Posts Tagged 'Noah'

The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Part 1

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The Bible is not only the greatest, most influential book ever written, it contains the greatest stories ever told. In fact, it’s not much of a stretch to say that the greatest stories in literature all find their basis or inspiration in the Bible. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at some of those stories you may know so well and hopefully you’ll learn some new things about the greatest stories ever told.

Our first story occupies four chapters in the Old Testament book of Genesis but is summarized over in the New Testament:

Noah was another who trusted God. When he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Noah’s belief in God was in direct contrast to the sin and disbelief of the rest of the world-which refused to obey-and because of his faith he became one of those whom God has accepted. (Hebrews 11:7 | TLB)

The story of Noah and the ark is familiar even to people who have never cracked open the Bible. Every culture has it’s “flood narrative,” meaning that somewhere in the collective memory of every culture in the world, resides the story of one man who defied the odds and survived a catastrophe.

In the case of Noah, we’ll focus on his single-minded obedience to God. And that’s where the story begins.

The only just man

When the Lord God saw the extent of human wickedness, and that the trend and direction of men’s lives were only towards evil, he was sorry he had made them. It broke his heart. And he said, “I will blot out from the face of the earth all mankind that I created. Yes, and the animals too, and the reptiles and the birds. For I am sorry I made them.” (Genesis 6:5 – 7 | TLB)

Things were bad back then. How bad? These verses serve to illustrate how far the descendants of Adam and Eve had fallen. The story of Noah isn’t so much about Noah, although it is that, it’s really about God’s relationship with mankind, especially with the one who listens, pays attention to, and obeys Him.

The contrast between these verses and those of the creation narrative is obvious. In the beginning, God looked at the earth and all was “good,” but now all was wicked. Every impulse of man was continually evil. Nobody ever described man’s sinful condition better than Paul:

I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right. I want to but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. (Romans 7:18, 19 | TLB)

In terms we understand, God “regretted” that He created man and He determined to wipe out all life on earth because of man’s evil. In some translations, it sounds as though God “changed His mind” that He had made man. Before you think He did, you should know this:

God is not a human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19 | TNIV)

Man may indeed have been “rotten through and through,” to use Paul’s words, but the source of evil on the earth at this time was actually something even worse:

Now a population explosion took place upon the earth. It was at this time that beings from the spirit world looked upon the beautiful earth women and took any they desired to be their wives. In those days, and even afterwards, when the evil beings from the spirit world were sexually involved with human women, their children became giants, of whom so many legends are told. (Genesis 6:1,2,4 | TLB)

That’s how The Living Bible translates it, and it may or may not be exactly what the author of Genesis intended to convey (he may have been referring simply to intermarriage between believers and non-believers). Regardless, the corruption that entered the human race due to those relationships spread throughout the whole human race, touching almost every person.

Then Jehovah said, “My Spirit must not forever be disgraced in man, wholly evil as he is. I will give him 120 years to mend his ways.”. (Genesis 6:3 | TLB)

But, God did set up a grace period of 120 years, during which time Noah would act like a prophet, warning the people about the impending judgment. In spite of how evil people had become, God liked Noah – the man “found favor with God” according to the KJV – because Noah was a man of unimpeachable character. Apparently the only one on all the earth at this time. His family was also free of the spiritual corruption that had touched all the rest of mankind, and God established a covenant with Noah and his family:

But I promise to keep you safe in the ship, with your wife and your sons and their wives. (Genesis 6:18 | TLB)

Noah’s response to God’s covenant (which was expanded in 9:8 – 17) was to build the ark. In all, 120 years elapsed and all during that time, Noah was mocked and jeered as he built a boat on dry land with no rain in sight. It begs the question: How is it possible to obey God in a sinful world? Obedience to God is independent of your circumstances; regardless of what’s going on in your life or around the world, if you call yourself a Christian then you must do all you can to live in obedience to God’s Word.

