenant, God wasn’t telling Noah that the world would never again become so evil that He wouldn’t need to destroy it again.

He was saying that despite the fact that the world would again become that evil, He wouldn’t send another world-wide flood. Instead, He’d extend grace.

“I’ll never again curse the ground on account of man even though the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth, I’ll never again destroy every living thing.” ~ Genesis 8:21

With this background, we’re now ready for the Red Thread Clue.

“I have set My bow in the cloud . . .”
~ Genesis 9:13a

The Red Thread (@JeanWilund.com)God set the rainbow in the cloud as a sign of His covenant of grace. He’d never again judge the world’s sin by destroying all living flesh on earth with a flood.

God sent Jesus Christ, who established a new covenant of grace, taking the full judgment of the world’s sin upon Himself.

 

When do we normally see a rainbow?

After it rains.

Rainbows don’t pop up out of the sun, but you’ve got to have sun to see a rainbow.

Rain and sun. Judgment and grace.

I’m not saying that rain is a biblical type of judgment, but rather that, to Noah and his family, rain would forever remind them of the wrath of God poured out on the sin of the world. The sun would remind them of the passing of that wrath.

We need both to see a rainbow.

“I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
~ Genesis 9:13-15 (ESV)

The first time I encountered the phrase uttered by God in the Bible, “I will remember…” I was confused.

God has to be reminded of things? How can that be?

Fortunately it doesn’t mean that it would actually slip God’s mind, and that if it weren’t for the rainbow, God would accidentally flood the earth again.

God will never see a rainbow and gasp, “Whew! That was a close one! I almost sent another flood.”

God doesn’t need to be reminded of anything. We do.

This phrase is meant to encourage us. Whenever we see a rainbow, we can know with confidence that God will never forget His covenant of grace towards all living flesh – man, woman, child, beast and bug.

We can rest with confidence that our covenant-keeping God is always faithful. When He has promised grace, He never revokes it.

Through the sign of the rainbow, we are reminded of His extravagant grace never to destroy the world by flood again — no matter how evil our world becomes.

Just as sure is God’s promise that He will never revoke His grace to all who believe in and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Once saved, always saved is an old, but faithful saying, because the promises of God are faithful and true.

Whew!

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UPDATE: Since writing this post, I discovered a post by Anne Graham Lotz, which she wrote while 120,000 or more of us joined her in praying for our nation in the month of July 2014. A woman who was prayer-walking around our nation’s capital took an astounding photograph of a double rainbow over the capital building in Washington, DC. Click this link to see the photo: After 7 7 7: Heaven’s Answer? A Double Rainbow

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Did you ever imagine the story of the ark was so rich in clues of Jesus?

Click to read the next post in this series: The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark: The Cloud

If you’re new to this series, click on this link to see the previous posts: The Red Thread in Noah’s Ark series

Click to Tweet: How is Jesus evident in a rainbow? Read to find out!