May 20

Today's Bible Readings:
     Numbers 29
     Psalms 73
     Isaiah 21
     II Peter 2
“And did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;” (II Peter 2:5)
  On one occasion, I had some pictures made to use for some publicity. When I saw the proofs, I commented to the photographer, who was also a personal friend, “These pictures are awful. They don't do me justice.” His response was, “Pastor, you don't need justice, you need mercy” He was absolutely right.
  Our memory verse tells us that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness.” This means he heralded the righteousness of God. The righteousness and justice of God are revealed in two ways. In one verse, God presents to us His unswerving justice against wickedness and evil, and His amazing mercy and grace.
By punish ing the wicked, or rejecting the righteousness of God in Christ. (Psalms 11:5-6)
By rewarding the righteous, who are made the righteousness of God through Christ. (II Corinthians 5:20-21)
  The righteousness of God is that attribute which assures man that God is just, and will always do what is right. The righteousness and justice of God are manifestations of His holiness. To say that God is holy is to say that He is wholly pure and separate from sin. In eternity past, present and future, He is pure. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.   (Hebrews 13:8) 
  When Jesus died on the Cross, He satisfied the righteous anger of God against sin. Noah was a preacher of righteousness and justice. It is not possible to declare the righteousness and holiness of God and not proclaim His justice. This preacher of righteousness warned the wicked of their ways for 120 years. It has been said that Noah never had a convert, but this is not true. His wife and three sons and daughters-in-law were saved by grace through faith. During the 120 years that Noah preached God's righteousness, the Holy Spirit was striving with the lost. Some could have been saved and died before the flood; however, without a doubt he won seven souls to faith in the Lord our Righteousness.
  That righteousness of God is still available today. A person can still turn away from sin with a faith commitment to
Jesus Christ as Lord and receive His righteousness. The message of salvation that Noah proclaimed must be untiringly proclaimed by the followers of Jesus Christ today. The Scriptures tell us that in a day like the days of Noah, Jesus Christ will return. We will once again find ourselves in the days of Noah, and we must faithfully herald the righteousness of God.
  Samoa is an island in the Pacific with about 200,000 people. Samoans have been Christian for over a century, and there is at least one church in every village. It breaks the hearts of God's people that pride, formalism, ignorance, political manipulation, division, heavy demands for ministerial support, and compromise had weakened the church even before the challenge presented by the influx of cults, high teenage suicide, and the need to provide a future and hope for the next generation. Today, pray for the government and church leaders in Samoa; there are committed evangelicals among them.
“What God wants is men great enough to be small enough to be used”
H. W. Webb Peploe