Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Genesis 8:1-5

"And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;
The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen."
Genesis 8:1-5

 I was thinking about God leading people to the promised land, as he did with Moses and Nephi... and when I read this, I thought that even though we don't usually see it that way, that is really what he did with Noah as well.  With Moses and Nephi he had to get them out of the land where they were, and send them to a new place to start over and be able to grow and prosper.  And with Noah that happened too... it just that the new place was superimposed on the old place.  With Moses it was war to clear the new area... with Noah it was a flood.
I think that it is like this for us too, with going to our own promised land.  It's like the idea of being born again.  Baptism washes away our sins and allows us to start fresh.  And that is similar to the idea of a promised land, but instead of just our sins, it illustrates how big of a change that we need in our lives in order to start over and dedicate, or rededicate, ourselves to God.  We have to wash or drive away our old selves... our old habits and our old sins, and start over, in a new place at least internally, and sometimes externally as well, so that we don't remain in places or situations that are going to pull us back in or harm us.
The early pioneers, fleeing from persecution, finally made it across many miles and found a place to rest.  Noah, after months in the ark, finally knew that he could go back out into the world and start again.  Nephi, after crossing an ocean, finally arrived at the promised land and knew that his long journey was over.  ... Arriving, though amazing for all of them, didn't make later life easy.  Starting over is always hard.  But they all knew that the hand of God had led them, and had that to fall back on when things got tough.  It is the same for us.  We leave our old lives and find new friends and new habits and new places, and although it isn't always easy to build a new life or find our way in the new world... we knew that we are here because God promised it to us, and that if we stick with him, things will work out.
Today, let's take the journey.  Let's leave our old selves behind, get away from our bad habits and influences, and become the new and shinier versions in the promised land. :)

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