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The Configuration of the Ark

The Configuration of the Ark

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0605

08.02.17                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Configuration of the Ark

 

We have spent several weeks looking at the condition of the earth prior to the Great Flood.  God sent the Flood because the wickedness on the earth was great.  There was great violence and mankind had corrupted itself beyond repair.  God was going to start the world anew with godly Noah and his family.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but this writer believes that the Deluge actually occurred and that it was universal—it covered the entire world.  Our text today reveals the words of God to Noah, the instructions God gave to Noah regarding the building of the ark. God had definite plans for the construction of the ark. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.  And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.  You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.  And behold, I, even I am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.  But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.  And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.  Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.  And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:14-21).

Perhaps you have a vision of the ark as a rounded ship, with giraffes and other animals sticking their heads out of it.  Actually, the word ‘ark’ means a box or chest; just as the Ark of the Covenant was a small chest.  The ark was not a ship for sailing, but a vessel for floating: flat-bottomed, square-sided, having no mast, sails or rudder.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The ark was to have rooms or “nests” in it; places for the animals to be kept.  The material was to be gopher wood, a still yet unknown wood; perhaps cypress or cedar which are found in the area of Mt Ararat.  The pitch is also an unknown substance, but it provided a protective covering.  This covering is a picture of the atonement provided by the Lord Jesus. (Lev. 17:11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.                                                       

What about the size of the ark?  First, we need to understand the measure of a cubit.  It is understood to be about 18 inches.  Thus, translating to feet, the ark would be 450’ long, 75’ wide, and 45’ high.  This 6:1 ratio of length to width is the most stable in rough water.  For perspective, the ark was as long as 1.5 football fields.  It contained 1.5 million cubic feet, the volume of 522 railroad cars.  Its size is almost exactly the size of the ‘Great Eastern’ which laid the first North Atlantic cable.

There is much more to discuss, but let us end with the last verse of our text: Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did (22).  How wonderful that Noah obeyed God.  There was much that Noah did not understand, but he took God at His word, and followed the Lord’s plan.  It is a good thing he did, or none of us would be here today!

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The End to Flourishing Wickedness

The End to Flourishing Wickedness

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0604

07.26.17                                                                                                                                                                                                 The End to Flourishing Wickedness

 

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.  And God said unto Noah, ‘The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’ (11-13)

We are now at the end of our discussion of the wickedness that prevailed in the world prior to the Great Flood.  We are on the cusp of the interaction between God and Noah.  Dear reader, it is very important that we understand that what we are studying in God’s Word is truth.  It is simple truth as revealed to us by the God of the universe, who cares for his Creation.

Previously, we were presented with the beginning of great wickedness in the world.  “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5).  If there were a nightly news in that day, it would contain no good news.  One of the local channels from the Twin Cities tells us that while they want to give us the news of the day (usually bad), they also want to help us smile.  Prior to the flood, according to the text, there would be nothing to smile about.

This was all prompted by the fact that the godly on the earth chose to marry off their children to the ungodly.  There was no separation, and the entire world became corrupt.  The good apples don’t help the rotten one, but the rotten one spoils the rest.

How did God react to this dire situation?  He showed His displeasure, He promised judgment, and He extended grace to the one man yet in the world who had not compromised his family.  “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) Noah was a godly man who walked with God and who led his family aright.  He had three sons, and apparently they married godly young women.

Today our focus is on the end of this flourishing wickedness as described in our opening text.  I draw your attention to it.

It describes clearly the condition on the earth (11).  The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  Corruption and violence; not a pretty picture.  The world has contained these things since the early days of Cain and Lamach, but in Noah’s day it was the norm.  The terrorism of our day is only a glimmer of what the world was facing then.

Next, it describes God’s understanding of the situation. (12)  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. God clearly saw and understood this condition of mankind.  Previously we were told that this grieved God; it pained Him to see what His Creation had done.

Finally, we see God’s communication to Noah. (13) And God said unto Noah, ‘The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’

Our Creator is a patient God.  He had given man some 2500 years to make his choice.  He had sent warnings, but now man’s time is about up.  There will be 120 more years available for man to repent and turn to God.  This is the amount of time Noah was given to construct the ark.

Next time, we plan to begin looking at the instructions God gave to Noah.  They are clear and interesting, for God is a great Designer.  Is He your God?

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The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

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0603

07.19.17

The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (9)  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  (10)  And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 

We are considering the world as it was prior to Noah’s Flood.  We are not talking about fairy tales or allegories.  This is real-time history.  It was a time of great wickedness.

The wickedness commenced, or began, when the godly married the ungodly; when those who knew the LORD chose to intermarry with those who did not (1-4).  There was a loss of purity on the part of humanity, and a loss of patience on the part of the LORD.

