Noah and the Ark
May 6, 2012 Series: Gospel Witnesses: The Unfolding Glory of Jesus
Scripture: Genesis 6:5–9:17
Gospel Witnesses has two aims.
The first is to show how the Old Testament is really an evangelist. Every book from Genesis to Malachi, is a preacher, talking about Jesus. They are pointing to him. Either through prophesy or typology, through shadows and types.
Remember when YHWH gave manna, bread from the sky for the Israelites to eat? Jesus says in John 6, in reference to the manna, "I am the true bread of life." True bread? Was that fake bread? Jesus is saying, that manna was a type of Him. It was a literal metaphor for the Messiah. That's typology.
Luke 24:27, Jesus unpacks how Moses and the Prophets, phrase for capturing the entire Old Testament, really speaks of him.
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
We need to understand the Bible like Christians, that it's all about Jesus Christ.
The second, to provide you timber for the furnace of your worship of Jesus. I hope we all walk out of here treasuring Jesus more than we arrived.
This morning, we are looking at one of the most well known stories in the Bible: Noah, The Ark, and the flood.
Have you ever been held under water for too long? Swimming, goofing around, buddies are pushing you down, and you can't get air. Got caught in a rip tide? The feeling that you are about to drown, is a horrible feeling. Panic, chaos, fear, flailing for limbs --- near drowning.
Capture that feeling, and connect that God filled the earth with water, killing everything, except for 8 people and a slew of animals. Noah's Ark is not a kid's story. How in the world did this happen? I'm a little freaked out when a kids ministry is named noah's ark.
We are going to zoom through the story, it's a lot of details over four long chapters. We'll see how it all points to Jesus.
Here is the big truth for today: If you do not follow God you get wiped out, but God is gracious and provides salvation.
God is good, gracious, and kind. And God is angry, it's a just and holy anger. God isn't subject to our thoughts of him. We are subject to God's thoughts of God, and God's thoughts of us.
When you sit down to read and study the Bible, two great questions to ask: What does this say about God? What does this say about humanity? Me?
Let's take the Noah account, piece by piece. In Acts, if you will.
Act 1 - God And The State of Man (6:5-8)
Humanity, the entire world, is in bad shape. Moses does some word play here, "The Lord saw." In Genesis 1:31, "God saw everything he had made and it was very good." The Lord takes another gander, "Wickedness is great on the earth."
And notice, it's not just actions -- it's the heart. The core, the essence is corrupt. By our nature, out of the womb, we are pre-wired and practicing evil. That's it. The Bible says there is not one good thing or thought in us, outside of Christ. Every human is 100% sinful, "every" though or intention is "only evil" "continually". It never lets up. Moses is painting a bleak picture. You know this is true. You've seen Children go complete psycho over a french fry. You've seen the effects of sin in your own life.
We are all broken. We all share a common bound from Texas to Tajikstan -- we are broken sinners.
What's God to do?
v. 7 - He is going to execute judgment on everything. The end result of sin is death -- Judgement Day has come.
Here is what we learn about God: He is the supreme Judge over all things. He judges sinners and delivers punishment. No one can escape his ruling. No one can argue it.
He is a God of wrath. He will punish sinners according to their deeds. You cannot escape his all searching eye. He sits above the earth and watches all that occurs, nothing is hidden from his sight. The Bible says, every deed that is done in the darkness will be brought to the light, every word spoken will be weighed, no sin will go unaccounted.
It's here in our text, "every thought" of "man". God is not to be toyed with or belittled. He will crush all who are opposed to him. God is the Judge, and He is a God of Wrath.
But...He is also a God of grace.
"But" - Always important! BUT....God is going to do something. Noah found favor. This doesn't mean that Noah was such a great guy, that God just had to like him, God couldn't help himself. No one is that impressive. Noah is a sinner too, we will see that in a little bit.
