Page 18 - November 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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n 1850, English explorer Austen   but rather proved the reality of his faith.
            Henry Layard made a major discov-  Amidst moral decadence, his righteous-
        Iery buried in the once illustrious city   ness pleased God and exposed the un-
        of Nineveh – the Library of Ashurbanipal.    righteousness of the ungodly. We should
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        He unearthed tablets from the 7th century   follow his example.
        BC, covering topics from Assyrian history,   There are three sections in this chapter
        medicine and magic. His most famous   (vv1-5; vv6-12; vv13-24), with a repeated
        discovery was the “Gilgamesh Epic”    pattern in each. The pattern is family–cre-
        (dating to 1800 BC), famous because of   ation–deluge.
        its apparent similarity with the flood ac-  Initially, each section begins by men-
        count in Scripture. The presence of flood   tioning Noah and his family (vv1,6-
        stories in ancient cultures  – dotted across   7,13). He is seen as the head of his home
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        the world – is testimony to the reality of a   (vv1,7,13,23), actively working for “the
        worldwide flood.                      saving of his house” (Heb 11:7). Despite
          As we look into Genesis 7, we will make   the earlier departure of Lamech (4:19)
        a discovery of our own: truth about the   from the Edenic blueprint of one man and
        character of God and Noah.            one woman, and the surrounding moral
        The Character of Noah                 decline, Noah’s sons took one wife, fol-
                                              lowing their father’s marital faithfulness.
          The reason for the divine invitation   Nevertheless, there are no prospective
        to Noah and his family to enter the sav-  guarantees. Their sin nature survived the
        ing protection of the ark is given: “Thee   flood, and each was marked by failure.
        have I seen righteous before me in this   Secondly, in the pattern animals are
        generation” (v1).  His righteous life was   mentioned (vv2-3,8-9a,14-16a). The re-
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        not a works-based salvation (Heb 11:7),   peated terminology of clean/unclean
        ¹ Jonathan Taylor, “A Library Fit for a King”   shows that Noah understood something
        (accessed at: https://www.britishmuseum.org/  of separation. Seven pairs of clean animals
        blog/library-fit-king). Many of these fragments
        can be seen in the British Museum.    along with a pair of unclean animals were
        ² Mark F. Rooker, “The Genesis Flood,” The   taken into the ark. We aren’t told how
        Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Vol. 5, No. 3   Noah grasped this distinction, but it was
        (Fall 2001). Rooker quotes another author who   likely linked to the acceptable lamb that
        counts 68 different legends.
        ³ Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV   Abel offered in sacrifice (4:4). Regardless,
        unless otherwise noted.               Noah knew separation was important. It

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