Water: Judgment or Deliverance?
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Genesis 8:20-21a
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. Matthew 3:13-15
God exercises His power in judgment on sinful mankind with a universal flood. Even in the flood, He shows His grace and mercy by sparing Noah and his family along with a male and a female of each animal. Sadly, only this small group of eight people believes and finds salvation from the waters. The rest are lost. So it will be in the final judgment. All will not be saved, but only those who by grace through faith believe in Christ Ephesians 2:8-9).
Notice Noah’s immediate response to this deliverance. He builds an altar to the Lord and offers sacrifices in gratitude to Him.
Matthew tells us of the events surrounding the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. John the Baptist, son of the high priest Zechariah and Elizabeth, impacts the nation through his preaching and baptizing. Jesus comes to John for baptism showing His submission to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus will perfectly fulfill the law of God.
The Apostle Peter (I Peter 3:18-22) ties both of these passages together showing that God’s mercy to Noah in the flood is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ’s deliverance of His people from the judgment for sin. The water of the flood brought God’s just judgment on mankind, but the water of baptism in Christ Jesus symbolizes cleansing from sin, deliverance from judgment and assurance of salvation to all who believe in Him.
Think about it
Do you have assurance that you are delivered from the judgment to come? Give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ that He submitted perfectly to God’s law in His life and death. Through faith in Him, we are made righteous (I Corinthians 1:30). Like Noah we who trust in Christ are safe from the flood of judgment to come.