Every kid’s Sunday school class talks about Noah’s Ark! It’s a classic Bible story because kids love two things: boats and animals. But this story goes a lot deeper than that, if you catch my drift (bad puns intended).
After sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God, things quickly went from bad to worse. Adam and Eve’s kids’, Cain killed Abel. The first murder happened between brothers. Sin spread rampantly until evil and violence permeated every living person.
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5
Notice the words: every, only, and all. This is a description of total depravity. It was a hopeless situation and it broke God’s heart. He had to do something to change this.
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:8
This is the very first appearance of the word GRACE in the Bible. Some people might look at this story and conclude, “God is mean,” or “God is vengeful,” but that’s not God’s character. God is gracious. It was His mercy that led Him to take these steps to intervene and set things right. God looked for for that one person who caught His attention so He could pour out His grace, which is His divine favor.
In the middle of a culture that had turned against God, Noah stood out. Noah was saved because of his faith. So was his family and ultimately, he became the father of the whole human race, including you and me.
In our world, like in Noah’s day, we will face some of the same challenges he did. God is calling us to be like Noah. We need to understand how Noah rose above the sinking culture of his day so we can stay afloat when our world is sinking.
Walk with God.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Genesis 6:9
Noah was righteous, meaning he was just
Noah lived a whole life in a broken world!
But the key was that Noah was a person of FAITH. He put his faith and trust in God and that led him to salvation. If we want to rise above, we need to walk with God by faith.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NASB)
What is the focal point for your daily walk? It’s got to be looking straight ahead to God and walking according to His Word or your life will veer off course.
Walking with God by faith can save your life and the lives of the people around you, even your family.
Work for God.
God gave Noah very detailed very specific instructions about how to build this very big boat. He told him what kind of wood to use, how to coat it, and exactly the dimensions to make it.
Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:22
Noah was obedient to God in every little detail! because of His heart for God! Everything he did was a step of faith. It took him 120 years to finish the boat. That’s working consistently for a long time!
That’s how we make a difference for God today. We work, and then God works. We need to work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God.
Remember, the Titanic was built by professionals, but the ark was built by amateurs.
Our faith leads us to do serve. God has given you some very specific abilities, and experiences and knowledge that He wants you to use to grow His family. If you’re not using those, not only are you missing out, but so are the people that God wants to reach through you.
Witness to Others.
Peter calls Noah a preacher of righteousness.
If he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others. 2 Peter 2:5
Noah was trying to lead the people around him to safety so they could be saved. There are14 references in the New Testament to Noah and the flood. Jesus believed it, so I’m going to believe it too.
No one believed Noah, except for his own family. Sometimes it’s hard to witness to our family because they know us best and they’ve seen us at our worst.
The most important thing you may do with your life is raising up someone else.
We need to now how important it is for us to be always reaching out, always loving, and always inviting.
Finally the day came for Noah and the 7 members of his family to get on the boat.
…Then the Lord shut him in. Genesis 7:16
God sealed them in. In a similar way, Jesus said that He is the Door (John 10:9) that we walk into to enter into God’s family. We choose to enter in and then God seals us in.
Wait on God.
Noah had to trust God to get on that boat and it didn’t start to rain for another week as Noah watched and wondered, “Is there really going to be a flood?” But then it rained like never before for 40 days and nights. During this time, every living creature not on the ark died.
The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. Genesis 7:24
We don’t like to think about judgment because we look at it from our point of view. Here’s what we learn about God’s judgment:
- God’s j
udgmentis always right. He doesn’t make mistakes. He knows people’s hearts.
- Whenever God judges, He always gives people a warning and a chance for people to turn back to Him.
- When God says He’s going to judge, He follows through.
Staying Faithful through the Flood
Noah and his family were on the ark a total of 382 days! Can you imagine having to take care of those animals for that long, and how bad the smell must have been? Noah dealt with a boatload of crap! But he stayed faithful.
You may ask, “Why do I have to deal with all this crap in my life?” Never forget that God is with us through the storm and He is always faithful!
“Speed isn’t everything, both snails and cheetahs made it onto the ark.”
The very first thing Noah does when he comes off the ark is to build an altar and worship God.
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. Genesis 8:20
Noah wanted to thank God for saving him and his family.
We need to worship God during the storm and after the storm. We were made to worship. We should look for reasons every day to worship God and show that God is first in our lives.
God’s promised to never destroy the earth with a flood again.
“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.” Genesis 9:16
What an incredible reminder of a promise that God made!
Today, we live in a culture that in many ways is opposed to God just like the world in Noah’s day. Two points that stand out in Noah’s story are:
- The Flood is a reminder that God takes sin very seriously and so should we.
- The Ark tells us that God is always gracious and merciful.
Talk it Out
- If you were Noah, what would you have thought when God told you to build a huge ark?
- What ridicule do you think Noah and his family faced? Have you ever faced being “odd” because of your faith? What happened?
- Is there a time when you followed God’s instructions to the “T?” What was the result?
- What do you think Noah and his family did aboard the ark? What do you do when you are waiting on God?
- What flood are you facing in your life right now? What flood has God delivered you from recently?