The rains came down, the flood came up

One week later, when Noah was 600 years, two months, and seventeen days old, the rain came down in mighty torrents from the sky, and the subterranean waters burst forth upon the earth for forty days and nights. (Genesis 7:10 – 12 | TLB)

Old Noah was obedient right till the day the rains came. As far as we know, he never wavered in his commitment to get that boat built and get the word out. 120 years he preached and for 120 years his warnings went unheeded. You have to admire Noah’s devotion to God’s Word. The day came to bring the animals into the ark, which was quite a task.

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. (Genesis 7:2 | KJV)

This is the first time in the Bible we are introduced to the notion of “clean” and “unclean” animals. We don’t know how Noah knew the difference between the two; it wasn’t until the Tabernacle in the wilderness was built that the idea of this kind of separation was codified in the Jewish law (Leviticus 7:19 – 21). Somehow he knew which animal was which and the job got done.

The idea of separation is an important idea throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, the stress was on separating clean and unclean animals, clean and unclean people, and Jew and Gentile. In the New Testament, the necessity of separation continues, but this time, it has nothing to do with food. Here’s an example of separation as expressed by Paul:

Don’t be teamed with those who do not love the Lord, for what do the people of God have in common with the people of sin? How can light live with darkness? And what harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a Christian be a partner with one who doesn’t believe? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For you are God’s temple, the home of the living God, and God has said of you, “I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” That is why the Lord has said, “Leave them; separate yourselves from them; don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you and be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.”. (2 Corinthians 6:14 – 18 | TLB)

It’s unfortunate that the people of Noah’s day didn’t have access to that paragraph! This whole catastrophe might have been avoided had they.

As He always does, God kept up His end of the covenant.

But Noah had gone into the boat that very day with his wife and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. (Genesis 7:13 | TLB)

He held the rain off until Noah and his family were safe and secure within the ark.

When you read the account of Noah and his building of the ark, the faith and obedience of Noah are astounding. Look at these verses:

And Noah did everything as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22 | TLB)

So Noah did everything the Lord commanded him. (Genesis 7:5 | TLB)

But at the same time, so were the sovereign initiatives of God:

And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him. There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. (Genesis 7:5, 9 | KJV)

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in. (Genesis 7:16 | KJV)

And that’s the way it should be; Noah should serve as the perfect example of a faithful, submissive believer who does what God tells him to do. This was something the mother of Jesus understood:

But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you to.”. (John 2:5 | TLB)

God sealed the ark, the rains came, and flood waters rose, and all life on the earth perished. It may surprise you, but there is far more space devoted to the story of Noah’s flood than the creation of the universe – 56 verses compare to 81 verses. The theological significance of the flood is important to note because without it, we’re missing some important history. Over in the New Testament, we read this:

First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will come scoffers who will do every wrong they can think of and laugh at the truth. This will be their line of argument: “So Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? He’ll never come! Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly as it was since the first day of creation.” They deliberately forget this fact: that God did destroy the world with a mighty flood long after he had made the heavens by the word of his command and had used the waters to form the earth and surround it. And God has commanded that the earth and the heavens be stored away for a great bonfire at the judgment day, when all ungodly men will perish. (2 Peter 3:3 – 7 | TLB)

The flood is seen as a foreshadow of a greater judgment to come; a judgment for essentially the same reason. And Noah and his family are seen as the faithful believers who will enter into a re-created world where Jesus Christ will rule and reign. The world as we know it today isn’t the same world Noah lived in before the flood. The flood began a new epoch of history, which was something Peter understood.

For God did not spare even the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, chained in gloomy caves and darkness until the judgment day. And he did not spare any of the people who lived in ancient times before the flood except Noah, the one man who spoke up for God, and his family of seven. At that time God completely destroyed the whole world of ungodly men with the vast flood. (2 Peter 2:4, 5 | TLB)

So also the Lord can rescue you and me from the temptations that surround us, and continue to punish the ungodly until the day of final judgment comes. (2 Peter 2:9 | TLB)

 

Biblical Faith, Part 4

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All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. (Hebrews 11:13, 14 NIV)

