RECAP: HUMANITY’S RESET based on Genesis 9:1-17
God is in the business of granting fresh starts. This is a motif that weaves its way from Genesis through the book of Revelation. But there is no fresh start that is more drastic than the flood. For many, it seems inconsistent that a loving, forgiving God would destroy the earth by a universal flood. Why did God feel the need to destroy all of humanity? And so this has become a stumbling block, causing people to believe that the God of the New Testament is different than the God of the Old Testament, or teach we should only believe the New Testament, or discredit faith altogether.
Yet, the flood is consistent with the character of God. God is holy; that which is unholy cannot dwell in his presence. Sin cannot endure in the presence of God. Sin needs to be cleansed, washed away, purified; the ultimate expression captured by Jesus on the cross! In Genesis 6, we see that humanity was corrupted by the “sons of God,” causing men to pursue only evil all the time, to be filled with violence and corruption (see Genesis 6:1-12). This union resulted in offspring, known as the men of renown and the Nephilim. Any myth often has at its core a kernel of truth. In Greek mythology, it was commonplace for the gods of Olympia to have relations with human beings, producing demigods–half mortal, half immortal children. Some became men of renown (Hercules and Achilles), while others were accursed (Cyclops, Sirens, Medusa). The Greek myths (and others) reflect a reality that existed! When you look at other biblical texts that were considered authoritative during the time of Jesus on this earth, specifically the apocryphal text of 1 Enoch (still considered part of the Bible today by the Ethiopic church), the sons of God, or watchers, were the fallen angels led by Azazel (another name for Lucifer/Satan). The watchers are actually referenced in Daniel 4! These fallen angels wanted to corrupt God’s creation as an act of rebellion, and so they came down to earth, mingled among humanity, and taught them many things, including how to make weapons of destruction and to change one’s appearance to erase the image of God within. The corruption ran so deep, that offspring were produced with a lust to destroy all of humanity and undo the goodness of God’s creation. These offspring, with a human body but immortal spirit, eventually became the demons after the flood.
Even though what is referenced above is not in our official Bible today, it was widely circulated during the time of Jesus and was not ruled out of the Bible until the Council of Jamnia in 95 AD.
God’s sorrow in creating humanity was the fact that humanity abandoned the good that he offered and exchanged it for the corrupt, violence, and wickedness. And those very characteristics still exist today.
How can we find a reset?
1) God provides the means of salvation. God called Noah to build an ark. Whether the construction took 100 years or only 5 years, Noah used that time of building to also share the message of the coming flood. The ark provided covering over the waters that cleansed the earth. But it also provided a means of salvation for those who chose to listen. The ultimate expression of his salvation through the cross still can cover and protect all, but only for those who listen and embrace salvation. But a rejection of salvation leads has significant consequences!
2) God signed the covenant. He made a covenant with humanity that he would not destroy the whole earth by universal flood again, sealing it with the rainbow. That sign served as a reminder to humanity of the surety of God’s word and promise. God always keeps his word! But a covenant is a two-way street; we have a part to play!
3) Be obedient. Our part to play starts with obedience. We have to bear fruit. Fruit here was more than population growth; rather, it encompassed every sphere. We need to be fruitful in our relationship with God, with each other, with ourselves, and our planet. Do we embody the fruit of the Spirit? What do people see when they observe us? When we are obedient, we see the favor of God!
4) Break the cycle with repentance. When we have been given a fresh start, we have a choice to either keep doing the old practices which led us down the road of destruction or to repent, make a change, and move forward. God instructed Noah to chart a different course. We too have that opportunity to break the cycle and chart a different path.
The end result? The blessing of God!
Sometimes, we need the reset. God provides salvation and seals it with his covenant. It is up to us to walk in the fullness of a fresh start. What will we choose?
Questions for Reflection
1) What in our world is destroying humanity? Is there anything that can be done about it?
2) Are we walking in the salvation of God? Does the evidence of our living match Jesus’ salvation?
3) Where do you find it difficult to be obedient to God? Why?
4) What practices are curses that need to be broken? What could use a fresh start in your life?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the series called “A Fresh Start” with the sermon titled, “A Wandering Nation,” based on Joshua 1:1-9. How do we stop wandering and move forward into the promised land God has given us? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for April 26 – May 2
April 26: Genesis 33:1-20 How did Jacob and Esau have a fresh start?
April 27: Genesis 40:1-23 How did a cupbearer come to a fresh start?
April 28: Genesis 50:15-21 How did Joseph grant his brothers a fresh start?
April 29: Exodus 15:1-21 How did God provide the nation of Israel a fresh start?
April 30: Exodus 33:12-23 How did Moses intercede for a fresh start?
May 1: Numbers 11:1-15 What contributed to the wandering of Israel in the desert?
May 2: Numbers 11:16-30 What fresh start did God try to bring the people of Israel?
This Week’s Events:
Saturday, April 30–Men’s Fellowship Breakfast @ 7:15 am, Thomas House in Dayton
Saturday, April 30–Spring Festival @ Brethren Woods
Sunday, May 1–First Sunday Breakfast @ 9:15 am
Sunday, May 1–First Sunday Offering–Samaritan’s Purse (Ukraine relief)
Sunday, May 1–Josiah Whitmore’s birthday party celebration (immediately after church)
Sunday, May 1–Worship Team Meeting
Sunday, May 8–Mother’s Day & Child Dedication
Sunday, May 15–Church Council Meeting after church
Sunday, May 29–Deed Signing
Sunday, June 5–Pentecost Sunday, Baptism & Summer hours begin
We will have a brief council meeting after church on Sunday, May 15. There are three items on the agenda: adopt a new official name for the church, approve the new constitution (needed for incorporation & non-profit legal designation), and begin the conversation on the color for new road signs for the church.
The Instachoir will rehearse over the next few Sundays for a few moments right after church. The Instachoir will have an anthem on Sunday, May 15.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
If you are interested in water baptism, please email Pastor Ryan in the next few weeks!
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Samantha Cooper (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (tests)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Alma Long (COVID)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Torrey Meyer (well-being)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Tom Wilfong (health)
Joyce Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church