GREAT MEN OF THE BIBLE: The Old Testament
There is abundant theology which can be gleaned from the story of Noah. For example, the story declares that God is the God not just of a certain group of people (the Christians or the Jews); rather He is the God of all people because He brings judgment upon the whole world in Gen. 6. Next, this story teaches that God IS a God of judgment and justice. The wheels of divine justice may grind slowly, but they do grind and they do bring about justice. President Obama has a saying etched on a rug in his office which states: "The Arc of the Universe Is Long But It Bends Towards Justice" (quoted from a sermon by Theodore Parker).
|4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 13 Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; . . . 15 "This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 "Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark -you and your sons and your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19 "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 . . . two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. . . . 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.|
In Genesis 3, we see Adam and Eve committing a "little" sin of eating some fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Gen. 4, the next generation is worse: Cain murders Abel. At this point, everything begins to spiral downward. According to Gen. 6:5 how bad was the situation on earth during the time of Noah?
According to Gen. 6:6, what was the Lord's attitude towards this situation?
What had happened according to 6:4 which brought about God's displeasure?
We shall discuss this more; however, in v. 4 it appears that the demonic realm is attempting to mock what would actually happen with the coming of Christ.
According to v. 7, what does God decide to do?
One of the most important words in the entire Bible is found at the beginning of v. 8. What is that word?
What did Noah find in the eyes of the Lord (6:8)?
Now this is incredible. For just one moment think about the loneliness of the situation Noah found himself in. Noah is the only man on the face of the earth who pleases God. How many of us are willing to please God at work when we are the only ones interested in doing so? Or do we cave in and talk and act like everybody else on the job? How many of us are willing to please God when we go to a football game with some of our friends who are swearing or making lewd jokes? There is no pressure to act this way at home or at church, etc. However, for a short period of time at work or with our friends are we determined to please the Lord? Noah did it consistently when no one else was willing to. Moreover, he did it over a period of several hundred years. His is truly the story of one man versus the world.
|2 Pet. 2:5 "[God] did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;|
According to 2 Pet. 2:5, in addition to building the ark, what else did Noah do?
How successful was he in this ministry?
According to verses 14-16, God gives Noah detailed instructions about the ark He wants Noah to build which will carry him and his family safely through the coming flood. According to Gen. 2:5-6, why would this warning about the rain and a flood surprise Noah?
Using reason in our relationship with God is very important. Suppose, though, Noah had been very reasonable when God spoke to him. In light of the fact that it had never rained before, much yet flooded, does it seem unreasonable of Noah to build the ark?
According to the Bible, did God use Noah to save the world of mankind?
Now read the following verse (Heb. 11:7) and answer the question, What else did Noah do in addition to saving mankind?
|Heb. 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.|
Because of ONE man, God saved the human race (Gen. 6:8).
Because of one man, God condemns the human race (Heb. 11:7).
God will not destroy Noah because he walked with God in faith. But God condemned the world because Noah was righteous. The thought seems to be this: if everybody was unrighteous, then maybe the fault lay with God because He created a faulty product. The fact that at least one man was righteous demonstrated that the fault did not lie with God but with mankind. Mankind was unrighteous not because it was defective but because it chose to be rebellious.
A SIDE NOTE
Look again at Heb. 11:7. Did Noah operate out of works of the Law or out of faith?
What you will see is that the great men of the OT lived lives of faith (Heb. 11). The result was that they had adventures with God. Faith produces a real life; law kills it. The church needs men of faith, not spiritual accountants.