“These people,” the people mentioned thus far in Hebrews’ list of the heroes of the faith, were all commended by God as living their lives in faith, and eventually they all – all without exception – died in the faith. They lived and died continually exercising faith without having received what had been promised them by God. Every single one of them. That’s quite a statement to make, considering what we know about these men. Consider –

Noah. He was certainly a man of faith. For 120 years he built a big boat, big enough to house only his family, plus many, many animals, with only a word from the Lord to go on. He had no weather forecasts or anything else; just a word from God. In the face of mockery, he kept on. Yet of this man of God we read this –

When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. (Genesis 9:21 NIV)

When his sons saw him in such a state, they covered their eyes out of respect then covered him. Another son who witnessed the spectacle was cursed by Noah.

Abraham. Sure Abraham listened to his word from God, just like Noah did, and left Ur. But that’s not the whole story, is it? Here’s what God told him to do –

Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1 NIV)

Here’s what actually happened.

He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. (Genesis 12:5 NIV)

So this man of faith wasn’t quite perfect. Then there’s this to contend with –

“Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” (Hebrews 11:13 NIV)

That’s right. This man of faith, when faced with a famine, chose to go down to Egypt but he was so afraid for his life that he got his wife to lie for him. It gets even better. A few years on, we read this –

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. (Genesis 20:1, 2 NIV)

So this “man of faith” had one serious character flaw: he was a liar. And not a very good one, at that.

Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau.

The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 20:27, 28 NIV)

It’s bad form for a father to favor one son above the other, but Isaac was a real piece of work. He didn’t prefer Esau because Esau was more righteous than his brother. It was because of the food! Isaac was driven by his stomach. He was a man who was motivated by himself; his likes or dislikes, and his comfort.

He was also a liar who was willing to trade his wife for safety. Sound familiar?

Jacob. Here was a man who was bold enough to wrestle with God in order to get a blessing from him. There have been many sermons about how this is a positive thing, still, would you have the nerve to do that? But then there’s what the prophet Micah wrote concerning this esteemed man of faith –

All this is because of Jacob’s transgression, because of the sins of the people of Israel. What is Jacob’s transgression? Is it not Samaria? What is Judah’s high place? Is it not Jerusalem? (Micah 1:5 NIV)

Jacob was a deceitful schemer and that fatal flaw was passed on to the kingdom that bore his name. And he was a man of divided loyalties. While he didn’t use his wife for leverage, the fact is he took four wives, which led to a lifetime of problems which actually outlived Jacob.

These were the men whom God commended as living in faith and dying in faith. It’s difficult to understand the mind of God most times. To lump the likes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in with Enoch seems unreasonable. And yet, in God’s view, these imperfect patriarchs were as faithful as Enoch, the man who pleased God so much, God transposed him from earth to heaven.

What do we glean from this? God puts a premium on our attitude of faith but understands we are sinners. A moral or ethical lapse doesn’t automatically disqualify us from being people of faith.

…though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again… (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

This might be one of the greatest verses in the Bible and one every believer should memorize. While there is no excuse for sin, and the Bible makes no provision for slipping into sin and remaining in it, it does teach that “you can’t keep a good man down.” In other words, the righteous will always get up.

We all have a problem

Like the patriarchs, we all have exactly the same problem: The sin nature. We are all prone to fall. Amazingly, at the youthful age of 22, Robert Robinson wrote these words many of us sing in church:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love…

While our sin nature has been dealt with by Jesus Christ through His work on the Cross, there is never a moment in our earthly lives when we are completely free from its influence. We may be “dead to sin,” but sin is very much alive to us, and it is always trying to lure us back into its clutches.

Our sin nature always wants that which the Holy Spirits does not want for us. And our sin nature isn’t subject to God and it will never be. That’s why God gave us a new nature: To counteract the downward pull of our sin nature. The good news is that God has made provision for our new nature to win. Our sinful nature wins only when we let it.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NIV)

There will never be a time on earth when the believer won’t be pestered by his sin nature. But you don’t have to give into it. You never have to yield to temptation. Ever. Granted, you’ll always be a sinner saved by grace, but as far as temptation goes, you have it within you to conquer it every time.

