Preparations for Deliverance

Genesis 6:11-22

 SS Lesson for 11/04/2018

 

Devotional Scripture: Ps 14:1-6

Introduction

Overview and Key Verse of the Lesson

The lesson reviews how God established a covenant with Noah for redemption even as mankind persisted in sin by providing Preparations for Deliverance. The study's aim is to remember that God loves us so much that He has prepared a way for our deliverance from sin. The study's application is to make sure that we have taken refuge in His covenant.

                                                                    (Adapted from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary)

 

Key Verse: Gen  6:17-18

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.

 

Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

God judged the wicked with a severe and catastrophic judgment in order to start life over again with a worshipful covenant. In the midst of the Flood, in which the sovereign Lord of Creation destroyed the world Noah, God’s servant and a recipient of grace, sailed through to the “new creation” and worshiped God.

Why would God bring such a Flood? There are several reasons: (1) God is sovereign over all creation and frequently uses nature to judge mankind. (2) The Flood was the most effective way of purging the world. It would wash it clean so that not a trace of the wicked could be found. The dove would not find a place “to set its feet” (8:6-9). (3) The Flood was used by God to start a “new creation.” The first Creation with Adam is paralleled here by the second with Noah. Much as the dry land appeared from the receding waters (1:9), so here the waters abated until the ark came to rest on Ararat (8:4). When Noah was finished with the ark God commissioned him to be fruitful and multiply (9:1) and to have dominion over the earth (9:2), just as He had told Adam (1:26, 28). Noah planted a garden (9:20), whereas God planted a garden for Adam and Eve (2:8). But sin had tarnished the race. Adam and Noah are contrasted: whereas Adam’s nakedness was a sign of righteousness (2:25), Noah’s was one of degradation (9:21) and he ended up cursing his grandson Canaan (9:25-27).

The motifs in 6:9-8:22 are significant. First, God is shown to be the Judge of the whole earth. In a word He made distinctions between the righteous and the unrighteous, the clean and the unclean. What was clean was for God.

A second motif is that God made provision for the recipients of His grace. Thus the warning is that those who claim to be grace-receivers should walk with God in righteousness, being separate from sinners.

A third motif had significance for Israel. As God judged the world in Noah’s day and brought Noah through the Flood, so He judged the wicked Egyptians and brought Israel through the waters of the Red Sea to worship and serve Him. Instructions for that worship were distinctly spelled out in Leviticus. It is not surprising that many terms used here (Gen. 6:9-8:22) also appear in Leviticus.

It was expedient that that generation of sinners die so that all others might be warned of the coming wrath of God. However, Noah escaped through the judgment to a new age; catastrophe does not interrupt God’s program.

The Flood narrative points up God’s power and freedom over His creation. The Flood reveals God’s deadly anger over sin. The Flood shows that God’s gracious redemption is meaningful in light of judgment, and that His grace is not to be taken lightly. The cause of God’s judgment is stressed—the monstrous acts of sin performed in their habitual courses. In this the Genesis Flood is distinct from pagan accounts (e.g., Atrah̑asis and Gilgamesh); the Babylonian Gilgamesh account explained that the gods brought the Flood because of noise humans made.

So basically chapters 6-9 answer the question, What is the end of man? Can he get away with pursuing life immorally and enjoying the pleasures of this world with reckless abandon? Is this life final or preparatory? God’s judgment makes the answer clear. But the expense seems so great. This judgment seems harsh. No word about the terror of the lost is mentioned, though Noah must have felt it. The Flood shows the extent to which God will go to help bring about holiness and rest on the earth. It is here that the godly find encouragement—in God’s plan for good to triumph ultimately over evil. Only one other event shows that holiness among people is the object for which God will sacrifice everything else—the crucifixion of His Son.

The narrative divides into three sections: the commission to Noah to build the ark and preserve life (6:9-7:5), the destruction of all flesh outside the ark by water (7:6-24), and the sacrificial worship by Noah after the Flood (chap. 8).

