Thought for the Week - Coming Out of Lockdown
I wonder how you’ve coped during the lockdown period owing to the Coronavirus pandemic? Did you find it easy or did you find it hard? Someone said that while we were all in the same storm we were not all in the same boat. While some maybe found they could take things easy, others (like those in the N.H.S.) were working their socks off. While some were earning more than ever, others were laid off and finding it hard to make ends meet. While most people did their best to observe regulations regarding funerals, there were others who flagrantly flouted the law.
In the Book of Genesis we read about Noah who had a lock-down experience in a big boat, the Ark, for just over a year. When he was told to leave the Ark it would not have been surprising had he come off with a hop and a skip and kicked up his heels with happiness. However, Genesis Ch. 8, v.20 tells us what Noah actually did. “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.”
This offering was a “Thank Offering”. Noah was giving thanks to the Lord for his mighty deliverance from the flood. Christian, do you and I sufficiently thank God for all things from which He delivers us - Covid-19, or some other distressing situation, from a meaningless life, miserable death and a lost eternity?
This offering was also a “Sin Offering”. Noah recognized that he and his family were still sinners and would need that problem dealt with. Someone once said, “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.” Do you recognize that is your chief problem?
This offering was also a “Substitutionary Offering”. Clean animals and clean birds were offered for unclean sinners. Those “clean animals” pointed forward to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who would die for sin-stained sinners like us. Make sure you are trusting in Him!
“Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain:
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb
Takes all our sins away
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.”
By Wor. Bro. Rev. Alistair Smyth, Grand Chaplain