The Hebrew word for favor is GRACE. Noah was given the grace of God. God set his grace on Noah. Noah didn't earn it or deserve it -- God gave it. Just like you, if your are in Christ today, you didn't earn or deserve the grace of God, He just gave it to you.
Now, Noah's name is important. Back then, names were important. They carried significance. Noah's name in hebrew is a Word play.
5:29 - "Maybe this will be the one to give us relief" or rest. Noah's name sounds like the hebrew word of rest.
Remember the first sermon in our series? They are waiting for the head-crusher, the relief bringer, the curse reverser, or Genesis 3:15. They hope Noah is the one.
How does God's grace towards Noah manifest? Salvation from His wrath.
Act 2 - The Plan To Judge and Save (6:11-22)
v. 17 - God decides he is going to kill everything in a worldwide flood. Everything will die. God is delivering judgment, but grace is given to Noah.
"Noah, build a giant boat. Put your family and 2 of every animal." Imagine building the ark.
The ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high, 3 decks. Roughly the same capacity for 522 railroad cars. That's a long train.
No power tools. Some scholars estimate this took between 70-120 years to build. One project.
What in the world led to Noah to build the Ark? What kept Noah going? The answer is so simple, it's nearly laughable.
Faith in God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
He believed God! He knew God. He heard the word of God and responded. Faith in God propelled him, and faith in God sustained him.
Noah's example is convicting. How quickly do we give up on ministry or evangelism or service in the church. Not going the way we though or like, "ehhh, not for me." Maybe God is drawing you into foreign mission, church planting. The Spirit is prompting to live missional and be a friend of sinners. Are we walking in faith like Noah? Scared? Nervous? Faith moves us forward. Listen and act.
Noah is a powerful example of faith.
God tells him all that he is going to do, and look at v. 18:
"But, I will establish my covenant with you" and your family.
Grace of God given to Noah through a covenant. Covenant is an agreement, a contract, a deal, a relationship. God bears the complete weight and responsibility of the relationship here with Noah. God is pledging to save him from the flood.
The covenant is a promise of salvation from His wrath.
Deliverance from God's wrath is only found in invitation into God's grace.
Act 3 - The Flood, Wrath, & Sign of Grace (7:11-24; 8:1; 9:1, 12-17)
God's wrath literally rains down. Everything dies. Some want to doubt if this was a worldwide flood -- there is no Biblical reason to doubt it. The evidence in the text is plain.
v. 19 - All the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. Everest was covered.
v. 21 - All flesh on the earth
v. 23 - He blotted out every living thing..Only Noah and those with him
Clear from the text, God wiped out everyone and everything that wasn't in the ark. God's wrath is total.
The flood is a de-creation of all that has been made. Recall Genesis 1, waters covered the face of the earth, and God made the dry ground appear. The Flood is rewind button back to Genesis 1, with waters covering the earth.
The waters reside for 150 days, and look at...
"God remembered Noah." - Covenant language. Relationship. God doesn't forget about his people. Remember that, God remembers you. God has made promises to you, do not doubt him.
Noah sends out a couple of birds, to see if the ground is ready for them to come back. By the third time, the dove doesn't return. God tells them to leave the ark..
God makes another covenant of promise with sinners, with all sinners. "I will flood the earth again. And every time there is a rainbow in the clouds, I will remember my promise (v.15)." This is incredible to me. Yes, in this narrative full of God's wrath, it is also full of God's grace. Grace is around every turn.
Why in the world would gave make a covenant with sinners? Especially that he wouldn't judge the world like this again?
Because God is a God of grace. He goes after relationship with sinners. He stoops down and comes to us, it's the only one it could work.
The rainbow is a sign of the promise. The rainbow is a sermon to us, even to this day, when you see a rainbow, or a double rainbow, God is preaching. He is saying, "I am wrathful God, but I am mighty and gracious to save."
Noah, The Ark, and The Flood -- A Type of Christ
So, how does this story point to Jesus. You may have picked up on it along the way. But before we get there, if we see how Noah is a type of Adam, it makes the picture super clear. God uses literary pictures to weave all of this together.
