A Fish Tale…
It’s been more than a year since I have gone fishing in the backyard. I haven’t felt that confident standing at the edge of the lake, on an incline, as I tire so quickly on uneven ground. Lately, however, I have felt the tug to get back out there – and that is an encouragement to me that I am finally feeling a little stronger. I still won’t go out there alone, in case I should happen to fall in. I really don’t know if I would be able to climb up on the timber edge to get myself out. I also leave my wallet and phone in the house in case I should happen to go in the drink – at least I wouldn’t lose valuable stuff in the process.
So on Father’s Day last Sunday, Andrew honored me by going out back and fishing with me after dinner. Between us, we had four strikes but only landed one – a 5 pounder. I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to catch one of these. We always catch and release so they can be caught another day sometime in the future, but I had a great time with Andrew.
Earlier this week, Tuesday and yesterday, I was in Chicago teaching – and I returned home last night around dinner time. After unpacking, I decided to try my hand again in the back yard and was rewarded with another three fish within fifteen minutes. I was thrilled. More important than catching the fish was the fact that I am getting stronger and am once again able to visualize myself wading a stream or enjoying camaraderie with some of my friends who also enjoy the great outdoors. I have missed that the past year.
People have always wondered whether fish and sea creatures were destroyed in the Flood that is referenced in the story of Noah building the ark. Most individuals believe that all life, other than Noah, his family and the animals on the ark, was destroyed. But if we carefully read the Bible, there is no reference to the death of the fish and other creatures who live in the sea.
Noah’s instructions for building the ark included gathering animals and birds who would reside on the ark throughout the Flood and the recession of the water months later. But note that God did not instruct Noah to make any sort of provision for the fish. Presumably, God knew that they would survive and not need to be “rescued” and sustained the way that the land animals and birds had to be taken care of.
In fact, from the Hebrew perspective, there were three different categories of “animals. ” They included birds and flying animals, land animals; and then fish and sea life. We are told, in Genesis, that only animals that breathe (those that required air) were destroyed and there is no reference to the death of any underwater life.
Our verse for tonight highlights part of God’s creation. We are told, in Genesis 6:7, 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” Notice that there is no mention of God’s intention to destroy sea life. We are told that everything on the earth, except the inhabitants of the ark, was to be destroyed.
God had become dissatisfied with His creation and decided to start over with Noah and his family, in addition to the animals they had gathered together on the ark. After the Flood, God even promised to never destroy the earth again with water! So we have His assurance that we are His chosen people, and that should be an encouragement to all of us. My prayer is that we will honor God and His creation by being great stewards of the earth and the environment, so successive generations can enjoy all that we have been blessed with. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…