The character of this wickedness is clearly stated— And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (5)  In the face of all of God’s goodness, mankind had rejected his Creator.

The consequences of this wickedness are two-fold: God showed his displeasure with the situation, and He promised disaster to the world (6, 7).

Today we wish to focus on the contrast to this wickedness.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (8) “This brings us to the point in history where there is only one man left in the godly line, Noah, who had experienced salvation.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Notice that the basis of Noah’s salvation is grace.  This is the first mention of ‘grace’ in the Bible.  Salvation is always by grace.  Grace comes from the LORD.  Grace isn’t God’s reward for a good life; it is God’s response to saving faith.  We must exercise saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, His work on the cross, and His resurrection.  An enlightened mind and a stirred heart are not enough—there must be saving faith.

Note that the product of salvation is righteousness.  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, (9a).  This is also the first time the word ‘just’ or ‘righteous’ is used in the Bible.  This righteousness was a gift from God (6:8) on the basis of Noah’s faith.   By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb 11:7).   He heard the message from his father Lamech, who heard it from his father Methuselah, and he heard it from Enoch…and back seven generations to Adam!

What are the fruits of salvation?  Our text mentions three.  First, there is good character.  ‘Noah was perfect in his generations.’  (9b) This does not suggest perfection.  It suggests wholeness, completeness, integrity, in the genealogical line.

The second fruit is consistency.  And Noah walked with God.  Only he and Enoch were said to have ‘walked with God.’  We are told in the NT that this involves walking in light (Eph 5:8), in love (Eph 5:2), in the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25) and with care (Eph 5:15).

The third fruit of salvation mentioned in our text is children who believe—Shem, Ham, and Japheth (10).  Did Noah have other children who did not believe?  We don’t know.  Did his three sons not have any sons of their own?  Yes, after the Flood.  Did the three sons help Noah with the work of building the ark?  We are not told, but very likely they did.

Next week we will complete this section of God’s Word as we consider the consummation, or the end, of this wickedness.

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The Consequences of Flourishing Wickedness

The Consequences of Flourishing Wickedness

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0602

07.12.17

The Consequence of Flourishing Wickedness

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  (7)  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. (Gen 6:6, 7)

We are considering from Scripture the days preceding the Great Flood.  It is interesting and important to do so because Jesus told us that the days before He returns will mirror these pre-flood days.

These days can be characterized as flourishing wickedness.  We saw the beginning of this wickedness as the godly began to intermarry with the ungodly (Gen 6:1-4).  This led to the startling condition as described by God Himself: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5).

This leads to the consequences of flourishing wickedness as described in our text.  This consists first in divine displeasure (6).  To say that God is disappointed would be quite the understatement. It’s as though He took a deep breath as in extreme pain, shock or sorrow.  The word ‘repent,’ or better ‘relent,’ is an anthropomorphic expression for the pain of the Divine at seeing sin.  God cannot change His mind, but it appears as though He did.

He was also grieved.  He was pierced at the heart.  “Sin sorrowed God who is holy and without blemish.” He experienced real emotional pain at what man had become. His sorrow, however, did not make man any less guilty.  It did not lesson the necessity for God to judge sin. A parent may be sad because a child disobeyed, but still must discipline the child.

The second consequence is divine disaster (7).  The destruction of the earth will be intensive (destroy, eradicate).  It will also be extensive (complete eradication).  The Flood will be universal, world-wide, destroying all flesh.

But we also have a great contrast to the flourishing wickedness (8).  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  O the marvelous grace of God!

This is where we end today; we will plan to focus on this wonderful verse next week. We will move from man’s iniquity to God’s action.  We will see the Lord work with Noah in instructing him how to build the ark. This is an amazing act of grace in light of what we read in verse 5.

Again, ‘the last days’ are said to be ‘as the days of Noah,’ and so they seem to be.  A daily glance at the newspaper or watching/listening to the world news speaks of wars, rumors of wars, terrorist attacks, cyber-terrorism, millions of people displaced, and on and on it goes.

We need to be ready for Christ’s imminent return!  We each need to repent of our wickedness, and trust the Father through the Son.  Let us give praise to our Triune God for holiness, justice and grace.

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The Character of Flourishing Wickedness

The Character of Flourishing Wickedness

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0601

07.05.17

‘The Character of Flourishing Wickedness’

 

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

What a pointed and clear verse!

Last week we considered Gen 6:1-4, the beginning of flourishing wickedness.  It began very early in human history as the godly intermarried with the ungodly, and their children did not follow the Lord.

Today we will consider the character of this wickedness which enveloped the world.

We notice first that it was intense—it was ‘great in the earth.’  This contrasts with how God viewed his Creation less than 2000 years prior, And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good (1:31a).

