Boarding and Deboarding Noah's Ark
The Ride of Your Life!
(Episode 6: The Value of Life)

 

Silvery green leaves of a Silverleaf Phacelia radiate across the ground covering the entire image

The Scorpion Weed, also known as phacelia hastata, or Silverleaf Phacelia. I’m not a plant buff – not even in the slightest – but I’ve seen these plants in the wild. They boast pretty clusters of purple blooms 1 to 2 feet above the ground. The image above was captured a month ago, in late Fall, so the stems and blooms have died off. But the plant itself is perennial so it retains life, and it returns to vibrancy in the Spring.

I spotted this Silverleaf where it can be easily trampled but it is a survivor, nonetheless. I expect it will endure the snow and flourish again after the winter. It even defends itself against human predators. Like poison oak, its hairy flowers, seed pods, and stems are equipped with rash-inducing oils. So, if we don’t respect this plant when we see it, we might respect it later if we touch it.

Many of us respect life in nature, but not all of us.
Many of us respect human life, but not all of us.

 

This post is Episode 6 of an 8-episode series about boarding and deboarding Noah’s Ark. If you’re visiting this series for the first time, you should start at Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives. Otherwise, sit back and experience Episode 6. 


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water


Episode 6: The Value of Life

After God blessed Noah and his sons, He instructed them to “be fertile, increase in number, and fill the earth.” He reestablished human dominion over the animal kingdom and added animals to the human diet. It was a new beginning – new in comparison to the original beginning in the Garden of Eden.

And much like in the Garden, God gave Noah and his family a prohibition: to not eat meat with blood in it. And an extension of this, per God’s instruction, was to not shed human blood. God cares about life and blood is life.


Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.
Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

 

“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.
And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting.
I will demand an accounting from every animal.

 

And from each human being, too,
I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
“Whoever sheds human blood,

by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.

 

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number;
multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
 

Genesis 9:3-7

 

God cares about life – animal life and especially human life. After he gave the above instructions, He made a covenant with Noah and his sons. He promised to never again flood the earth to kill all life (Genesis 9:8-11). Then He created rainbows as a reminder of His promise (Genesis 9:12-17). See Episode 5 for more on the rainbow.

We live in times when too many of us devalue human life. Truly, there has rarely been a time when this wasn’t true, at least to some degree, but it seems like things have gotten worse. We see bloodshed in the news. We see it even closer to home.

There is too much.


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

Blood is a symbol of life but it’s also a symbol of cleansing and forgiveness:

…the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood,
and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
 

Hebrews 9:22

 
Jesus’ blood offers the supreme illustration of this.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood,
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
 

Romans 5:8-9


So, we can think of blood as both life and life-giving. Jesus’ blood has the power to give life to anyone who trusts that His death on the cross paid the penalty for their sins. And when we disregard human life, we devalue not only human life, but also Jesus’ death, because Jesus died so we could live.

  

When we disregard human life
we devalue Jesus' death

***

 

Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water
 

Noah’s story continued and, in his story, we see a life-honoring illustration of how Jesus’ blood covers sin so that God see’s righteousness (Romans4:7-8, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 51:7-9). Here’s the next part of Noah’s story:

Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard.
When he drank some of its wine, he became
drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked
and told his two brothers outside.
 

But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders;
then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body.
Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

Genesis 9:20-23


We presume Noah did something wrong, but we won’t try to figure that out here. More important is how Noah’s sons responded. Ham called attention to his father’s nakedness, perhaps in mockery. Shem and Japeth covered it in forgiveness and honor. We know this by Noah’s reaction after he sobered up. He cursed Ham and blessed Shem and Japheth.

When Noah awoke from his wine and
found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said,
“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” 

He also said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”
 

Genesis 9:24-27


Shem and Japheth valued their father and they honored him. They didn’t want his story to end there, and it didn’t. He lived 350 years after the flood and a total of 950 before he died (Genesis 9:28-29). By covering Noah’s nakedness, his sons, perhaps unwittingly, illustrated the future sacrifice of Jesus whose shed blood has the power to cover sin. When we honor others, we extol Jesus’ sacrifice. He died on our behalf. He died for all, including those for whom honor is hard to muster.