6:9-13. In contrast with the reason for the Flood in the Babylonian account (the caprice of the gods because of man’s noise), the biblical record presents the Flood as a distinctly moral judgment. The human race had become so corrupt (vv. 11-12) and full of violence (vv. 11, 13) that God’s wrath would destroy all flesh, except Noah, who walked with God (v. 9), and his family (v. 18).

6:14-18. The deliverance was to be by means of an ark, a flat-bottomed rectangular vessel 450’ long, 75’ wide, and 45’ high, with a displacement of some 43,300 tons (Merrill F. Unger, Archaeology and the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, pp. 59-60) and three decks. (The sketch is one artist’s concept of how the ark may have looked.) The ship in the Babylonian tradition was of cubical construction and was five times as big as Noah’s ark. Genesis alone preserves the description of a seaworthy vessel.

6:19-7:5. Into this ark Noah was to take all kinds of animals to preserve life on earth. A distinction was made very early between clean and unclean animals. To preserve life Noah had to take on board two of every kind of animal, but for food and for sacrificing he had to bring seven pairs of each kind of clean animal (7:2, marg.). The distinction between clean and unclean animals became a major point in the Levitical order (Lev. 11:2-23).

 

Commentary from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

When I was a child, one of my favorite songs in Sunday school had to do with Noah and the ark. Starting with God's message to Noah, it basically outlined the entire story of the Great Flood. It had a catchy little chorus that reminded us to give glory to God in our lives. What I liked about this song was how easy the story was to remember. When that little tune got stuck in my head, I had no problem recalling it. I could just sing the story if I wanted to remember. As an adult, I have caught on to a few nuances that I did not understand as a child. What strikes me now about Noah's history is the precise nature of the task Noah was asked to undertake. I think we tend to overlook that. Noah's task was not simple at all. Noah was given detailed instructions on everything from the type of wood to use for the ark (Gen. 6:14), its dimensions, and even how to waterproof it. God told Noah how many doors to build and how many decks to make. Then He told Noah exactly how many of the animals should go into it (6:19-20; 7:2-3). Nothing was left unclear in the directions. We see this happening often with God. When He chooses to deliver His children from something, He usually gives specific instructions. It happened in Exodus 12 when the Israelites left Egypt, and again when they were given victory over Jericho (Josh. 6:1-5). We begin to see a pattern of clear direction given by God just before He provides deliverance for His children. What is our part in all this? We are expected to obey. In every instance I have mentioned, obedience brought about blessing. There have also been instances when someone did not pay attention to God's instructions (cf. Exod. 16:19-20; Num. 20:8-12). When that happened, those individuals suffered severe consequences. What if Mary had not consented to bear our Savior or Paul had not chosen to listen when God told him to spread the gospel? God will raise up individuals whose hearts are turned toward Him. Following Him requires complete obedience. There is to be nothing halfhearted about it. Noah could have chosen to build the ark with any dimensions, yet he chose to follow God's instructions down to the last detail. He spent years of preparation paying attention to every minor detail. During those years, he no doubt was mocked; yet he was diligent in his obedience. Because of this, his family alone received God's blessing of salvation. We need to be intentional about our obedience. When God gives us clear directions, we should not dispute them. Even when they do not make sense, we need to be obedient to the last detail. God may not always give us precise instructions, but we need to follow those He does give. Remember that they may be a preparation for something to come. If you disobey, you may not experience His full blessing and deliverance in the situation. Is there an area where God is giving you instruction? If there is, God may be asking you to prepare for something. Choose to obey His instruction and receive the blessing He will bring.

 

Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

God’s Decision to Destroy the Earth (Gen 6:11-13)

 

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

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.

 

Destruction because of corruption and violence (11-12)

Corruption through idolatry (Deut 4:15-16)

15 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,  16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,

Corruption that continually becomes more wicked (Hos 9:9)

9 They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.

Corruption that never responds to correction (Jer 7:27-29)

27 "When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, 'This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. 29 Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.

Corruption of impurity (Ezek 24:13)

13 "'Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.

Corruption of deeds (Ps 14:1-3)

1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.  2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Corruption of authorities (Ps 94:20)

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you —  one that brings on misery by its decrees?

