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Lessons from Noah

Lessons from Noah

Genesis 6-8

God created man and placed him in a paradise known as the Garden of Eden. However, the beauty and peacefulness of Creation quickly disappeared when sin entered the picture. Although mankind obtained the “knowledge of good and evil”, it was not beneficial to him. People chose wickedness over righteousness. They chose to reject God and live in a state of open rebellion.

As the number of people increased, each successive generation went farther and farther into sin. Little by little, day by day, their desire to seek God became weaker and weaker; their love for God was replaced by a love of the things of this world. Soon a large majority of the population had totally forsaken God. They had gone so far from God that there was no reaching them any longer. They had no thought of God. Their heart was only growing more corrupt with each passing day. Does that sound like today? History repeats; man is the same; God is the same. Therefore, we can learn some important lessons from Noah.

Genesis 6:5-7 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 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."

Satan’s purpose is to drag every man, woman, and child into those great depths of sin so that they will no longer have any thoughts of Holy God, their Creator. Satan’s ultimate goal is to destroy all of God’s creation, but his greatest hatred and worst attacks are designed against all of mankind that is created in the image of the God. Given a free will, man chooses to follow Satan’s lies of self-fulfillment rather than God’s promises of blessing.

However, God always has a plan of redemption, and a remnant who will serve Him faithfully. Into this sin blighted world of immorality, a man was born who would be faithful to God. That man was Noah. We can learn many lessons from Noah. First, in the midst of sin, immorality, and corruption, Noah still placed his faith in God and attempted to serve Him.

Genesis 6:8, "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD."

When Noah was 500 years old, he heard God tell him to build an ark. With patience and accuracy, Noah formed every part of the ark by hand from wood that had to be cut, hewn, and hauled from miles around. Noah built an ark, a ship, that measured 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and approximately the same height as a 6 story building of our day. (1½-football fields long – it wasn’t until the 20th century when we began to build large metal ships that a ship would be built this large again.)

The world knows little about the Bible, but nearly everyone is familiar with Noah’s ark. There are jokes, cartoons, movies, clothing, jewelry, toys and sculptures depicting this historic event. On all continents and among almost all peoples of the world, ancient catastrophic flood accounts exist. Anthropologists have collected roughly 275 early flood stories that are amazingly similar in detail.

Gen 6:22 provides another lesson from Noah—obedience: “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

He began building before the first raindrop landed. It took him 100 years to build it, but when he was done, he had an incredible vessel, with 3 interior levels divided into sections and an 18 inch open space along the top for ventilation. There was a total deck space of 101,000 square feet. The ark was coated with “pitch” for waterproofing. It resembled a barge rather than an ocean liner. The dimensions made it nearly impossible to capsize. There were no navigational systems on board; Noah had no control over the vessel. God was the Captain of this ship; He steered the ark and kept its occupants safe and dry.

While he built this ark, God also instructed Noah to preach repentance to those around him and warn them that the flood was coming. Noah found grace in God’s sight but not one person would heed his warning. They were too busy having their “good times” and living their lives of self-indulgence. They had no time for a “crazy old prophet”. After all, it had never rained before. There had never been a flood before. All things were the same from the time of creation. There was no reason to believe this peculiar, doomsday preacher. He and his family were too weird.

Nevertheless, Noah didn’t quit, because he believed what God told him.

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Noah just kept on working and preaching – being faithful to the call of God upon his life. He withstood all of the taunts of the crowd, as they watched Noah and his family building this monstrosity that would be the salvation of mankind and God’s plan for starting all over again. Noah didn’t verbally condemn the world, but his faith made them feel condemned. So they mocked him and scorned him to justify their own actions and feel better about themselves. They ignored Noah’s warnings and preaching about repentance. Their own choices and actions led to their condemnation.

After the ark was finished, God brought a male and female of every bird, and land creature to the ark. God told Noah to gather food for the animals and to take his wife, sons, and their wives into the ark. When Noah completed all God told him to do, God shut the door of the ark and sealed it.

Then it began to rain for the first time on the earth. The subterranean water sources broke open, causing a vast eruption of water, which in turn produced cataclysmic earthquakes, geophysical upheaval, volcanic outpourings, and the shifting of the earth’s crust.

It rained for 40 days and nights and the flood conditions lasted 150 days.

Gen 8:1-2 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.

After 5 months on the open water, the ark rested on some land. Mountain peaks became visible after 8 months, but Noah was on the ark a total of 12 months and 10 days, waiting for the land to dry and for God to tell him it was time to come out.

Noah’s faith and experience in the flood and ark teach us another important lesson. The Apostle Peter compares the ark to baptism and of life rising out of death.

