Text: Genesis 7:1-9 (HCSB)
1 “Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you [alone] are righteous before Me in this generation. 2 You are to take with you seven pairs, a male and its female, of all the clean animals, and two of the animals that are not clean, a male and its female, 3 and seven pairs, male and female, of the birds of the sky – in order to keep offspring alive on the face of the whole earth. 4 Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe off the face of the earth every living thing I have made.” 5 And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him. 6 Noah was 600 years old when the deluge came [and] water covered the earth. 7 So Noah, his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives entered the ark because of the waters of the deluge. 8 From the clean animals, unclean animals, birds, and every creature that crawls on the ground, 9 two of each, male and female, entered the ark with Noah, just as God had commanded him.”
“By faith Noah, after being warned about what was not yet seen, in reverence built an ark to deliver his family. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7 (HCSB)
Intro: The story of Noah, despite all he went thru he still did everything the Lord commanded him to do. What a righteous man!
1. The Great Invitation: vs.1a “The great invitation of God: To enter the ark”
Imagine! Noah had been building the ark for 120 years. For 120 years Noah had been preaching the coming judgment of God while building this monstrous box-like structure. Again, imagine the neighbors, community, and public at large. Think of their curiosity, and how strange they thought Noah was, this man who was building this boat-like structure out in the middle of dry land – all because he thought God was going to judge the sins of man by sending a flood of waters upon the earth. Sometimes the unbelief and the jokes, ridicule, mockery, and persecution must have been almost unbearable. But Noah was faithful and enduring to the Lord and to the great call God had given him, faithful to the end.
Noah preached, and he finished the ark despite all the trials and abuse of the people. This he did in the midst of a godless society, a society that had turned completely away from God. There was not a person – not a single person – who followed God and lived like God said to live. Noah and his family alone followed God and obeyed His Word. Now, God reappeared to Noah and gave him additional instructions.
The great invite, Noah was found righteous, and because of this He was invited! Have you been found righteous? Have you been invited?
Matthew 11:28 (HCSB) “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The only hope for man is that he "finds grace." Christ, the Divine Ark, is God's open door of mercy for all who will enter. The place of refuge is the ark this was God’s appointed way of salvation. This is a place of safety, a place of separation – saved ones are always set apart for God. This is God’s Divine invitation: “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
- Some Look at it. Their interest only constrains them to take a passing glance at the great provision.
- Some Talk about it. Their curiosity is awakened.
- Some Sneer at it. Laughing at those who accept. Noah accepted this offer the invitation to come into the Ark. Noah went in. He believed for himself, and took the decided step. His family went in!
Acts 16:31 (HCSB) “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”
2. The Great Reason: vs.1b-4 “The great reasons for God's invitation”
The great reason for God’s invitation: Because Noah was righteous before God, Because the animal life of the earth had to be saved. Seven of the clean animals for worship and food. Two of all animals to preserve life. Because judgment was imminent, at hand:
- God's grace: Seven more days to repent.
- The judgment: A flood of water.
- The destruction: All life wiped out.
Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee. For seven days the world could have knocked at the door of the ark, and frankly, they could have come in -- God would have saved them. All they had to do was to believe God.
“People went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:27 (HCSB)
A long period elapsed between the commencement of the building of the ark and the actual flood. During that period we notice the strength of Noah's faith. God has told him of a deluge of which there is no appearance he has commanded him to build a strange vessel for no apparent purpose, he has told him that one hundred and twenty years of toil must elapse before the vessel can be of any use to him. And yet, in the face of all these difficulties, Noah forms and keeps his resolution to obey God.
The flood shows us: how absolute is God's control over the natural world it illustrates the evils of sin and the light in which it appears to the eye of God it reminds us of another deluge, of which all unreconciled sinners stand in jeopardy.
3. The Great Obedience: vs.5-9 “The great obedience of Noah”
He did all that God commanded, he went into the ark and took only those commanded by God. He followed God’s instructions to save the animals, just as God had commanded him!
Nowhere does Scripture say that Noah went out and drove the animals in. It was not necessary -- they came to him. Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.
Righteousness is an absolute essential for a person to enter God's presence. God invites no unrighteous person – allows no unrighteous person – to enter and live in the safety of His presence. A person must approach God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ – a must take on, clothe himself in, the righteousness of Jesus Christ – to be acceptable to God. A person must become righteous in Jesus Christ to be invited to enter the ark of God's security from the judgment to come.
Romans 5:1 (HCSB) “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God invited Noah to enter the ark because Noah was righteous before God. Noah believed God, believed what God said, and did what God said. Believing and obeying God always pleases God. It pleases Him just like it pleases us when people believe us and follow our advice and counsel. Noah pleased God; therefore, God wanted to save Noah. God wanted to look after Noah, and God wanted to use Noah in His great purpose for the earth. This is the reason Noah was saved and used by God to carry on the human race: he was righteous before God. Noah simply believed God and did what God said.
God gave man a final chance to repent, a last act of grace. God gave Noah seven days to make final preparations and to continue preaching to the lost of his generation. Just imagine the fervor of his preaching as he proclaimed that the judgment of God was to fall within seven days. Imagine the scene as he did just what every true preacher would do: preach day by day and count down the days one by one: seven, six, five, four, three, two, one – only one more day – and then, at last, this is the day of climactic judgment.
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" Hebrews 11:7
Conclusion: We marvel at the unbelief of people in Noah's day. But they were no different from the people of our day. Look at the unbelief of our world. Few believe; most disbelieve. In fact, many people even deny that the great flood ever took place. Many persons do not believe that God ever destroyed the earth. But they are wrong. God did. And the great tragedy is this: God is going to be forced to destroy the earth again. People are still rejecting God, even cursing and denying Him. Just think of the times throughout the day when God's name is cursed. Think of the people who deny and reject God. Just think how few people we know who really believe and follow God, who really live for Him. This is the reason God declares that judgment is to once again fall upon the earth. In fact, God declares that both the earth and the heavens – the whole universe – will soon be judged and destroyed. But this time, it will be final. God is going to stop human history as it now exists: sinful, evil, and imperfect. God declares that He is going to remake the earth and the heavens, recreate them in perfection. He declares that He is going to populate them with angelic beings and with those people who have believed and followed Him down through the ages.
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