From a window here in Larne, Northern Ireland, my eyes are capturing the view of vehicular traffic negotiating roundabouts, flyovers, and underneath roadways, facilities which call to mind past planning and engineering skills. None of this happened accidentally. As I look out over a blue Irish sea dividing our island from that of Scotland, a sea reflecting an almost cloudless canopy of glory above, I unashamedly mention with tear-filled eyes and a warm heart in fellowship with the writer to the Hebrews, “God is.”
Creation demands a Creator; design requires a designer. Creatorial witness leaves man without excuse in his wanton rebellion. True to His own gracious nature, God did send His Son to further His witness.
God Witnessed In Creation
Our blessed and blessing God gives witness to His attributes by His revelations of Himself through His inspired Word which reveals His pleasure in each part of His creation – God saw it was good. But when man comes from His hand He declares that all His creation was very good. The pinnacle of His creation gave Him special delight. He had made a king over it with whom He could fellowship. God delights in our fellowship even now, fellow saint. He has given witness that He is in creation, that He is a blessed God who desires to bless the climax of His creatorial achievement, and that He delights in, and has planned to fellowship, with us. Are we enjoying this glorious fellowship now?
God Witnesses To Himself In His Word
While such thoughts rightly enthrall us, we need to remember that we are His creatures, created for His pleasure (Rev 4:11). We enjoy well-being and true personal satisfaction when we submit to His pleasure as revealed to us through His Word. To act in a contrary way proves disastrous in our personal experience and certainly has done so throughout history. Paul writes of the God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and the certainty of His declared Word in Genesis 2 is witnessed to, not only in Adam’s removal from His divinely-given sphere of fellowship with his sovereign God, but in the record of death which follows in Genesis. What God said came to pass contrary to Satan’s lying deceit in the garden. God has given witness to Himself in His Word. The continuance of death is an ongoing witness to the reliability of God’s Word to us.
Our sovereign Lord has been pleased to give witness to three outstanding facts through His servant Enoch. God again walks with man if man repents. Secondly, He can make exceptions to death by translation, and, thirdly, there will be end-time world judgments. In contrast to godly Enoch, the seventh from Adam, we see violent Lamech boasting to his two wives about his slaughter of a young man and how he would extend retribution to seventy times seven – no doubt giving early indication of the unrepentant, rebellious, and extremely violent society about to emerge. The seventh from Adam via Seth will adopt a different attitude and course; he will walk with the God of promise.
We learn from Jude that before God took Enoch, he prophesied of end-time judgment upon all the ungodly. Peter, in his second epistle, connects with this judgment the fact that God spared not the old world of the ungodly in Noah’s day, citing this along with angelic and city judgments as evidence that future judgment is on the way. Like Enoch, men who declare scriptural warnings about judgment ought to walk with God, do justly (live righteously), be merciful, and of a humble spirit (Micah 6:8). What a wondrous experience was granted to this God-pleasing saint in being caught up without dying (Heb 11: 5)! We do not give pleasure to God by simply knowing His Word. We please Him by a belief that obeys.
Such obedience was portrayed with reverential fear by Noah. With no stated record of flood, and likely without a history of rain, a man builds an ark to float upon water before the gaze of a corrupt society that was living in the willful denial of the knowledge of God. Noah then preaches of righteousness, moved by faith in connection with things not seen, in obedience to the Word of God. I believe that he declared the righteousness of God in coming judgment. Are we not also responsible to preach the God of the Bible and His righteousness to our corrupt and violent society? Could we, like Noah, move with reverence toward God and faithfulness toward our fellows by life and lip, by being a witness to a society already under condemnation? Enoch had, as the church will, a pre-judgment translation, whereas Noah went through the judgment and was preserved, as will a Jewish remnant in approaching tribulation days. There is a definite contrast between Lot and Noah. Lot’s inconsistency was such that his sons-in-law failed to take him seriously and even his wife, his daughters, and he himself had to be forcibly removed with angelic assistance when they lingered. In contrast, Noah, moved with reverential fear in faith with regard to things not seen, willingly entered the ark with his family. One has to be careful not to pass judgment upon others, and the writer speaks as one well short of perfection, but as believers, we all feel the great need for consistency in life for our own welfare, our loved ones, friends, and society. Enoch and Noah were men who were different from the world around. This was because they walked with God, which is an ongoing experience of faith which equates with obeying His Word.
Edenic conditions did not keep Adam from his disobedience and its consequences. The coming glorious reign of righteousness and peace on earth of our Lord Jesus Christ will find at the end of one thousand years those born during its course who, in sympathy with Satan, will rebel and be destroyed. It is also observed that within approximately 100 years (Thos. Newberry dating) from God’s having destroyed the earth with a flood, descendants of Noah, with foolish pride, commune with each other in order to make for themselves a name, leaving God out and ignoring His mind for them to disperse across the earth. They began to build a city, the post-flood instructions being to multiply “in the earth.” The end of efforts arising from human pride was confusion, with God confounding their language, forcing them to leave off building the city. In contrast, God has given to a Man a name which is above every other name and that is the Man that Philippians 2 records “humbled Himself.” This One is building His Church to the endless praise of the glory of God.