Sermon #10 Genesis Sermons
Title: Noah And The Ark - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 6:1-22
Subject: The grace of God portrayed in Noah
Date: Tuesday Evening - July 9, 1991 and Tuesday, July 16, 1991
When I read Genesis 6 again this morning, five things immediately caught my attention in the opening verses of the chapter.
1. First, I saw sin increasing (vv. 1-5). Nine generations had now descended from Adam. We have no way of knowing how many millions of people there were upon the earth. But there were so many that they covered the face of the earth! And wherever men and women were found, sin was evident. The one thing all men had in common in those days, as now, was sin.
· Polygammy, which began with lamech (4:19) was now commonly practiced (6:1). The number of wives men took was limited only by the lusts he could fulfil.
· “The sons of God,” the sons of Seth, “began to marry the daughters of men,” thedaughters of Cain. Those who professed to be and had a name to be the sons of God, sacrificed their principles upon the altar of their lusts and married beautiful, but godless, daughters of Cain (6:2).
· And “there were giants in the earth in those days” (v. 4). The word “giants” simply means “violent, oppressive, fallen men.” They had the name of Seth, but the nature of Cain. They laid claim to God’s name and his promises, because their fathers were “the sons of God.” But they were the sons of Cain, fallen, cursed, violent, wicked men. Godless religious men are the most violent,cruel, and wicked of all men.
· “God saw that...every imagination of the thoughts of (men’s) heart was only evil continually” (v. 5). Sin had reached its utmost depths. Sin was everywhere. Sin was the only appetite, desire, and work of the entire human race, until it “repented the Lord that he had made man.” Man, who was created in the image and likeness of God, had become repugnant to his holy Creator.
2. Secondly, I saw the Holy Spirit striving (v. 3). The Apostle Peter helps us to understand the meaning of this verse (1 Pet. 3:20). The Spirit’s striving with men is the longsuffering of God, calling sinners to repentance by the preaching of the gospel and granting them space for repentance. What mercy!
· God calls sinners who deserve his immediate wrath to repentance.
· God is giving you opportunity to repent.
· But he will not always call. The day is coming when God will shut the door of mercy. You can sin away your day of grace! When that happens, when God rejects you, when God leaves you to yourself, you cannot be saved (Prov. 1:23-33; Hos. 4:17; Lk. 13:24-25).
3. Thirdly, I saw God repenting (v. 6). The first time repentance is mentioned in the Bible,the Person repenting is God himself. Now, understand what this verse says and you will understand what repentance is. Repentance is a change of mind, a change of attitude, a change of direction, and a change of action.
Obviously, this is an anthropomorphic expression. We know that because we know that God does not change, nor can he be changed. God is immutable (Mal. 3:6; heb. 13:8). He never changes his mind, or alters his purpose (Job 23:13). But the Lord does sometimes alter his course of action in providence.
Illustration: Israel, once blessed, is now cursed!
As a potter forms a vessel that does not please him, breaks it in pieces, may be said to repent of his work, so God, to show his aversion to man’s wickedness resolved to destroy him.
NOTE: True repentance, then is a change of direction in a man’s heart, in his life, in his desires and in his behavior.
4. Fourthly, I saw justice threatening (v. 7). “The soul that sinneth, it must die!” Justice demands it. A holy, righteous and just God must punish sin. Just as God once flooded this world in a storm of wrath, he will one day consume this world and all who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in vengeful, flaming fire. He will punish the wicked with everlasting destruction (Psa. 11:6; 2 Thess. 1:7-10). Yet, there is hope. God is just. But he is gracious too.
5. The fifth thing I saw in these verses was grace intervening (v. 8). How I love that word “grace”! This is the first time grace is mentioned in the Bible. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!” “Salvation is of the Lord!” Salvation is by grace alone! The cause of Noah’s salvation was God’s free and sovereign grace. Our text does not say, “God found grace in the eyes of Noah.” It says, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!”
Because God from eternity had set his eyes upon Noah, and from eternity determine dto be gracious to him, the Lord found a way to save Noah, though he was resolved to destroy the world. It was grace in God, not goodness in Noah, that saved this man fromthe flood of God’s wrath.
Grace is here mentioned for the first time by divine purpose. Grace first appears when the sin of man had reached its climax, as if to teach us from the beginning that there is nothing in man which causes Godto bestow his grace. Grace is free! Grace is sovereign! Grace is unconditional! The world was lost; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!” The world was condemned; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” The world perished; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” God always has a remnant to whom he will be gracious. Noah was God’s servant (Rom. 11:5).
NOTE: Noah’s family was blessed, because of their association with him. But there is no indication in the Scriptures that, at thistime, any of them knew God - Only Noah!
Look now at this man Noah. He is truly a picture of grace. Noah was the grandson of Methuselah, the great grandson of Enoch, who “walked with God and was not, for God took him.” His father was Lamech. His name, Noah, means “comfort, or rest.” The Scripture seems to indicate that his father also was a man of faith (5:28-29). Lamech had many, many sons and daughters. But the only one who knew God was Noah. Grace does not run in bloodlines. Only Noah believed his father’s God.
· He acknowledged God’s curse.
· He prophecied of God’s deliverance by Noah.
Genesis 6:9 tells us ten things about Noah.
1. He was “just.” Here again is a word mentioned for the first time. This word does not refer to Noah’s character, but to his standing before God. It is true, he behaved justly. But that is mentioned in the next line. This word, “just”, refers to his justification.
