Genesis 2011 - Lesson 7A

Chapters 6:22; 7:1-16

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  • As last week ended, we came to the end of God’s instructions to Noah

Gen. 6:22  Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. 
  • What a remarkable testimony to the faith of Noah

    • In the entire story of Noah, there is never a moment when Noah is recorded speaking to God

      • Noah is a man who listens and obeys

        • He doesn’t question, he doesn’t argue, he doesn’t make excuses

    • Noah had probably the most difficult assignment in all the Bible

      • And he said not a word to question the instructions

        • And he obeyed doing all that the Lord commanded him

      • The only thing the Bible ever says about Noah’s response is what we see in v.22 (repeated today in 7:5)

        • Noah did all that the Lord commanded him

        • In fact, the Hebrew in this verse is repetitive to emphasize Noah’s utter obedience

      • Noah is arguably the most obedient man in the Old Testament

        • Other men received much easier instructions

          • Like Jonah, or Gideon

          • And those men questioned God or even rebelled entirely

    • I think Noah amazes me so much because the combination of how great a thing he is given, and how perfectly he obeys

      • Even when facing the most extreme and difficult instructions, remember Noah was called to build a giant boat

        • In a world that hadn’t seen rain

        • And Noah obeyed without hesitation

      • And now add to that fact…there is no evidence that God spoke to Noah again during the intervening 120 years

        • Can you take God’s instructions and obey them without questioning for decades if not millennia?

        • There is an example of faith!

    • Often when people ask how they know when it’s time to leave, or time to move on…I tell them to look to Noah

      • Do the last thing you heard God tell you, until you hear something else

    • We could do worse than to model our own obedience after this man 

      • Especially since obedience isn’t valued today the way the Bible values it

A father had a rough day, and when bed-time finally came for his young daughter, he laid down the law: "We're putting on your p.j.s, brushing your teeth, and reading ONE book. Then it's lights out!"
Her bottom lip began to quiver, and she put her arms went around his neck in a gentle embrace, and she said, "We learned in Sunday school about little boys and girls who don't have mommies and daddies." 
The dad’s attitude immediately began to soften. He thought to himself that even after he’d been so stern and strict with his daughter, she was still grateful to have him as her father. He felt tears beginning to well up in his eyes, and as he began to rethink his commands, she whispered, "Maybe you could go be THEIR dad?"
  • So obedience just isn’t as appreciated much, but Noah models it perfectly

Gen. 7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this  time. 
Gen. 7:2 “You shall take with you of every clean animal  by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 
Gen. 7:3 also of the birds of the sky,  by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 
Gen. 7:4 “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” 
Gen. 7:5 Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him. 
Gen. 7:6 Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. 
Gen. 7:7 Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood. 
Gen. 7:8 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, 
Gen. 7:9 there went into the ark to Noah  by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 
  • The time has come to enter the Ark

    • In Chapter 6 God said He would only strive with man for 120 years

      • Since the flood is now about to begin, we know it’s been 120 years since God made that declaration

    • Now that the Ark is ready, God gives Noah new instructions for entering

      • Earlier, God had instructed Noah to bring in two of every land animal

        • Here God adds new instructions to Noah that he should bring additional numbers (7) of clean animals

      • While the Mosaic Law had yet to be established, God has obviously revealed to Noah what were clean animals

        • So God’s Law, while not yet fully revealed, still existed and Noah was aware of it to some extent

    • Why does God ask Noah to bring these additional clean animals?

      • We can jump ahead in the story of Noah to see the answer

      • After Noah leaves the Ark, we read

Gen. 8:20 Then Noah built  an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 
  • The moment God speaks to Noah in 7:1, we have reached a point on earth where there is none righteous but Noah and his family

    • The line of Seth, the seed of the Messiah, has been reduced to only Noah

    • Methuselah must have died at the moment of v.1 so now the flood can come without jeopardizing the righteous

      • Only Noah is left

    • Consider the patience of God and the wisdom of His work through men

      • 969 years ago, God directed a father to name his son Methuselah, which means when he dies, it will come

        • God was at work planning a flood

      • Then 600 years earlier, God brought Noah into the word with the name rest

        • And 120 year earlier, he directs Noah to begin building

        • 20 years after Noah begins building, he receives his three sons

    • God has set in motion all these events so that on a day He appointed, they would culminate in the flood and the destruction of ungodly men

      • What is God doing in your life even now in preparation for something years from now?

        • The Lord may not do what we want when we want Him to, but His timing is always perfect

        • He is always at work in our lives, and He invites us to participate and join Him in that work

        • He calls us into a relationship with Him and then He brings us an awareness of His work around us and calls us to join Him

      • Obedience is defined as working God’s plan instead of our own

        • But as Jesus said, we must be willing to set down our own work first, before we can pick up His cross and follow Him

Luke 9:59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 
Luke 9:60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and  proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but  first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 
Luke 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
  • Speaking of timing, in v.7 God announces that Noah and his family of seven must enter the Ark because He will bring rain in seven days

    • This is the first time rain will have ever fallen on the Earth

      • Until now, the earth has been watered with a mist, as was described in Genesis 2

      • But God is about to change that pattern in a dramatic way, which we’ll examine more in a minute

    • But first notice that Noah and his family are entering the Ark well before the rain begins

      • Seven days beforehand

      • They haven’t seen anything change yet, nothing that would indicate that the disaster God predicted will actually come about

        • Can we imagine how difficult it might have been for them to enter this giant boat filled with animals while the sun was still shining?