 

When we honor others
we extol Jesus' sacrifice

***

  

Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water
 

Jesus looks beyond our faults and offers life-giving blood to cover our sins. Not even Noah was sinless. The first thing he did after stepping off the ark was to give a burnt offering as a confession of sin – his sin and probably the sins of his family members. God saw Noah as righteous not because he was sinless, but because he trusted in the sacrificial blood of Jesus who would pay the penalty for his sins sometime in the future.

Jesus did pay this penalty for Noah's sins and the sins of all mankind over 2,000 years ago. He came to earth as a baby for this very purpose. We celebrate His coming at Christmastime. It's the coming of a Savior whose blood covers us so that God sees righteousness – righteousness in those who trust in Jesus’ blood to save them from their sins and sinfulness.

Life is valuable, so much that Jesus gave His life for mankind. Some may mock His sacrifice and the faith of His followers just like Ham mocked Noah’s nakedness. Ham boarded the ark with his family, but I wonder when he deboarded His relationship with God.

It’s natural to dishonor and devalue people like Ham did. I’m like Ham at times. There are people and situations that push my limits. But let’s think about Jesus’ sacrifice when we look at others. Life is precious and Jesus left His throne in Heaven because He values us.

So, what is the value of life? It is priceless.


To give life to all...

a king stepped down from his throne;

a lord abandoned his home;

a great became the least;

a god poured out his heart to romance a world torn apart;

a father gave up his son.

That’s how valuable we are to God and Jesus. The above verse is a paraphrase of the chorus in this Christmas song that I leave you with. Listen and meditate on Jesus who values life so much that He poured out His heart for a world that would prefer to mock Him.

How Many Kings
by Downhere

 

Other episodes here. Two more episodes to come:

Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives

Episode 2: A Desperate Situation

Episode 3: Islands & Lifelines

Episode 4: Our Response of Worship

Episode 5: God’sCompassion

Episode 6: The Value of Life (this post)

Episode 7: Victory Over Death

Episode 8: Jesus’ Return

If you want to dialog more about the value of life or Jesus’ blood that covers our sin, feel free to leave a comment or email me at authordlv@att.net. God gave His only Son to pay the penalty of our sins and reunite us with Himself. He did this because He values human life. Read about it at my Good News page.

Read more blog posts here.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.




Comments

  1. So so good, Stephen. You are right that we devalue and dishonor Jesus when we devalue others. It is so important think about Jesus’ sacrifice and love like him when we interact with other people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Jessica. Sometimes we overlook the fact that what we do to others and how we respond to them is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. May we never lose sight of Jesus' sacrifice.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this inspirational message. Thank you for sharing the song, too. It's one of my favorites. Brings tears every time I hear it. Merry Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, too, Melissa! I hope we can value life as Jesus does. Such a sacrifice He made because of His great love for us. The song is timeless.

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  3. Stephen, what a powerful message and excellent reminder about how life is priceless and we are to honor and value it. I'm so thankful for the blood of Jesus and the life in His blood that was sacrificed for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Karen. Jesus' blood is powerful to save and cover the sins of all people. May even more of us come to know Him during this Christmas season.

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  4. Stephen, the Holy Spirit put that song on your heart and mine to include in our writing this week! Wow! It powerfully captures the powerful, sacrificial love of Christ.
    I appreciate how much you are teaching through this study on Noah. I pray to be one who honors and forgives when I am hurt by others or see them struggling with sin. Lord Jesus, give me a humble heart, surrendered, grateful and merciful, as You have been merciful to me.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we both had that song in our hearts. Compassion and mercy are not always our first thoughts, but we easily equate those words with our King Jesus. How different He is than any other who walked this earth. Merry Christmas to you and your family, too, Melissa!

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  5. Live has become so cheap to many. We need to value life the way our Heavenly Father does. This has been a great series and I’m looking forward to the next ones, especially when Jesus returns. Thanks for sharing this wonderful message

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It so hard to see the cruelty in this world and what we call senseless killings. Each person is incomparably special to Jesus. May many, many come to understand this during this Christmas holiday season. Thank you for following along in this series. Our Savior is alive and coming back for us!

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