September 2022 | Jesus, the Door

Hope in the Midst of the Deluge
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Hope in the Midst of the Deluge

Pr. Jison Saju Joseph

The biblical story of Noah’s Ark and the Flood conveys a powerful message about grace and hope, that has instructed God’s people throughout the ages about God’s judgment of sin and His enduring love for His creation. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the story of Noah’s flood provides hope and reminds us of God’s everlasting covenant with humanity.

The flood occurred at a time when human beings were least bothered about God and were involved in all kinds of self indulgences. The flood was reminder to humankind that God is still in control of the affairs of the world and that human plans are short-lived. Human beings of Noah’s time were so wicked that God felt sorry for creating humankind. Here we see the picture of God’s creation rebelling against God and considering themselves as the controllers of their own destiny. It is at this time that God decides to let human beings know that He still is in control over the whole universe. The Covid-19 pandemic came at a time when human inventions and discoveries led them to think they are the controllers of their own destiny and that there is no problem which they are not able to solve. Suddenly, human beings are learning how a tiny virus can completely overturn the lives of people around the globe. Time has proven that this virus can de-stabilize powerful governments and take away the pride of scientific achievements that human beings have achieved so far. Not only does it take the lives of millions of people, it also puts a fearful perplexity in the mind of people, not able to predict the future of humankind and their survival on planet earth.

The Flood story also conveys a powerful message of repentance and hope for a better tomorrow. The belief that God will not forever forsake His creation and that there will always be a remnant in God’s plan provides hope even in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. The rainbow, God’s bow set on the clouds after the flood is a powerful symbol of hope and God’s mercy. Just as God’s covenant with Noah was marked with the rainbow, we can hope that God will forgive human beings their shortcomings and that His steadfast love for His creation will continuing for ages to come. When the waters of flood bring despair, darkness and perplexity, the rays of light on the clouds enlightens the dark atmosphere filling it with different colors of happiness, joy and peace.

The birds which were sent out of the ark brought back the good news of new life outside the ark. Similarly, we can hope that this pandemic will soon end and that it will bring a less polluted and less exploited earth, an earth where natural resources and birds and animals will co-exist in harmony and not in enmity with each other. Let us hope that this pandemic will make people think of their limitations versus the sovereignty of God, enabling us to give to the sovereign Lord the place that is due to Him as God of the universe. Let those who deny God rethink and come out of their foolishness in disbelieving the existence of God. Even during Noah’s time, there was no fear of God or respect towards the Creator. But the flood made them rethink and the place that is given for God in their lives.

The flood story of the Bible conveys a lot of lessons for the present context of the Covid-19 pandemic too. It also provides hope for a better day filled with the colours of the rainbow. The flood story is a reminder that God will not forever forget His creation and that He always delivers a faithful remnant from all the calamities that have ever occurred in the history of Israel and the history of humankind.

The olive leaf in the mouth of the pigeon that Noah sent out of the ark is a symbol of God’s establishment peace with humankind. It was a powerful reminder to the generations to come that God did not lose hope in humanity. The existence of life outside the ark was a ray of hope for Noah and his family. Though humankind was judged through the flood, God did not plan to end all life on the planet. He preserved birds, animals and plants of all kinds, along with His chosen remnant, i.e., Noah and his family.

The Covid-19 virus has caused quite a stir worldwide. People have become more aware of the value of their God-given life. Like after the flood, people have begun to realize that it is God who is sovereign and not human beings. Regardless of the religion or belief, they follow, people have understood that there are forces, powers and organisms that they cannot control. They have also understood that God controls the destiny of the world and individuals. At a time when human logic and measures to control the virus are continuously failing, people are beginning to understand that it is better to submit to God’s sovereign authority. Hope for a better future is dependant only upon God’s sovereign plan for humankind. Vaccines are not able to guarantee a 100% Covid free earth again. Therefore, renowned brains of the world are in general agreement to say that this virus will be among us for generations to come.

The situation that Noah faced was also similar. There was a complete wipe out and no hope left after the flood. But God, in is sovereign plan gave a second life to all living organisms that lived on the planet. Even as the Corona virus and its new mutations spread rapidly in different countries – for us Christians, we have our hope anchored only in the Living God who controls everything. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow. 

May hope in the living God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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