Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Other Thing Most Folks Get Wrong

The flood wasn't just caused by rain.

Genesis 7:11-16 (ESV)

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.

Here’s another popular misconception about the Bible. Many people assume that the flood was entirely rain. But the text says, “all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.” Rain was only part of it.

People even criticize the Bible based on this misconception. A popular 1988 book titled “Innumeracy” gave many examples of “numerical illiteracy.” One of those examples was the Biblical flood. The author claimed that rain intense enough to cause such a great flood would sink any ship. That assumes it was all from rain.

But don’t interpret this as some great plot against God’s word. Lots of famous quotes are inaccurate. Popular misquotes include, “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” and, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

It’s all just normal human sloppiness, not something sinister. Still, any time you hear the Bible misquoted, that may be a cue to chime in. But don’t feel pressured to say something. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

The goal is glorifying God.

We’ve been focusing on Jesus’ Lordship and about relating to Him like a boss. The goal of this is change. Serious commitment to the Lordship of Christ leads to action. Volunteer to serve Christ and He won’t ignore you.

But this doesn’t mean having an anything goes attitude. Be yourself the way you would be with your boss. It’s OK to pray, “I want to follow wherever you lead, but I don’t think I’m ready to go to Siberia.” Besides, if you leave too many options open, it can be hard to figure out which one God is pointing to.

God’s plans for you will fit the gifts and aptitudes he has given you. Winnowing things down can help you get a pretty good guess at what he’s calling you to – or at least get it down to a few alternatives. Then you can just pray for confirming signs or open doors.

It’s good to spend time meditating on where your calling might be.

If God opens a door or closes a door, take the hint.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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