Genesis 4 brings us the story of Cain and Abel, which quickly demonstrates the two divisions mankind fell into after the sin of Adam and Eve: those that follow the Lord, and those that don’t. Discover how the story–and blood–of that first martyr Abel is a theme throughout all the Bible, and is a picture of the blood that was shed for us thousands of years later.
We’re going to continue our study of the Old Testament and today we’re going to briefly study the story of Noah and the worldwide flood.
Did any of you see the movie, Noah, that came out a few years ago? That wasn’t what the Bible tells us what happened. (What, Hollywood got it wrong?)
Here’s what really happened…
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Yes, there was a man named Noah and he descended from the line of Seth. Noah wasn’t sinless, he was a human, but he had a living faith in God and Noah found grace, unmerited favor, from the Lord, in his day. Noah became a “preacher of righteousness” to the world around him, but apparently his preaching fell on deaf ears.
God decided enough was enough and planned an end to life on the planet.
13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 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. 16 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. 17 And behold, I Myself 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. 18 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. 19 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. 20 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. 21 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.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.
So God revealed a plan to actually save the human race through this cataclysmic event, not all of it, but a remnant of it, by means of a rescue boat for the human race and every kind of animal that couldn’t swim.
There was a deadline. And Noah and his family built this huge structure over a long period of time. Imagine the headlines once the press got hold of this. A 450’ long, 75’ wide and 45’ tall ship with three decks. That was a boat. And we all assume that Noah was considered that crazy guy who would give all his resources and efforts to an unnecessary project. But he knew, believed and preached that it was indeed necessary.
Have you ever been in a situation where you knew your world would never be the same, where there’s no going back? Your parents divorced or passed away, a spouse left, you simply left home for a new life, a cancer diagnosis, an unexpected pregnancy. There are life changing events for everyone, but the surprising, unexpected and permanent ones…
Years ago when we had a Christian School here in the church there was a church member named Mindy who volunteered here as an Art teacher. And one sunny Fall day, much like we had last week, Mindy finished her art class with the kids and was headed home to near Gasport where she and her husband and son lived. On the way home Mindy unexplainably crossed the centerline of the road and hit another vehicle head on. She was terribly injured, airlifted to Mercy Hospital and died early the next morning. She had left her Bible open at home from her devotions that morning and her husband shared with me the first verse of her reading that day.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Coincidence? No. God providentially arranges the beginning, middle and end of your days.
A deadline was coming for mankind. They heard the message of the end through Noah but ignored it. And God followed through.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life.
Some of you may be saying, isn’t this just a legend? That isn’t something I ever heard given credence in a science class or a history class. And how could 40 days of rain cover the earth with water? I’m going to point you to Dave Scheer’s creation science seminar coming up in a couple of Saturdays, but here’s a thought.
The earth, apparently was created with an original crust that had large amounts of water in underground seas. When the Bible says that the fountains of the earth were broken up, it means that at the command of God that crust broke apart and moved around. And it also rained for 40 straight days.
Did you know that in over 200 ancient cultures there is a worldwide flood story in their history?
For issues of time, the rest of what happened to Noah, his wife Mrs. Noah, their sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives is this.
They and all the animal types loaded into the Ark. Once they were in, the Bible says that God closed the door. The flood waters rose to the point that every elevation at the time was well covered and it stayed that way for months afterward, effectively wiping out all life on the planet except for this little family. As the waters eventually drained away from newly formed mountains and elevations, the Ark came to rest on land. And after about 14 months total, at the ripe old age of 601, Noah and his family and the animal life exited the Ark and began a new life. We are all related to Shem, Ham or Japheth because of it.
And then God made a new covenant with mankind.
11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Does the New Testament make any references to Noah and the flood? Here’s two:
26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
2 Peter 2:4-5
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.
Noah was the very first demonstration of God’s right and power to sovereignly judge mankind as a whole, with no permission needed or granted by man. Can He do that?
And so the first of some very important applications of the texts…
Last week Pastor Mark rightly talked about the division of mankind into two camps. There are those who follow God and those who don’t. Noah’s story makes an even greater statement. The world had grown corrupt because of the intermixing of the children of Seth and the children of Cain. Noah was called to reverse that. Noah and his family were to separate themselves from the world while still preaching to it.
We are called to do the same.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18
17 Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Yes, we are called to touch the world with His love by loving and serving and speaking and influencing. Yet, we are also called to draw a line.
The word “separate” in the Scriptures means to “mark off by a boundary.” There has to be a line between you and the way the world thinks, the way the world acts and the way the world carries on. Noah was a living example of that to us. And the flood was the foreshadowing of the judgment to come. And the Ark, the foreshadowing of a living Way through the judgment to come, Jesus Christ. Only by Him and faith in Him, can we even hope to make it.