Noah is a type of Adam. And just like Adam he fails too.
The Bible is showing us, we are no match for sin. We cannot overcome it. We cannot get away from it. Here is a lie that we believe, "If I could just start over. If I could have a clean slate. It will be a new day tomorrow, I'll be different." None of those are viable options. We need new lives, new natures, new hearts. We are no match for sin. We need someone greater than us, and greater than all that is in the world, to overcome sin and be our victor.
Adam as our representative failed. Noah failed. We need a true and better representative, and his name is Jesus.
Jesus is the true and better Noah and Ark.
Remember Noah's name, "Rest" and the prophecy about him, "Maybe this one will give us rest." He didn't. He brought a curse in the rest of Genesis 9, just like Adam in Genesis 3.
Recall the words of Jesus, "Come to me, all who labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Jesus is the one who brings our souls rest and peace.
- After 40 days what happens Noah, he sins.
- After 40 years in the wilderness Israel still sins.
- After 40 days in the desert with Satan, Jesus stands.
The Ark - The Ark is really the greatest picture of Jesus and the gospel in the whole story.
First, Salvation is all of God. God revealed his plan, Noah wouldn't have known, God invited Noah, and God saved Noah. I said earlier: Deliverance from God's wrath is only found in invitation into God's grace. All grace.
God has revealed his plan of salvation to us, He has invited you, and He will save you. He might be inviting you today.
Secondly, there was only one means of salvation from God's wrath - The Ark. Only one way. So too with Jesus, he is the only way to escape and be saved from the wrath of God.
To be saved you had to be swallowed up and united to the Ark. We must be united and swallowed up into Jesus by faith. The Ark alone, so Christ alone.
Jesus is the sole criteria. Not behavior, Noah got drunk afterwards, and Hebrews highlights him as a hero, so not our behavior, any denomination, if you are reformed, charismatic, Acts29 -- It's Jesus. It's all about Jesus, it's only Jesus.
Jesus sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross, his grand display of love for sinners, to pay for their sins, and rise again from the dead -- that's the Gospel.
The Ark delivered Noah, by being his substitute. The Ark endured the rain of God's wrath so Noah could live.
And the Ark came to "rest" on Mt. Arrart (8:4). Same word, "rest." The Ark won. Jesus won. He is sitting, resting, at the right hand of the Father.
The Apostle Peter likened the deliverance brought by the Ark, to the deliverance that Jesus brings us by being baptized into Him.
1 Peter 3
20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Baptism into Jesus, not the waters, but soul into Christ is our salvation.
Is this not glorious?
Lastly, the flood waters are a witness that God really will judge sinners, He is not bluffing. He will wipe out all who are opposed to him, and do not believe in His word.
Jesus is our deliverer. He took on the flood of God's wrath, and if you believe in Him, you shall be saved. If not, you will drown in the flow of God's wrath. You will forever drown but not die. It will be an eternal punish.
The flood waters are a testimony to the Judgement Day to come.
Matthew 24, Jesus says,
37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Judgment day will come like a flash flood. It's worldwide, you cannot escape it. You will be doing normal everyday things, and then you will meet your maker. One will be taken, into the ark, the other left for wrath.
Judgement Day will come, just like the Days of Noah. Jesus saves sinners from God's wrath, and into God's family, into the New Covenant of His blood. The covenant with Noah is swallowed up in the New Covenant of Jesus' blood.
Christian, you have nothing left to fear. God's anger and wrath was poured on on God the Son, Jesus endured it all for you.
Are you in the Ark? Are you in Jesus? Yon can only enter by faith.
The Goal of the Bible is to exalt Jesus. Is that the goal of your life? Jesus saves from the wrath of God to come, by enduring it for us on the cross.
He is the true and better Noah and Ark.
Let's worship Him.
More in Gospel Witnesses: The Unfolding Glory of Jesus
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April 6, 2014Counter-Cultural: Three Friends and the Fiery Furnace