Corruption by false doctrine (1 Tim 6:3-5)

3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,  4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

 

Judgment to destroy all flesh (13)

Because no flesh can be justified (Rom 3:20)

20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Because the flesh is weak (Rom 6:19)

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

Because in the flesh, sinful passions are aroused (Rom 7:5)

5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.

Because while in the flesh, my mind is on things of the flesh (Rom 8:5)

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Because the flesh craves things out of the sinful nature (Eph 2:3)

3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

Because the flesh enslaves through all kinds of worldly passions and pleasures (Titus 3:3)

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.

God’s Instructions for Deliverance (Gen 6:14-16)

 

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.

 

Deliverance through an Ark of refuge (14-15)

Refuge for the oppressed and those in trouble (Ps 9:9)

9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Refuge because God is a fortress and shield (Ps 18:2)

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Refuge because God is good (Ps 34:8)

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Refuge because God is all powerful (Ps 46:1)

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Refuge for the righteous (Prov 10:29)

29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

Refuge through God’s word (Prov 30:5)

5 "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Refuge to those who trust in God (Nah 1:7)

7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

 

Deliverance through an Ark with enough room (16)

Room because there are many places available (John 14:2)

2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

Room because for everything that overcomes (Rev 3:12)

12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Room because God wants His creation to be with Him (John 17:24)

24 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Room for the blessing (2 Kings 3:16-17)

16 and he said, "This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.

 

God’s Covenant with Noah (Gen 6:17-22)

 

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.

 

Covenant of the elect (17-18)

For the comfort of the elect (2 Cor 1:6-7)

6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

For the benefit of the elect (2 Cor 4:13-15)

13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,  14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

For the Suffering of the elect (Col 1:24)

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

For the deliverance of the elect (Matt 24:24)

24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible.

 

Covenant of the animals (19-20)

Because God is good to all He created (Ps 145:9)

9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Because God knows their needs (Matt 6:26)

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Because God can provide better than man (Matt 6:28-29)

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Because God they look to God to satisfy them (Ps 104:25-29)

25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number —  living things both large and small. 26 There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. 27 These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.

 

Covenant of provisions (21-22)

Provision of food (2 Cor 9:10)

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

Provision of needs (Phil 4:19)

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Provision of wants (Ps 23:1)

23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

Provision of grace (2 Cor 9:8)

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

 

Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Concluding Thoughts from Bob Deffinbaugh

The Preservation of Man and Animals (7:6-8:19)

The ark, now complete, having been constructed over many years according to the divine design, is entered at God’s command (7:1) by both man and animals. Before the flood began, God shut the door. I would imagine that had God not done so, Noah would have opened it to those who later wanted in, but the day of salvation must come to an end.

The source of water seems supernatural. It may well be that it had never rained before (cf. 2:6). Now the rain came in torrents. In addition the ‘fountains of the deep’ (7:11) were opened. Water, both from above and below, came forth for forty days (7:12). The waters prevailed on the earth for a total of 150 days (7:24), and then subsided over a period of months. Five months after the flood commenced the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (8:4; cf. 7:11). It took considerable time for the waters to recede and for the ground to be dry enough to walk on. It was a little more than a year that Noah and his family spent on the ark. At the command of the Lord they gladly (I am certain) disembarked.

The Promise (8:20-22)

Noah’s first act upon setting foot on the earth was to offer sacrifices to God. It was a further evidence of his faith, and surely an expression of his gratitude for the salvation that God had provided.

In response to the sacrifice of Noah, God made a solemn promise. I want you to understand, however, that this was a commitment made within the Godhead—it is a promise God resolved to Himself. The expression of this determination is given to Noah in chapter 9. This is what God purposed within Himself:

And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:21-22).

God’s resolve is that He will never again curse the ground or destroy every living thing as He has just done. Why would God make such a commitment? Surely He was not sorry for what He had done. Sin had to be judged, did it not?

The problem with the flood was that its effect was only temporary. The problem was not with creation, but with sin. The problem was not with men, but with man. To erase the slate and start over is inadequate, for what is needed is a new man for creation. This is what creation eagerly awaits.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:20-21).

