Salvation: Enduring and Undeserved
Today’s reading: Genesis 6:1-9:17
Sometimes it seems like God’s providence is intermittent. He can seem to be like a Gandalf, the magician in Lord of the Rings, appearing at crucial moments in the life of Frodo or Bilbo, but otherwise aloof and distant. But the more I read the Bible the more convinced I am that we are being shown a God who is always involved in every detail of every life throughout human history. We don’t always sense His presence and providence but that does not mean He is not there working out His purposes in every situation.
In crisis times, believers frequently call on the Lord with great fervor and ask others for prayer. In those moments, we often hear testimonies of having “felt God’s presence” or “of sensing the power of the prayers of God’s people.”
This does not mean He is not there when we are not in crisis, not thinking about Him, or not praying with as much urgency. He is there whether we focus on Him or not.
Noah’s experience shows the level at which God was providentially at work in his life and, in fact, in all of human life. At every turn, we are told, God was evaluating mankind in general and Noah in particular. He was showing Noah favor, seeing his righteous behavior, and communicating whatever was necessary for him to do His will. And Noah obeyed.
I am comforted by the Bible’s perspective that God is not detached or unconscious of anything going on in our lives. Should a crisis arise today, I know I will call on Him more urgently than I would otherwise. I will find Him there. But He is always there. For that I am thankful.
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[For more reflections on today’s passage see the January 3 reading in Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days]
 Providence is defined as “that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator preserves all His creatures, is operative in all that comes to pass in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end.” Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1939,1941, page 166