The wickedness in the world was also inward: —every imagination of the thoughts of his heart. 

Mankind had no excuse for this situation.  God had given man much light.  Allow me to elaborate.  Adam was alive for more than half of this span of time.  Nature continued to display God’s power and glory.  There was a promise given to Eve of a Redeemer.  God had instituted expiatory sacrificeCain was given a mark for all to see. The LORD had instituted the Sabbath, so that every week man could recall the goodness of the LORD.  Methuselah’s name meant, ‘when he dies, it will come,’ referring to the Flood (he died the year the Flood came). Enoch gave warning.  Enoch was translated and did not see death.  Noah preached.  The Holy Spirit ministered in the hearts of men and women. God gave man 100 years to repent while Noah and his sons built the ark.  Yet, despite all this marvelous grace, GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The wickedness was intense, it was inward, and it was incessant.  Only evil—the conduct of man was exclusively evil; bold and public.  Continually evil—mankind was proud and confident in his accomplishments and demonic powers.  He totally ignored the preaching of Noah and continued life as normal, “eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage until the flood came…” as Jesus described it.

It is interesting that there is no hint of government on the earth.  This was not instituted until after the Deluge.

Next week, we will begin to look at the account of the Flood.  Please be reminded that this is not a fairy tale.  It happened just as God promised.  One day soon, just as God promised, Jesus Christ is going to return.  His return will bring great joy to those who know Him, and tremendous terror to those who do not know Him.

Where do you stand?  What have you done with Jesus?

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The Beginning of Flourishing Wickedness

The Beginning of Flourishing Wickedness

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0600

06.28.17

‘The Beginning of Flourishing Wickedness’

 

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, (2) that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.  (3)  And the LORD said, ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be 120 years.’  (4)  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  (Genesis 6:1-4)

We are calling Genesis 5, 6 ‘the flow of history.’ Previously, in chapter 5, we saw the Messianic genealogy through the line of Shem. Today, we are going to consider the first four verses of chapter 6 as it explains the reason for the coming world-wide Flood.  The reason is very sad and simple—the flourishing of wickedness.

We are told that ‘men began to multiply’ on the earth.  This is just shy of 1700 years since the Creation.  There could by this time be several billion people on the earth.  Long life spans and few genetic mutations would lead to many people.

There was a loss of purity in the world (1, 2). We are told that ‘the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives.’  This refers to believers marrying unbelievers.  The godly line of Seth intermarried with the line of Cain. The ‘sons of God’ were those who followed the Lord, who approached Him with correct offerings, who called upon Him by His proper name, and who walked with God in their daily lives.  The ‘sons/daughters of men’ where those who did none of these things.  They were lost, fallen.

The result of these unions was that ‘giants’ were born.  Perhaps Goliath and his kin come to mind, but the word translated ‘giants’ can mean ‘those who have fallen.’  Thus, it refers not to stature, but to character.  The children of those born to mixed parents (saved and lost) were themselves lost; they were fallen.  We are further told (4) that these children were ‘mighty men…men of renown.’  This may mean that because of the mixture of godly seed with the ungodly, they were more refined than if they had been the products of ungodly parents only.

There was also a loss of patience on the part of the LORD (3).  ‘My spirit shall not always strive.’  To ‘strive’ is ‘to rule or judge.’  If mankind chooses to avoid the LORD, He will release His restraining influence on wickedness.  God strives with man up to a certain point, but there is a point beyond which He will not go.  He will not touch the free agency of His rational creatures.  After giving ample warning, instruction and invitation, He will withdraw His Spirit from the unbelieving and impenitent and let them alone.

God gives man a time limit—120 years.  This is respite of grace to humanity.  This is made known to Noah in his 480th year, so that he is given those 120 years to build the ark and give out warning.

Jesus tells us that the days before His second coming will be like the days of Noah.  God sent a judgment of water in the days of Noah.  Soon, there will be a judgment by fire.  Like Noah of old, I call upon you to forsake your wicked ways, and turn to the Lord for mercy.  His Son has paid your debt on the cross.  You need only turn from your sin, and look to the Lamb of God.  The Father is anxious for this to happen, for He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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Enoch Walked with God

Enoch Walked with God

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0599

06.21.17

Enoch Walked with God

 

We are considering Genesis 5, the first genealogy in the Bible.  Previously, we looked at some interesting facts.  Now we are focusing on prophecies that are uttered.  The last of these concerns Lamech, the father of Noah (28-31).  He prophesied that his son Noah (which means “rest”) would give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed (29). Noah was the one who preserved life while the earth was cleansed by the Flood,  thus keeping the prophecy of his father and the promise of Genesis 3:15 alive to be finally fulfilled in Christ.