God has therefore determined to deal differently with sin in the future. While sin has suffered a temporary setback at the flood, it will be dealt a fatal blow at the coming of Messiah. It is at this time that men will become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). After men are dealt with, a new heaven and a new earth will be provided as well (2 Peter 3:13).

God’s promise of ultimate and final salvation is renewed in response to Noah’s expression of faith through a sacrificial offering. Until that day when this salvation is accomplished, God assures man that measures like the flood will not occur again.

The Meaning of the Flood for Men of All Ages

First of all, the flood is a reminder to us of the matchless grace of God. While unbelievers found judgment, Noah found grace (Genesis 6:8).

To a certain extent, all of the people of that day experienced the grace of God. It was not until 120 years after the revelation of a coming judgment that it actually came upon men. That 120 year period was an age of grace in which the gospel was proclaimed.

The difference between Noah and those who perished was their response to God’s grace. Those who perished interpreted God’s grace as divine indifference. They concluded that God neither cared nor troubled Himself at the occasion of men’s sin.

Noah, on the other hand, recognized grace for what it really is—an opportunity to enter into an intimate relationship with God, and at the same time, to avoid divine displeasure and judgment. Noah’s years were spent in walking with God, building the ark, and proclaiming God’s Word.

The grace of God is clearly evidenced by this promise: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

Here is the irony of our day. As in the days of Noah, the perishing unbeliever looks at life as it is and asks “How could God be there at all and not do anything to right things—to set things in order?” He concludes that God is either dead, apathetic, or incapable of dealing with the world as it is, disregarding the warning of 2 Peter 3:8,9:

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promises, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8,9).

As Noah, the believer recognizes that life as it is a reflection of the sovereign control of a gracious God over all of life:

For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16-17).

The continuation of all things as they have been—day and night, summer and winter, springtime and harvest—causes the Christian to bow the knee to God in praise and submission to His providential care. The non-Christian, however, has twisted this promise of God’s providential care into an excuse for sin:

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation’ (2 Peter 3:3-4).

They fail to recognize that men are given this time to repent and to be reconciled to God. But just as the time of grace finally expired in Noah’s day, so it will for men today:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).

Our Lord taught that the days preceding the flood would be just like those preceding His final appearance to judge the earth:

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:37-39).

These days were not described in terms of debauchery or decadence, but of normality—business as usual. Men in the last days will be doing what they always have. There is nothing wrong with eating and drinking, giving in marriage, or buying and selling. What is wrong is doing so without God, and supposing that we may sin as we please without paying its penalty. The age of grace will end. Let us respond rightly to God’s grace.

Second, we are instructed in the matter of the wrath of God. We learn from the flood that while God’s wrath is slow, it is also certain. Judgment must eventually be meted out to those who reject God’s grace.

Be very clear that while wrath and judgment are certain, they do not delight the heart of God. Nowhere in this passage is there one scene of suffering and anguish described in detail. Even Noah’s eyes were kept from beholding the torment suffered by those who died in the flood. The ark had no portholes, nor picture windows to look out on the destruction God wrought. The only opening was that at the top of the ark to allow light to shine in.

God does not delight in judgment, nor does He needlessly dwell upon it, but it is a certainty for those who resist His grace. Do not deceive yourself, my friend, there is a time when the offer of salvation will be withdrawn.

Sometime ago I visited a women who was dying of cancer. I was unable to share the gospel with her on my first visit because she had to be taken to therapy. When I knocked at the door on my second visit, her husband came and opened it far enough for me to see the woman, obviously failing in her sickness. When he asked her if she wanted to talk to me, she shook her head no. I never saw her again before her death.

Many people seem to think that they will wait until one foot is in the grave and the other is on a banana peel to be saved. It usually doesn’t happen that way. God still closes the door of salvation. When we have lived our lives in sin and rebellion against God, we most often will not be given the luxury of making a deathbed decision. It sometimes happens, I grant, but seldom.

Then, too, God’s judgment is often allowing things to take their own course. The account of the flood seems almost like creation reverted to the conditions of the second day of creation (cf. Genesis 1:6-7).

