Sunday 11th February 2018
27th January is Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 2018, it marked 73 years since the date in 1945 when Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp. Speaking on the anniversary 2 years ago, Arek Hersh, who arrived at the concentration camp as a 14 year old, said,
“When I think of all the terrible things that happened to us: how we lived, how we died. It’s a reminder of what men can do to each other.”
For many, the unspeakable violence and cruelty inflicted by people on other people is reason enough to disbelieve that there is a God, that He is good, or that He is capable of intervening in our world.
But that is not the only response to mankind’s violence and injustice. After the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, this poem was found scratched in a wall:
“I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even though I don’t feel it.
I believe in God, even when he is silent.”
The silence of God is something believers experience. It can make us wonder and despair at what God is doing. Has He forgotten us? David speaks of this experience in three Psalms (28, 35, 109), showing that it was a repeated experience even for such a great believer as Him. But even when God seems silent, He cries out, relying on God’s unending, steadfast love, His covenant love, and in God’s time, He is delivered. That’s a model for us to follow.
Noah shows us that same model of faith in God’s unending covenant love. At the start of Genesis 8, Noah has heard nothing from God for 40 days (more than a month).
Yes, God has saved Noah and his family from God’s judgement in the catastrophic worldwide Flood. But had God forgotten Noah?
How can we go on when we don’t know what will happen next? What is God teaching us about how to live when He seems silent?
God’s actions and words in Genesis 8:1-9:17 show that the LORD remembers us, and He calls us to trust Him in four specific ways:
- Respect God’s Continuing Commission to Humanity (8:1-19)
- Rejoice in God’s Deep Resolution (8:20-22)
- Receive God’s Abiding Blessing on Humanity (9:1-7)
- Rely On God’s Eternal Covenant with Everything (9:8-17)
- Does God’s plan change?
- What promise does Noah rely on?
- Is God ever surprised?
- Why does God keep the world going?
- What are mankind’s responsibilities in God’s world?
- Should we seek revenge?
- Why do human beings matter?
- What is a covenant?
- What is the rainbow for?
- A question I have:
- A truth to share