Friday, February 7, 2014

Musing on the Biblical Theology of the Flood

Immediately prior to God's cleansing the world of sin in the Great Flood, Genesis 6:5 says, "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Surely Satan and his legion of evil ministers perceived that they had nearly stolen victory over God and the Promised Seed, as none could be found who sought faithfulness to God Almighty. None but Noah, that is. But God did not destroy the world utterly, nor did He hand it over entirely to the Prince of the Evil Age, but rather baptized the earth in water, destroying its corruptions and renewing the land for a second opportunity for Noah to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth in accord with God's commandments.

Immediately prior to God's cleansing the world of sin in the Second Great Flood--that is, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit--we do not receive an explicit comment on the evil of the age, but we find it visible in every Gospel. The surge of demonic activity--nowhere in the Old Testament or after the Apostolic Age so virulent and pervasive--was dominating the earth and corrupting even the people of God (it is no exaggeration when Jesus refers to the leaders of Israel as sons of their father, Satan). When the Son of God appears on the scene, the demons are surprised, asking if Jesus had come to torment them before the time. The Seed has come, but the armies of heaven had not yet been assembled for the final engagement. Why then had the Commander of the Host of Heaven come? Whereas the Great Flood covered the Creation in water, there is a double baptism that inaugurates the  Age of the Heavenly King. He dies on the cross and bathes the world in His own blood, making it possible for all who would turn to Him in their allegiance to receive cleansing from their corruption. Then as the King ascends to take up His session upon the Throne of Heaven, He gives gifts to His thanes and companions, the Church, His own Spirit, which is poured out like a Flood of water and fire upon the people. The strong man was cast off the throne of the earth, to be bound for a time, and his ministers of evil were being cast out by the power of the name of the King and by His Spirit, working in and through the Body of Christ, the Church, and in particular its appointed leaders.

The way was thus cleansed for yet another opportunity to be fruitful and multiple and fill the earth in accord with God's commandments. However, like the sons of Noah, the children of the Age of the Heavenly King are not yet given complete victory. There is a time of long-suffering while all those whom the King desires to bring into His Kingdom shall be found and brought within its gates. Then comes the final Flood, the Host of Heaven and the Saints of the Most High God shall ride in the train of the King as He tramples the remaining corruption, and removes His enemies forever; casting them into the lake of Fire along with all those who refused to cast their allegiance with the High King of Heaven. Then shall all cleansing be consummated the Great Renewal shall be begun, and the fruitfulness and multiplication and filling of the earth shall be complete, and resplendent and redounding glories shall be on the lips of the people of God forever more.

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