As the Judgment Waters Recede: A New Creation Emerges

FTER Noah and his family piled out of the ark, God gave them the same command he gave to Adam and Eve, to be fruitful and fill the earth. God promised that the seasons would continue as long as the earth remains (Gen. 8:22) and gave them the rainbow as the sign of the covenant that God would not completely flood the earth again (Gen. 9:16). The flood waters had given way to a whole new world.

This is a pattern in Scripture: judgment followed by new creation. We see this in the life of Noah and the ark. We see it in the life of Jesus, in his death, burial, and resurrection. And we see this in the book of Revelation.

It’s easy to look at the story of the flood as skeptics. What a vindictive, trigger-happy Deity, some might suggest. That really reveals a lot about our assumptions. We think God owes us something. All that he owes us is wrath for our disobedience.

If it weren’t for the steadfast love of God the whole thing would have ended with Adam and Eve. Every page after Genesis three is grace. And even in judgment, we see the promises of God and new creation.

This coming Sunday I have the blessing of baptizing my son Micah who has professed faith in Christ. He will go down into the water to show he identifies with the death of Jesus. When Jesus was judged, my son Micah was judged. In the baptism waters he is picturing how he was condemned with Jesus and has died under the wrath of God. But that’s not where it ends.

When I submerge Micah in the baptistery, as preachers like to do, I will quote from Romans 6:4, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

First comes a watery death. First comes judgment. Then comes a new creation.

All of history is heading this way. One day every knee will bow and tongue confess and every person will give an account before God (Phil. 2, Hebrews 9:27). We are heading towards a cosmic judgment. And after that, a new creation (Revelation 21). Are you ready?