1 Peter 3:20-22 …God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

From the shelter of the ark, out of the watery grave, a new world arose. The ark becomes a parable of salvation. There was only one door into the ark, and there is only one Gospel. Jesus is the door, our only hope of life. He rescues us from eternal death. Simply knowing there was an ark saved no one in Noah’s day. It is being in the ark, in Christ that saves—we have to get on board. We can know about Jesus, but to be secure in Him, we must know Him as our Lord and Savior. We must be in Him, die to ourselves in baptism, and be born again with a resurrected life in the Holy Spirit, who develops Christ in us.

There are some additional lessons we can learn from Noah.
1, Stay physically fit. When you’re 500 years old someone may ask you to do something really big. 2, Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. 3, Don’t listen to critics, just get on with the job that God told you to do. 4, Build your life on high ground, the Rock of Jesus Christ. 5, Remember the ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals, who boasted “Not even God can sink this ship”. 6, Speed isn’t everything, the snails were on the ark with the cheetahs. 7, Don’t miss the boat. 8, No matter how long the storm lasts, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow coming.

What do you think that Noah would be doing right now, if he were living in our time?

He would be doing just what he did 6000 years ago. He would be doing what you and I had better be doing—telling people about Jesus, who is coming again, and warning them of the coming judgement and destruction. The world will be destroyed again, not by water, but by fire.

Matt 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

After giving His disciples a list of things to come, Jesus warned that the same condition would exist as in the days of Noah, and the ears of those who are wholly sold out to sin will still be deaf to the call of God and preaching of His Word to repent.

Matthew 24:37-39 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Jesus said in Matt. 24 that some things would happen before His return to the world again.

1)For many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and will deceive many.
2)There will be wars and rumors of wars.
3)For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
4)There will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places.
5)You will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
6)Many will turn away from the faith, and betray one another, and hate one another.
7)Many false prophets shall rise, performing miracles, and deceiving many.
8)Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.
9)This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.

It sounds like Jesus could come today! Consider what is happening.

False preachers, false religions, false prophets, and self-proclaimed saviors abound as men try to gain power and influence over the lives of others.

Persecution of Christians is once again on the rise. Christians are killed and imprisoned for their faith and the world turns aside and lets it happen without any protest.

Sin has caused love to disappear as mothers kill their own children. Children kill their own parents and turn them in for trying to discipline them. Families have fallen apart because love has grown cold and we are more concerned about what we want instead of what is right and good for everyone.

Mothers are turning their kids out to fend for themselves as they chase after immorality that makes them feel good no matter what it takes. Fathers are refusing to accept their responsibility for the children they bring in to this world.

People, turning to homosexuality, are now granted foster children and adoptive rights to practice their perverseness with those same children.

In the midst of this sin and corruption, the Holy Spirit is crying out for mankind to turn back to God through Jesus Christ, but His voice is ignored! We need to learn from Noah how to respond.

Jude 17-21 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

2 Pet 3:3-7 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Some have said that they don’t believe God would condemn every sinner to the Lake of Fire forever. Tell that to those who drowned in the flood! Every living soul except for 8 people died and went to Hell. What makes us think that our sin, which is an affront to God’s holiness and justice, won’t send us to Hell, too?

2Peter 3:10-14 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

If Noah were here, he would be shouting – Repent – Get Ready – God’s judgment is coming! Don’t wait – there is no promise of tomorrow! Jesus could return to take away His remnant today - then where will you be?

We don’t have to die in our sin! We don’t have to spend eternity with those drowned victims in the fires of Hell! We can accept God’s invitation into the Ark of Salvation through Jesus Christ! We can enter in because the door is still open. Today is the day of salvation.

All of us have to listen, hear, and obey the message of the Gospel. There was only one door into Noah’s Ark and there is only one door into salvation today. That door is “Jesus Christ”. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can enter except through Him! There is no life that is “good enough”, there is no sacrifice that we can make that can “pay the price”, Jesus is the only way and His blood is the sacrifice that is good enough for our entry.

Jesus is your way into the Ark of Safety. Jesus is your door into the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ will give you a good conscience and a clean heart before God if you believe in His death, burial, resurrection, and follow Him in baptism for the remission of your sin.

If you are already in the Ark of Jesus Christ, then take heed to this warning.

2Pet 3:17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Be part of God’s remnant that will live eternally in Heaven, not part of the crowd that will suffer eternal death. Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior! Do it today while there is yet time to enter in. I invite you to come in repentance, confess Jesus as your Lord, die to your old life in baptism, and receive His new life, the Holy Spirit.