World Gone Wrong

1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.  (Genesis 6:1-8)

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”  (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
This week we are going to explore together the famous story about Noah’s Ark. It is often treated as a children’s story, but it contains some massive adult themes. It begins with God’s judgment on a world that has gone wrong. It speaks into the crisis that we are all living through right now. It is good for us to read this story during #Lockdown2.

The story begins with some confusing verses. Some people misunderstand them to mean that angels married humans and produced the giant-sized Nephilim. It is helpful to read John Calvin’s assessment of that view in his commentary on Genesis: “That ancient figment, concerning the intercourse of angels with women, is abundantly refuted by its own absurdity. And it is surprising that learned men formerly should have been fascinated by ravings so gross and prodigious.” No, these verses are meant to carry on from the two family trees that we looked at together last week. The family tree of Seth (“the sons of God”) intermarried with the family tree of Cain (“the daughters of man”). They may have hoped to convert them to following the Lord, but the result was a total disaster. Instead of there being two types of people on Planet Earth – self-centred sinners and God-centred worshippers – the entire human race turned bad. The Lord lamented that humanity as a whole had become “only evil all the time.”
This is one of the reasons why the Apostle Paul is so insistent in 2 Corinthians that Christians, who are citizens of heaven, must never yoke themselves to nonbelievers, who are living for the present world. Our motives may be commendable in our business partnerships, in our deep friendships and in our romantic attachments with nonbelievers, but the message of the Bible and of Church history is that such partnerships have a toxic tendency to dilute our faith and devotion to the Lord. Noah is commended for being just about the only person on Planet Earth who understood that light and darkness cannot mix, and that it is spiritually fatal when we try. Noah and his family were the only people who survived the Flood in order to recreate a holy, devoted, separated People of God.
As we begin #Lockdown2, it is easy for us to get frustrated about all that we are missing out on. However, God is inviting us to view this season as the Great Flood of our own lifetimes. He is giving us an opportunity to lock ourselves away in his presence to refocus our eyes on the things of heaven, rather than on the things of this world. The Lord encourages each of us to reflect on which of our relationships are drawing us away from devotion to God, and to emerge from lockdown, as Noah emerged from the Ark after the Flood, to start again as God’s holy people.
1)   Which do you think is a greater bigger danger for God’s People today – that we might cut ourselves off too much from the world, or that we might embrace it foolishly and become indistinguishable from it?

2)   Looking at your own relationships, where are you at danger of becoming ‘yoked to nonbelievers’? How might lockdown be an opportunity for you to reflect, to make changes and to start again?

3)   How much are you viewing #Lockdown2 as an opportunity to go on an extended retreat with God? How might you use the next few weeks of isolation as an opportunity to go deeper in your friendship with the Lord?
Father God, when I read about Noah’s Flood, it sounds terrible. When I think about #Lockdown2, it’s pretty terrible too. Help me to view the next five weeks as a time of seclusion with you in your “Ark”. Help me to spend time with you, as Noah did. Help me to unyoke myself from unhealthy relationships and to deepen my walk with you. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
Join our Online Church Services at