Stones Hill Community Church
"Grand Canyon: A Beautiful Scar" - Genesis 7
I’m entitling this talk: Grand Canyon: A Beautiful Scar - Genesis 7. Anybody have a scar? I have a few that I'll tell you about. A scar is left on the surface of your skin after an injury or wound has healed. And when you see a scar on someone else, you often wonder “How did that get there?” We all have scars. Everyone has a scar of some kind. Some are visible on the outside of our physical body, while some are hidden, tucked away in our heart. A scar reveals we’ve been in a battle of some kind. Scars reveal that there was once a wound that has since been healed. My scars tell a story of a promise, a purpose, and a testimony. But that story is still in process. One day it will tell the story of God’s healing, God’s goodness, His greatness, and His faithfulness. I’ve got ongoing wounds that I want to become healed scars. I want to dwell on and obsess over my wounds. And that’s not healthy. I mustn’t ignore them. But I have to reframe my wounds. I don’t want to live wounded. Even a resurrected Jesus kept His scars. Because he chose to suffer for us, Jesus’s scars also tell us of his love. Hymn-writer Matthew Bridges saw love in the scars and crowned him “the Lord of love” in his 1851 hymn: "Crown him the Lord of love! Behold his hands and side - Rich wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified." The thing that God has used to heal me and my wounds the most is beauty. Welcome to another installment of Great Chapters of the Bible - Genesis 7.
Locations & Times
  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 4:00 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has:

* music (so feel free to sing out);

* some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of);

* a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word);

* and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your daily life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Genesis 7:16-24 and 8:1-5
Grand Canyon is 277 miles long. Up to 18 miles wide (averaging about 10). And in some places, over a mile deep with several major layers of stunning strata visible. The Flood removed up to 1 to 2 miles of sediment (130,000 cubic miles) above the canyon rim. The Kaibab upwarp created an earthen dam, with huge lakes that was three times bigger than Lake Michigan. One author calls it the “Grand Lake”. (Evidence for these lakes include fossils of freshwater fish, frogs, beavers and flamingos at 6,000 feet above sea level.) That dam breached, probably during the post-flood runoff. Picture all that water rushing through Grand Canyon post-flood. Cutting it quickly, in days or weeks, not years. Imagine water flowing 100 mph carrying sand, grains, boulders. Eroding sediments, redepositing them elsewhere, pushing up land masses, elevating plateaus, stripping terrains. The flood and post-flood run-off from large bodies of water trapped by the upwarped plateau finally gave way. It’s not a little bit of water and a lot of time. Rather, it’s a lot of water in a short period of time and under various states of pressure that cut these dramatic formations through walls of rock. It was this massive worldwide upheaval which occurred in the last stages of the year-long flood that uplifted the Colorado Plateau and led to the formation of Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. The Colorado Plateau is lifted upward more than 4,300 feet above the surrounding plain and the Grand Canyon cuts through it, exposing the true story of the layers. It’s all evidence of a major draining event!
The violence of this flood and runoff are staggering to think about - and it ripped this incredible scar on our planet, yet I have never seen a scar so beautiful. There’s beauty even in judgement. Pre-flood wickedness: cannibalism, animal cruelty, murder, bold sexual deviancy - involving all ages. Essentially nothing was sacred. We read in Genesis 6:5, "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." All of God’s boundaries were ignored. Sin permeated everything, thus the Flood.
Henry Morris in his book The Genesis Account estimates conservatively that there were at this time 7 billion people alive on the earth. Today's population is 7.9 billion. It was an enormous population, as people would live to be 900 years old and be able to populate at an accelerated rate with less gene depletion than we have today. This was the deadliest event in human history - global-scale catastrophe. But, there’s beauty even in judgement. The flood wasn’t just judgment; it was rescue.
One family of eight out of 7.9 billion survived this violent global scarring! This would have been an excellent time to stop to end the entire project of us. God’s plan for mankind seems to hang by the slenderest of threads. 120 years of preaching and Noah had 0 converts outside his family. But God loved. He floated the project, knowing what it would eventually cost His Son. That’s beautiful. There’s judgement (the wickedness has to be stopped) but there’s salvation through it. And without our sin, we wouldn’t know of Jesus and God’s great plan of redemption and rescue.
The global flood on planet earth - carved out from retreating flood waters with its fossil graveyards, mountain ranges, coal, oil and natural gas deposits, submarine canyons, geologic compression and Grand Canyon – was a result of judgment. We do live in a moral universe. Sin brings judgment, for the God behind it all cares about right and wrong.[1] But, there’s beauty in judgment. God judges but he’s merciful and beautiful.
The rock and stone of Grand Canyon is a beautiful memorial - placed there by Creator God to remind fathers and mothers to teach their families the true history of the world; that judgment came resulting from our rebellion. But that there’s also beauty in the judgment that points us to a time when all was pristine and will be once again. The surging waters of judgment may swirl around you and me. But God has prepared His ark. Through faith in His Son you and I, like Noah, can be carried safely through to Christ’s new world. There’s definitely been a scarring.
Colson wrote in his book, The Body. “It has been said the church is like Noah’s ark: the stench inside would be unbearable if it weren’t for the storm outside.” He was quoting Niebuhr. So often, the stench and scarring is relational isn’t it? You have stuff buried deeply in your life – deep relational hurts. But God so works, that given time, you can recover from devastating loss and catastrophe, just like Mt. St. Helens.
Do you have any Grand Canyons that have ripped and cut their way through your life?
Do you believe in judgement and accountability? I do. What are you building to prepare for it?
Noah built a 3-level boat longer than a football field and it floated. What are you building? Is it going to float or turn to ash? There is a God and our beliefs and behaviors matter. And God has made a moral universe and when we flaunt God’s ways with boldness, God will not look away with a "whatever" attitude. There is a judgment. And the Global Flood has left you some beautiful exhibits of this reality.
Now, Jesus has absorbed God’s judgement and He’s the new Ark. But He will hold the world accountable as to what they’ve done with Him. What are you building or resting in? What or who are you building on?

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