In the book of Colossians we are told that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Colossians 1:16-17). Men who reject God live as though God did not exist at all. In the Great Tribulation, God is going to give men seven years to discover what living without God is like. God’s restraining and controlling hand will be withdrawn and chaos will reign. God’s judgment is often giving men both what they want and what they deserve—the natural consequences of their deeds.

Finally, let us consider the subject of the salvation of God. In the case of Noah we must observe that God’s way of salvation was restrictive. God provided only one way of salvation (an ark) and only one door. Men could not be saved any way they wished, but only God’s way. Such is the salvation which God offers men today.

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me’ (John 14:6).

The salvation of the ark was also instructive. It provides us with a picture of the salvation that was accomplished in Christ. It was for those in Moses’ day a type of Christ. The difference between those who were saved and those who perished in the flood was the difference between being in the ark and being outside it.

Those who were saved and those who died all went through the flood. But those who survived were those in the ark which sheltered them from the effects of God’s divine displeasure on sin. Those outside the ark, as well as those within, knew the ark existed and were informed that God had warned of a judgment to come. Some chose to ignore these facts, while Noah acted upon them.

So it is today. God has said that there must be a penalty for sin—death. Those who are in Christ by faith have suffered the wrath of God in Christ. On the cross of Calvary the wrath of God was poured out upon the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ. Those who trust in Him have experienced the salvation of God in Christ. Those who refuse to trust in Him and be in Him by an act of the will, must suffer the wrath of God outside of Christ, our ark. Knowing about Christ no more saves a man than knowing about the ark saved men in Noah’s day. It is being in the ark, being in Christ, that saves!

God’s way of salvation was not a glamorous one. I believe that many would have been on board the Queen Mary if Noah had built it, but not on the ark. There was little appeal to the eye on that ark, but it was sufficient for the task of saving men in a flood.

Many refuse to be saved if it cannot be achieved in some glorious way, one that is appealing and acceptable. I would not want to spend a year cooped up with noisy, smelly animals any more than you, but that was God’s way.

Our Lord Jesus, when He came to offer salvation to men, did not come as One Who had great personal magnetism or appeal either. As Isaiah spoke of Him 700 years before His coming,

He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him (Isaiah 53:2).

Many would come to salvation if it appealed to them in the flesh. God’s salvation is not of this kind.

Sometimes Christians fail at this same point. They think that God’s way is a glorious one all the way. All miracles and magnificence. No suffering, no pain, no agony, no heartache. I must tell you that God’s way is not always as glorious as we might wish, but it alone is the way of deliverance and peace and joy.

And this salvation which God provided was one that was entered into by faith in God’s revealed Word. Noah probably never had seen rain, nor heard the clap of thunder. But God said that there was to be a flood and that he was to build an ark. Noah believed God and acted on his faith.

Noah’s faith was no academic faith—a mere faith in principle, but an active faith—a faith in practice. He spent 120 years building that ark, committing himself to the God he knew. Our faith, too, must be active.

Noah, we are told, was a preacher. I do not believe that he often spoke from behind a pulpit, but from behind a plank and a hammer. It was Noah’s lifestyle that condemned the men of his day and warned of the judgment to come. Noah’s whole life was shaped by his certainty that judgment was coming.

We who are Christians know that our Lord will again return to judge the world. I wonder how much it has affected our daily lives? Can your neighbors and mine tell that we are living in the light of a coming day of judgment and of salvation. I sincerely hope so.

                                                (Adapted from URL: https://bible.org/seriespage/8-flood-genesis-69-822)

 


Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

1.      Corruption results when man turns away from God (Gen. 6:11-12)

2.      In a corrupt world, believers must remain confident that God is in control (vs. 13)

3.      God is the Master Builder—always trust His blueprint (vss. 14-16)

4.      God's holiness requires that He judge and punish sin (vs. 17)

5.      God is faithful to His covenant people, and we can trust His promises (vs. 18)

6.      God's power in nature allows all mankind to see His work and believe (vss. 19-20)

7.      No detail escapes God's attention when it comes to His care for His own (vss. 21 -22)