A New Testament example

Peter is a good example of this. Peter, the man whose confession was the foundation the Church was to be built upon, was always falling down.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29, 30 NIV)

Talk about having faith! Peter actually got out of a boat during a storm and, doing what Jesus told him to do, stepped out in faith and walked on the water! He did something crazy; something nobody else had ever done before or since. But Peter did. That is, he did until he stopped walking by faith and started to look around. The storm made Peter sink.

Later on, this disciple of Jesus’ Peter denied Jesus three times. Not once, mind you, in blind panic, but three times. The last time was in a courtyard surround by other people. Peter could have sided with Jesus this time but he chose to side with the society he was with. He went out, and by himself he wept bitterly. He knew he had failed his Lord. And Jesus knew that he knew. Just as Yahweh never gave up on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our Lord never gave up on Peter.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” (Mark 16:7 NIV)

Peter was given one more chance. Peter’s spiritual growth wasn’t instantaneous. It was slow going. But in spite of his falling down, Peter’s heart was right, and he kept getting up. We like Peter because most of us are so much like him. We love Jesus. We think we’re fiercely loyal to Him. We have faith in Him and His Word. But the cold, hard truth is we do the same things Peter did, only fortunately for us nobody is keeping a record of our failings for generations to read about.

Peter got up and preached some powerful sermons when the Church was born and won many converts for the Lord. Thanks to Peter, the Gospel broke into the Gentile world. Peter laid the foundation for the ministry of the apostle Paul – all because he got up.

God chooses to use people, not angels, to do His work. And as we journey through this life, falling down then getting up only to fall down again, God sees what we will become, not what we are. That’s why men of questionable reputations Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all listed among the heroes of the faith.

Abraham’s token blessing

Looking back at Hebrews 11:13, notice this –

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised… (Hebrews 11:13 NIV)

Yet, that’s not the whole story, either. Back a few chapters we read this –

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (Hebrews 6:13 – 15 NIV)

Abraham never received the big promise – the promise of a land and of nationhood. He died a nomad. But God in His sovereignty gave Abraham the tiniest glimpse of that big promise in the form of a son, Isaac. Against all the odds, Abraham and Sarah had a son, and the seed of nationhood had been sown. God saw Abraham, not as a nomad living in tents on the fringes of civilization, but as the father of many nations, and God let him experience a small part of that. Isaac was to Abraham as Mount Pisgah was to Moses.

God sees you as you are in Christ, not as you are today. He sees you in Christ, already in the heavenlies.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:6 NIV)

You don’t see yourself in the heavenly realms yet. You see yourself as you are now; struggling to get through this life, one day at a time. You can’t see yourself as you’ll become because you can’t see the future because it hasn’t happened yet. But God sees the future – He lives in it – and in the future you are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms!

And that’s why these men, with all their faults and failings, were commended for their faith. That’s why they are heroes of the faith. God saw what they would become, not what they were.

What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3 NIV)

Genesis: Noah’s Flood

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Genesis 6—9

 

Even though the story of Noah and the flood occur early on in the book of Genesis, this event didn’t really take place until some 16 centuries after Adam and Eve.  The population of the earth must have been relatively great given the fact that during the antediluvian (pre-flood) era, man lived a long, long time.  Scholars think that the reasons for man’s longevity have to do with two things:  (1)  the full extent of sin had not yet been realized; (2)  the climate on earth before the flood may have been more healthy for man.

The Sumerian king lists indicate that early man lived an astonishing 43,000 years!  That may be an exaggeration, but Biblical and extra-Biblical sources seem to indicate that man’s lifespan was great before the Flood.

1.  Days of evil, Genesis 6

When the Lord God saw the extent of human wickedness, and that the trend and direction of men’s lives were only towards evil, he was sorry he had made them. It broke his heart.  And he said, “I will blot out from the face of the earth all mankind that I created. Yes, and the animals too, and the reptiles and the birds. For I am sorry I made them.”  (Genesis 6:5—8  TLB)

Between the Fall of man and the days of Noah, man on earth got more and more sinful.  Remember, there were no laws, no police forces, and no governments; there were no restraints placed on man.  Scholars believe the population of the earth at this time was between one and three billion people.  That’s a lot of people with no moral and ethical restraints placed on them.  No wonder God’s heart was grieved!  Jesus taught that conditions preceding His Second Coming would be almost as bad as the days of Noah.

