Joshua Brown

Are you a strong swimmer? I certainly am not. As a grown man, my wife worries for me in the open water because she knows there is nothing she can do to save me if I start drowning. Water is a great picture of chaos, because being in the open water is scary and chaotic, full of unpredictability and struggle. And if we are being honest, our lives feel like chaotic waters right now. Relational turmoil, the blatant glorification of sinful behaviour, and the presence of natural disasters are the daily reminders that we live in a broken world. It seems like the world is struggling to stay afloat.

This is the world of Noah, one that is wicked and disordered. Every inclination of the human heart was evil, on display and widespread. This breaks God’s heart, and in an act of exercising His wrath upon this wicked world, He releases the boundaries He first set in place in Genesis 1, causing further disorder to the vessels of clay that had lost their humanity. But not for Noah. No, through this blameless man God is going to usher in a new humanity. Taking refuge in a vessel made of trees, Noah and his family sit atop the waves of chaos that will lead to a new life. The same is true of our refuge in Jesus. Jesus steps into a world of chaos and disorder—and at one point literally steps on the chaotic waters. And what is His response to these life-threatening, world-turning, chaos-bearing waves? “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39). Jesus displays His peace as the Son of God by calming the chaotic waters, just as God displayed His peace by providing refuge for Noah from his chaotic waters. You see, Jesus is the true and better Noah, who ushers in a new humanity through the waters. In Noah, we see that God rescues humanity by providing peaceful refuge from the chaotic waters through a vessel made of trees; and in Jesus, our God brings peaceful refuge for a new humanity through our Saviour nailed to a tree (Acts 5:30).

Does it feel like you are drowning in chaotic waters? Where is your peace? Where is your refuge? Jesus is your peace. Jesus is your refuge. Our God who speaks “peace” to the storm and “it is finished” to sin and death is present with you and will not let you go.

“We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” (Hebrews 6:18b-19a)