Jesus the Ark - The Story of Noah
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
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. NKJV
In our message this morning we have moved far from the days of creation. About 1500 years have passed since God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. But the strange thing is that most everyone who had been born is still alive. This is because of the great age that the people lived to in that day. They lived in a much different world than we do today. Lush vegetation covered the entire world and there were no deserts.
But in some ways that day was very similar to our own. Because wickedness had increased with the age of the men who populated it. It seems that polygamy was rampant and Darwin's survival of the fittest or biggest was in play. The earth was filled with violence.
It is interesting to note that Jesus said that when He returned the conditions on earth would be the same as when God destroyed the earth of Noah's day. It is not our increased age that has corrupted us but our technology. Now a 12 year old can buy a video game and slaughter hundreds of people in the comfort of his own room. Our children listen to the most vulgar music that would even make the hardest sailor blush.
We kill thousands of our unborn each day and want to legalize child pornography. Thank God our new president has ordered a stop to the use of federal funds to experiment with aborted babies. But in England they have decided to clone human embryos for scientific experimentation. Leaders of nations literally starve their people to death as they build bigger armies and the means of destruction.
Luke 17: 26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. NKJV
- The wickedness of man
- The first thing we must realize is God has the right to define what wickedness is.
- Next we see the wickedness of Noah's day.
- The sons of God apostatized from God. Their desires were prostituted to sensual purposes rather than to obedience to God. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- Calvin: "For, in order to make a transition to the history of the deluge, he prefaces it by declaring the whole world to have been so corrupt, that scarcely anything was left to God, out of the widely spread defection" Expositor's Bible Commentary
- Each generation became more wicked than the one before it.
- Men became known for their deeds of plunder and bloodshed and "the earth was filled with violence."
- God also claims the right to punish wickedness.
- God gave them 120 years to repent while the ark was being prepared.
- Thus God said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3).
- The period of time was a period of repentance.
- There comes a time when God's searching out comes to an end;
- there is a limit to convincing and convicting of a man's heart by the Spirit of God. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- One hundred and twenty years of merciful delay of punishment, then if there was not repentance, judgment must fall. God placed on record the moral causes and conditions of this fearful visitation for the purpose that this moral lesson may be an admonition to us today and to the end of time. Two interesting points to note about God's dealing with man: Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- He will not touch the free agency of man. He will put no force on the exercise of the choice of man. An involuntary or compulsion of faith, hope, love and obedience is a contradiction and could have no moral value. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- After giving ample warning, instruction and invitation, He will, as a just judgment on the unbelieving and the unrepentant, withdraw His Spirit and let them alone. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- When you read in the Bible of the withdrawal of the Spirit of God from a man, you always find it was a matter of choice, a deliberate act, on the part of man in that he chose to turn away from God. King Saul and Samson are two illustrations of this. Spiritual abandonment is the judicial result of spiritual resistance. The Spirit of God ceases to strive because He is driven away. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- "The flood came, not because the race of Cain was corrupt and wicked," says Martin Luther, "but because the generation of the righteous had fallen into disobedience, lust and tyranny. When the members of the true church degenerate, the judgments of God are close at hand." Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- God saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth. That was the basis of His action. God's purpose in creating man had been frustrated, and He lamented that He had made man on earth. His heart was grieved. God altered His conduct regarding men as they varied in their behavior toward Him. One has put it this way: Repentance with man is the changing of the will; repentance with God, the willing of a change. The change was in man, not in God. God could do nothing more. His plan was to redeem man and He made provision to do this, but man turned away from God in disobedience. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- The grace of God
- God is always gracious as He was here.
- He warned the people through the preaching of Noah.
- He had maintained a righteous line of people as his own who gave light to such a dark world.
- Were only eight people saved? Thousands, even millions, were sought. Let us not forget the justice of God and the long period of patience and preaching, warning and compassion which preceded that dreadful flood. God, through Noah, had been calling for repentance. Then, as is true today, we have the question, "Where is the promise of His coming?"(1 Peter 3:4). Most patient God! Then, as now, God is slow to punish, "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."(2 Peter 3:9). Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- God was gracious to Noah
- Through him God would preserve life on earth and give man another chance.
- God would tell Noah could escape this terrible destruction and save his family.
- God's provision, the ark of safety
- Just as in the case of Adam and the providing skins to cover their nakedness, so here God steps in to preserve life, to provide a way for Noah to escape judgment.
- God told Noah to build a large boat of a sort.
- It was at least 450 feet long 75 feet wide by 45 feet high, based on a 18 inch cubit
- It could have been as large as 537.5 by 89.5 by 53.25 feet, based on a 21.5 inch cubit.
- To build the ark was an enormous undertaking, but God gave the instructions. Nothing is said of the shape of the ark although the dimensions are given. Taking the cubit to be a minimum of 17.5 inches, it is estimated that the ark had a deck area of 95,700 square feet, a volume of 1,396,000 cubic feet and a gross tonnage of 13,960 tons. With its three floors it reached a height of 45 feet. Two objects only were aimed at in its construction: 1) it would have ample storage, and 2) it should be able to keep steady upon the water. The ark was not meant for navigation but for carrying freight. Although there were many rooms in the ark, there was but one door. Thus the divine prediction of the flood proclaims the calm, certain and majestic movements of justice. The world probably then, as now, laughed in contempt of the idea of its destruction and could scientifically explain it was a physical impossibility to have such a flood. They probably proved historically that such an event had never taken place and probably congratulated themselves with a superior knowledge and insight to matters against the simple faith of one who "walked with God" and was obedient to what God told him to do (Genesis 6:22). Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
- At the smaller cubit: A vessel of such dimensions would have a displacement of about 20,000 tons and gross tonnage of about 14,000 tons. Its carrying capacity equaled that of 522 standard railroad stock cars (each of which can hold 240 sheep). Only 188 cars would be required to hold 45,000 sheep-sized animals, leaving three trains of 104 cars each for food, Noah's family, and "range" for the animals. Today it is estimated that there are 17,600 species of animals, making 45,000 a likely approximation of the number Noah might have taken into the ark. Ryrie Study Bible
- And the Lord shut him in."
- By some providential or supernatural way the door of the ark was secured and made water tight.
- As Noah and his family were shut in, others were shut out.
- They did not repent. They filled up the measure of their iniquities and the wrath of God came upon them.
- Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of man (Matthew 24:37-38).
- The concluding scene of these last days is described in similar words, " and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut." (Matthew 25:1-13).
- There is room enough in Christ for all to come. Those who by faith come to Christ, the ark, will be saved. Explorers Bible Study: Genesis, Workbook; N.E. Constance
Are you in the Ark. The ark of God's choosing, the ark He has provided for us in Jesus Christ.
And then how do we live our lives. Remember that Martin Luther said the real cause of the destruction of the earth was not the wicked but it was the behavior of the Son's of God.
We have so many people who claim to know God but they do not worship Him.
We have so many people who claim to live God but the shame Him by their lives.
We have so many people who profess to know God but allow the most wicked behavior for the sake of getting along with the wicked.
We have others who have like Esau sold themselves for a bowl of the worlds lentils.
What about you?
Where do you stand?
Are you safe in the ark of Jesus Christ?
This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com