So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. (Genesis 7:23)
When all was said and done, all that was left standing of the “world that then existed” (2 Peter 3:6) was Noah and his family. Why did God grant them such favor? I believe it is because they were, as Messiah put it, established upon the rock. The winds blew and the storm came but their “house” stood. Everyone else had chosen other things to build upon.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.vBut everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
The writer of Hebrews tells us that there is coming a day when God will shake heaven and earth in order to distinguish that which is built on things eternal — metaphorically, the rock — from those thing that are built upon the sand. He goes on to say that:
“Since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
If we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and willing participants in His purpose, then we have joined ourselves to that which cannot fail. Therefore, we are admonished to serve God in a way that pleases Him, knowing that He is a consuming fire — He is the One who will consume those man-made institutions and philosophies that are not worthy of remaining. But like the fire that inhabited the burning bush in the wilderness, that which serves His purpose can’t withstand the consuming fire that is our God.
If we were to continue into Hebrews 13, we see that there is something that will remain after this consuming fire has done its work. That which remains is “brotherly love” which is translated from the Greek term, philadelphia. So then, those attributes that we see Christ acknowledge as being present in the church of Philadelphia are attributes that you and I must emulate. These are things that will withstand the things that are coming upon the earth. Look up; lift up your heads. Your redemption is at hand.
Blessings and Shalom,