The world will be at ease—banquets and parties and weddings—just as it was in Noah’s time before the sudden coming of the Flood; people wouldn’t believe what was going to happen until the Flood actually arrived and took them all away. So shall my coming be.  (Matthew 24:37—39  TLB)

Bible scholars further note that the “days of Noah” had these characteristics:

  • A tendency to deism;
  • An unnatural prominence of women and a total disregard of the laws of marriage;
  • Progress in building and mechanical arts;
  • A fellowship or union of believers and unbelievers;
  • A disregard for the Word of the Lord through prophets or preachers (like Noah);
  • The appearance on earth of evil, angelic beings.

How bad were conditions on the earth at this time?  Directly preceding the Flood, we read about the intermarriage of the daughters of men and the sons of God.

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.  (Genesis 6:1, 2  NKJV)

Exactly who these two groups were is up to debate.  Some think the “daughters of men” refers to the godly descendants of Seth and the other group, the “sons of God” were demonic angels.  The Living Bible takes this position.  It may well be that these two groups simply represented believers and unbelievers.  Whoever these people were, their intermarrying greatly displeased God and seemed to have been the catalyst that pushed the Lord toward judgment.

Here, we get an insight into the grieving heart of God.

Then Jehovah said, “My Spirit must not forever be disgraced in man, wholly evil as he is. I will give him 120 years to mend his ways.”  (Genesis 6:3  TLB)

This verse gives us a clue that there may come a time when God sees man, or a man, so engulfed in his sin that the Holy Spirit will simply stop trying to deal with him.  Here, God gave the human race 120 years to repent.

…he was sorry he had made them. It broke his heart.  (Genesis 6:6  TLB)

The KJV says that the Lord “repented” that He had made man.  This in no way means that God changed His mind, but rather, it means that man had grown apart from His Creator; that their relationship had changed.  Man’s wickedness—his sliding from innocence to sinfulness—brought about a brand new kind of relationship between himself and God.  Once God sought to care for and protect man.  Now man must be punished.  No wonder God’s heart broke.

But not all men were wicked and beyond help.  Noah was a good man.

But Noah was a pleasure to the Lord. Here is the story of Noah: He was the only truly righteous man living on the earth at that time. He tried always to conduct his affairs according to God’s will. And he had three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  (Genesis 6:8—10,  TLB)

Noah, Enoch, and Abraham all had this in common:  they were friends with the Lord.  As with Abraham, being God’s friend let Noah in on God’s plans of destruction.  Abraham learned about the coming destruction of Sodom and the other wicked cities, and here Noah found out about the coming flood.

All the intermarrying resulted in a total corruption of the human race from which there could be no recovery.  Corruption, violence, and anarchy ruled the world of man.  In His grace, God moved to protect and save Noah and his family.  The ark, the method by which the Lord would save Noah and his family, is really a type of Christ; what the ark did for them, Jesus does for us.Ark of Jesus

Noah took the 120 years to build his ark, something that took considerable faith.  Think about this:

  • He built a massive boat on dry land.
  • He predicted something that had never happened before:  rain.
  • He preached 120 years and never won a single convert.

Noah was another who trusted God. When he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Noah’s belief in God was in direct contrast to the sin and disbelief of the rest of the world—which refused to obey—and because of his faith he became one of those whom God has accepted.  (Hebrews 11:7  TLB)

Based on Scripture, the ark Noah built must have been mind boggling. No wonder it took over a century to do it.  The total square footage of the ark was almost 1.5 million.  Each animal had about 10 square feet of living space.  Each insect and reptile had approximately 24 square inches of floor space and about 216 square inches of floor space for each bird.  There were probably (this is an educated guess) 1,700 animal species on the ark, 100,000 species of insects, 987 species of reptiles, and some 10,000 species of birds.  The ceilings of the ark were over 14 feet high, which left plenty of room for food storage and cages for smaller animals.  Many of the animals were small, like the size of dog or a cat.  And, keep in mind, whales and large sea animals, and in fact all fish and sea creatures were not on board the ark. Considering the world-wide devastation caused by the torrential rains, the eruption of springs and geysers, and the mixing of salt and fresh water must have killed many sea creatures.  Some, obviously survived, since we have fish today.