As we close our look at this interesting chapter, we want to focus our attention on two men, Enoch and Noah.  And Enoch lived 65 years, and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah 300 years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were 365 years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (21-24)

Enoch walked with God.  He is one of only two of whom this is said; Noah being the other.          It is obviously implied that some or many did not walk with God.  We are also told that he pleased God (Heb 11:5).  The only other person of whom this is said is the Lord Jesus.

He walked with God.  This is a striking statement!  What does it mean to walk with God?  From a study of the Bible we conclude that it speaks of a relationship, a surrendered will, close communion, obedience, friendship, and spending time in God’s Word (Ps 1:2).

Enoch began to walk with God after he begot Methuselah.  (Sometimes the birth of a child changes one’s life; it might encourage godliness).  He begat this son when he was 65 years old, and he walked with God the rest of his life, 300 more years. Perhaps the Lord told Enoch that the flood would come when Methuselah died and this gripped his heart.  Imagine how difficult it would be to walk with God during those evil days.  He did not keep his faith private but was a prophet for the Lord.

He was not, for God took him.  He went to heaven without dying (Heb 11:5).  Adam had died, and Noah had not yet been born, but Seth was still alive.  Elijah is the only other person who never died.  These men picture the Rapture of the saints, which could occur at any moment.

As noted, he prophesied the second coming of Christ (Jude 14-15).  He also prophesied the coming flood as indicated by the name he gave to his son: ‘When he dies, it shall come.’  Methuselah died the year that the Flood came!

Finally, we have Noah (28, 29).  And Lamech lived 182 years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, this same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.  His name means “rest.”   Eventually he gave the world rest when his family was saved from the world-wide Flood.  He gave hope to a doomed race.

Peter called him a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5).  He preached and warned of the coming Deluge.  He built the ark and warned others for 120 years.  Sadly, his only converts were his wife, their three sons and their wives.   His own brothers and sisters did not believe.  It seems likely that he had other children who did not believe.  But God did not judge him a failure.  Think about it, in your lifetime, have you impacted seven other people for the Lord?

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Voices from Long Ago

Voices from Long Ago

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0598

06.14.17

‘Voices from Long Ago’

 

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.  And Adam lived 130 years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: and the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were 800 years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were 930 years: and he died. (Gen 5:1-5)

We continue to consider the first of the genealogies in the Bible, and the interesting and important things found therein.

The average life span in the genealogy (excluding Enoch) was 912 years.   Every indication is that these years are to be taken literally, with no gaps. If the years meant months (as some have suggested) several in the list would have become fathers at five years of age!  In the years after the flood the life spans listed gradually decreased to 110 years. Very large fossils show animals lived longer prior to the flood: 50-foot-long crocodiles, 10-foot turtles, 2-foot dragon flies, huge dinosaurs.  As noted, the NT accepts this genealogy (Jude 14; Luke 3; Heb 11)

Why did people live so long?  Humanity was genetically purer than it is today.  The waters above the firmament kept out harmful cosmic rays. God wanted the earth to be filled, so He gave mankind time to do so.

What caused the decline in life span? Reasons include the removal of the water canopy over the earth at the flood, the gradual increase in genetic mutations, and the fact that God chose to change man’s life span for His own purposes.

There were warnings from some of the men in this list.  Enoch gave a warning that was not recorded until late in the NT era.  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all…’ (Jude 14-15).  Enoch may have been referring to the Flood, but his words span ahead to the judgment to come when Christ returns.

Noah is referred to by Peter as a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5).  He spent time during the 100 years it took him to build the ark in warning others of the coming judgment of the Great Flood.

There are some people in the list that deserve special attention.  The first is Seth (6-8).  His name means ‘appointed one.’  He was appointed to take the place of Abel in the line of promise.

Next, we have Mahalaleel (12-17).  His name means “God be praised.”   What an interesting and beautiful name.  His name encouraged people to praise God in a time of darkness.

We have all heard of Methuselah (25-27).  His name means “When he dies, [it] judgment [shall be sent].”  His father must have gotten some revelation from the Lord and thus named his son.    He is the oldest man on record, and is probably the oldest man that ever lived, 969 years.    He died the year of the flood, fulfilling the promise of his name!  His long life shows God’s great patience with mankind.  (I Peter 3:20) …the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah during the construction of the ark.  God is still patient today, waiting for many to come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus.

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The Configuration of the Ark

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The End to Flourishing Wickedness

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The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

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The Consequences of Flourishing Wickedness

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The Character of Flourishing Wickedness

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The Beginning of Flourishing Wickedness

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Enoch Walked with God

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Voices from Long Ago

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