        • What compels someone to enter under those conditions?

        • Faith

    • The world is filled with people, but God has declared only 8 are righteous

      • And we know that righteousness is not earned 

      • It can only be given to us by God on the basis of our faith in the One Who earned it on our behalf, Jesus

        • So Noah and his family are righteous because they believed – had faith in – God’s word

      • So what did they believe in? Did they believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

        • No, they believed in the word they had been given by God

        • They believed in the reality of a coming judgment by flood waters

Heb. 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about  things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 
  • Rain had not yet been seen on the earth, yet Noah and his family entered seven days early

    • Why did God call them in so early?

    • So that there might be a visible proof of their faith

      • If you didn’t believe in the promise of God, you wouldn’t enter that Ark

      • You might consent to help build it

    • But if each member of the family hadn’t personally accepted the truth of God’s word, they would have never entered that boat under clear skies

  • Faith brings a response to God’s word, and the response by Noah and his family was to enter this Ark 

    • It was a harder step than I think we can imagine, and it no doubt brought great ridicule by those in that day

    • And each of those who saw them enter heard Noah’s testimony that the end was near, but there was no longer any hope for them

  • Here we find another parallel and picture for the future judgment

    • In a future day, perhaps a day very soon, those God has declared righteous will be removed from the world for a short time

      • Seven years to be exact

      • And those seven years will be a time of waiting for the world before judgment falls at Christ’s return

    • The entering of Noah and his family into the Ark – the world’s entire righteous population – pictures the rapture of the Church

      • All the world’s righteous are removed in an instant, gathered together with Christ – Who is pictured by the Ark itself

        • And we are hidden from the world for a period of seven years

      • And we are taken early as testimony to the world and so that we can escape the coming judgment

Gen. 7:10 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. 
Gen. 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all  the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. 
Gen. 7:12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. 
Gen. 7:13 On the very same day  Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, 
Gen. 7:14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after  their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind,  all sorts of birds. 
Gen. 7:15 So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. 
Gen. 7:16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. 
  • True to His word, God brings the flood

    • We will study this event from a couple of perspectives

      • First, let’s examine the facts as they relate to the pictures and shadows that God is presenting through the story

      • Next week, we’ll look at the nature of the physical events themselves and how God accomplishes this remarkable moment

    • In v.11, the monumental significance of this event is emphasized with Moses’ careful accounting of the day on the Jewish calendar

      • It was the second month, the seventeenth day of the month

        • Moses seems to be imposing the Jewish civil calendar onto the events of Noah’s day, based on divine inspiration

        • By that same calendar, Jesus resurrected from the grave on the seventeenth day of the second month

      • Again, Jesus is the Ark, the one who saves us from the coming judgment

        • And that saving work was done for us when Jesus was raised from the dead, proving His power over death

    • And Noah and his family were saved the day they entered into the Ark

      • Though the flood water didn’t come for another seven days, Noah and his family were saved on the day they entered

        • It mattered not what day the flood actually arrived, it only mattered that they be in the Ark

        • Having entered, they were immediately saved from any future judgment, whenever it came 

      • And notice that everyone entered on the same day, a particular day

        • There is a specific day appointed for them to enter

        • It’s not enough to stand near the Ark, or lean against it

        • We can’t come up short…you can’t be half in and half out

Heb. 4:1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 
  • The call of the Gospel is an invitation to enter, but the invitation is all or nothing

  • And it comes with the same assurance that Noah’s family received

    • Having entered our Ark, Christ, we have been saved from the coming judgment

      • This is why Paul can so confidently declare:

Rom. 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
  • But there is only one way to enter this protection, through its one and only door

    • We can’t make our own entrance or devise our own plan

      • We can’t hang on the side of the ark or climb aboard later

      • The door is the only way in, and once that door is closed there is no second chance

    • Jesus made the connection between the one door and Himself in John 9-10

John 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that  those who do not see may see, and that  those who see may become blind.”
John 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 
John 9:41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but  since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
John 10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is  a thief and a robber.
John 10:2 “But he who enters by the door is  a shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:3 “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear  his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 10:4 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:5 “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. 
John 10:7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am  the door of the sheep.
John 10:8 “All who came before Me are  thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
John 10:9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
  • There is only one way to access salvation – through Christ

    • There was only one way onto the Ark, to save yourself from the flood – through the door

    • Those who claim there is another way are like thieves and robbers, hoping to jump over the wall

      • These men won’t be recognized by the sheep, who only follow the shepherd

  • Notice that the door of the Ark was closed by God

    • There is no going back now

      • The family isn’t leaving the Ark

      • Nothing can remove them, even their own doubts or second thoughts

  • Our salvation in Christ is equally assured

    • For we are in Him and God has sealed us with His Spirit 

Eph. 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,