2.  Entering the ark, Genesis 7

A week before the waters came, the animals found their way into the ark.  Finally Noah’s family entered the ark and there they waited for the rain.

One week later, when Noah was 600 years, two months, and seventeen days old, the rain came down in mighty torrents from the sky, and the subterranean waters burst forth upon the earth for forty days and nights.  (Genesis 7:10—12 TLB)

The rain came down from the sky and came up from the ground.  How horrific it must have been for those on the outside of the ark.  With that much water, there was nowhere to hide.

As the water rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely upon it; until finally the water covered all the high mountains under the whole heaven, standing twenty-two feet and more above the highest peaks.  (Genesis 7:18—20  TLB)

The water did exactly what God wanted it to do:  destroyed all life on earth.  The destruction was so complete, it is stated twice.

And all living things upon the earth perished—birds, domestic and wild animals, and reptiles and all mankind—everything that breathed and lived upon dry land.  All existence on the earth was blotted out—man and animals alike, and reptiles and birds. God destroyed them all, leaving only Noah alive, and those with him in the boat.  (Genesis 7:21—23  TLB)

3.  God remembered, Genesis 8

God didn’t forget about Noah and all the animals in the boat! He sent a wind to blow across the waters, and the floods began to disappear…  (Genesis 8:1  TLB)

It took a long time for all that water to subside.  Those in the big boat waited almost a month after land appeared just to be on the safe side.  All in all, Noah and his family were in that ark one year and ten days.  Upon disembarking, the first thing this man of God did was to build an altar and make a sacrifice to God.  Wrote Von Rad:

The first human work that the liberate earth, which is again restored to man, sees is an altar for God the Lord.

The destruction of the world by flood is not just recorded for us in the Bible.  The Sumerians (relatives of the Babylonians) have their heroic righteous man, Gilgamesh.  The Sumerian epic is, of course, very polytheistic, yet it is eerily similar to the story of Noah.

The story of Gileamesh and his flood epic

The story of Gilgamesh and his flood epic

4.  The covenant, Genesis 8:21—9:29

Our God is a covenant-making God, and the Noahic Covenant outlines the promises God made to Noah after the flood.  The provisions of this often overlooked covenant include:

  • God will maintain the regular sequence of seasons forever.
  • Man’s supremacy over animal life is stated.
  • God will allow man to eat animals as long as the blood has been drained.
  • Man’s authority over his fellow man is stated so that he might now administer judgment upon a murderer.

And so, the human race and all sentient life of on earth was given a second chance by God.  Studying Noah’s Flood is important because of the deep and profound theological overtones implicit in it.

  • All of man’s problems lay in his rebellion against God—his wicked imagination and bent toward harming himself, his fellow man, and even the world around him.
  • We learn that there is a point at which God will not tolerate man’s sinfulness.
  • God made special provision for the few who were faithful to Him.  He led them and protected them, making a way for them to escape His judgment.  This is a common theme throughout Scripture.
  • Those who suffered judgment brought it on themselves.  God gave all men a lengthy period of time to repent.
  • In the events of the Flood, we see that God is total control of OUR environment.  Man, in spite of current so-called scientific trends, does not control his environment on a world-wide basis.
  • God uses the world around us for salvation or judgment.
  • There is no mystery in serving God.  God establishes the rules by which He expects man to abide by.  The choice to live in obedience to God, as it has always been from the very beginning, is man’s to make.



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My Conservative Identity:

You are an Anti-government Gunslinger, also known as a libertarian conservative. You believe in smaller government, states’ rights, gun rights, and that, as Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

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