Scriptures

13. Noah, Quite A Character

Introduction

By Andy Gean

‘So, the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created – and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground – for I regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Genesis 6:7-10 NIV

Counter-Culture

Genesis 6 is clear about the state of mankind as the seeds of Adam’s rebellion grew. The world was ‘wicked’, ‘every thought was on evil’, ‘corrupt’, and ‘full of violence’.

Noah led a family trying to live counter-culture in the middle of a wicked society.

How does the Bible describe Noah in Genesis 6:8-10?

We don’t have to look far on our phone or TV to understand that the world is full of sin. Imagine the world that Genesis 6:5 describes.

How do you think Noah and his family felt living ‘counter-culture’?

God Grieves

God revealed His hate concerning mankind’s appetite for sin.

Genesis 6:6-7 says that God ‘regretted’ He had made man and that His ‘heart was troubled’ or grieved.

Grief is an emotion that can only be experienced by someone who loves.

Have you ever stopped to consider the emotions God experiences when His creation sins against Him?

Fast forward in the Gospel story

What does God’s grief over sin tell us about His love for all creation?

A Tall (and Long and Wide) Order

‘Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So, God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So, make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.’ Genesis 6:11-21

What is the ‘tallest’ order, largest project, most monumental mission, or largest request that has ever been made of you by a boss, significant other, teacher, or person of superior rank? How did you react to their request? Did you immediately attempt to ‘find a way out’ or negotiate an alternative method?

How did Noah react according to Genesis 6:22? Compare Noah’s reaction to that of other leaders in the Bible.

Genesis 6:22 states that Noah ‘did everything just as God commanded.’

How dedicated are you to following God the Father and Jesus’ commands? Think about specific commands as you answer this question.

Who’s on the Boat with You?

Genesis 7 tells us that God commanded he ‘and his whole family’ to enter the ark ‘because I have found you righteous in this generation.’

The Noah narrative often digresses to questions like: ‘How did they get all those animals on the ark?’ yet consider the sober reality of eight individuals receiving God’s grace while the remainder of the world was destroyed. Scripture suggests that Noah’s righteousness influenced, and helped save, his family.

Consider those influenced by your faith on a daily basis. Are you living intentionally to ensure that those with whom you interact will ‘follow you into the boat’? Are you leading your friends and family onto the boat?

His Promises Endure

The historical truths and reality of the flood and account (not story) of Noah could be unpacked in page after page of study.

The details are spectacular

The gigantic dimensions of the first floating vessel.
Every ‘kind’ of flying and breathing animal was cared for by Noah on the ark.
Water covered every mountain top and then some.
The exact details of the day the earth broke open and the exact day the ark came to rest
Living on an ark for an entire calendar year

The realities of Noah’s account are sobering

He witnessed the destruction of all mankind
He experienced the saving grace of the Creator
Though he was righteous, Noah had weakness as each of us does. Genesis 9:10-29.

I praise God for His second chance to mankind! The closest some of us can come to understanding what Noah went through is by visiting a man-made ‘boat’ in Kentucky. The account is too enormous for me to fully wrap my head around. Yet, we continue to have an enduring reminder of God’s love thousands of years later – the rainbow that was first shown to Noah after his life was spared.

‘So, Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. ‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ Genesis 8:18-22

‘Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.’ So, God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.’ Genesis 9:8-17

How do you react each time you see a rainbow? What did God specifically say the rainbow represented? When you are with your children or unbelievers, have you ever taken the chance to share about God’s covenant love for all mankind? If not, prepare to plant this seed the next time you see a rainbow.

How does the account of Noah and the flood relate to the Gospel of Christ?

Prayer

Thank you, Father, for your second chance to all mankind. Please strengthen us to live lives of righteousness as Noah did so that friends, family, and strangers will follow us onto your vessel of salvation. Thank you for being a covenant God who keeps your promises and gives us constant assurances of your love and grace! In Christ we pray – Amen!

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

1 Corinthians 10:13

MENU