· By grace.
· Upon the grounds of Christ’s obedience.
· Through faith.
2. He was “perfect in his generation” - Perfect means, “sincere and upright”.
· Unblemished in his conduct.
· Unspotted by the world.
· Unaffected by all the generations in which he lived.
3. “And Noah walked with God.” Like Enoch before him and Abraham after him, Noah lived in the awareness of God’s immediate presence. He walked with God by faith, trusting him, believing his Word, doing his will, in sweet, blessed communion.
Hebrews 11:7 describes Noah’s faith. Having found grace in the eyes of the Lord, Noah was a man of faith.
4. The basis of Noah’s faith was the Word of God - “Being warned of God of things notseen as yet.”
Faith must have a foundation. And the foundation of all true faith is the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Noah believed because God spoke. And he believed what God spoke, though it was contrary to reason, experience, and science. God warned him of things not yet seen.
· The universal flood, though it had never rained.
· The building of an ark, though no one had ever seen a boat.
· The saving of himself, his family, and all creatures in the ark.
· The destruction of all who would not enter the ark.
1. The character of Noah’s faith was reverence - He was “moved with fear.”
Noah feared God, because he believed God. He had an awesome sense of God’s wisdom, holiness, justice, truth, and power. And he was overwhelmed with a sense of God’s goodness.
2. The evidence of Noah’s faith was obedience - Being moved with fear, (he) prepared an ark.”
Immediately, without delay, before the first raindrops fell, Noah began building an ark, exactly following the pattern God had given him. Faith acts upon God’s revelation. Faith is belief in action! (James 2:14).
3. The result of Noah’s faith was the salvation of his house - He “prepared an ark to the saving of his house.”
God always honors faith! We know that there is no such thing as “salvation by proxy.” But God does honor faith.
· Noah believed God. And God saved his family.
· Abraham believed God. And God gave his seed the land of promise.
· Rahab beleived God. And God saved her household.
· The Cananite woman believed God. And Christ healed her daughter.
· Because four men believed God, Christ healed their paralyzed friend (Matt. 8:2).
The word of promise is yet to be believed - “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house!” (Acts 16:31).
1. The faith of Noah was publicly confessed - By his faith in and by his obedience to the Lord God, Noah “condemned the world.”
· Warned them of judgment.
· Called them to faith.
· Condemned them for their unbelief.
2. The reward of Noah’s faith is everlasting - “He became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
· Heir of righteousness of Chrsit.
· Heir of that which righteousness deserves - Eternal glory!
3. The means of Noah’s salvation was an ark (Gen. 6:13-18).
Noah and his family were saved by an ark, a ship which God commanded him to build. That ark was a picture of Christ. There are three arks mentioned in the Word of God. Each was a place of refuge, shelter, and safety.
· Noah’s ark secured those who were in it from the vengeance and violent wrath of an angry God. That is Christ our Substitute.
· The ark of bulrushes protected God’s chosen one, Moses, from the murderous designs of a wicked ruler, Pharoah. That ark is Christ, into whom we had been placed by our loving Father from eternity.
· The ark of the covenant sheltered the two tables of God’s holy law, and being covered with blood, was the place of atonement, mercy, and acceptance with God for sinners. That ark is Christ our Mercy-seat.
From the beginning there has been but one place of refuge for sinners, only one way of salvation. And that is Christ! If you would be saved, you must...
· Be robed in Christ’s righteousness.
· Washed in Christ’s blood.
· In Christ by faith.
Only Christ can bear your soul above the flood of God’s wrath. Only Christ can save you.
Title: The Ark - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 7:1
Reading: Psalm 42:1-11
Subject: Noah’s Ark
Date: Tuesday Evening - July 16, 1991
Three arks are mentioned in the Scriptures. All three were places of refuge and means of salvation, in one way or another. And all three were pictures of grace, type of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
The Ark of the Covenant - sheltered the two tables of stone upon which the law of God was written. There, in that ark, under the mercy-seat were found:
· The law that demanded death.
· The manna that gave life.
· And the rod of power that led and protected Israel.
The Ark of Bulrushes - protected God’s chosen one, Moses, from the wrath and murderous designs of the wicked ruler of Egypt - Pharoah.
And tonight I want to talk to you about The Ark of Noah. My message is The Ark - A Picture of Grace. You have my text before you - “And the LORD said unto Noah, come thou and all thy house into the ark” (Gen. 7:1). Noah and his family were saved in the flood by a ship, an ark, which God commanded him to build.
I want to show you how that Noah’s ark was a type and picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and our salvation in him by the grace of God.
As there was but one ark in the days of Noah, there is but one way of salvation for poor, helpless, guilty sinners. The whole world was drowned under the flood of God’s wrath, except for those eight happy souls in the ark. Even so, the whole world shall be destroyed in the everlasting wrath of almighty God, except those happy, blessed men and women who are in Christ. Christ alone is the Savior of men. “There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” If you would be saved, you must come into the Ark, Christ Jesus!
· You must be washed in his blood!
· You must be robed in his righteousness!
· You must flee from the wrath of God, and fleeing, you must flee to Christ!
1. The ark was planned, purposed and provided by God.
2. The ark was an all-sufficient refuge for all who entered it.
3. Noah and his family came into the ark by divine invitation.
4. The ark beautifully represents our atonement by Christ.
5. All who were in the ark were perfectly safe.
I. THE ARK WAS PLANNED, PURPOSED, AND PROVIDED BY GOD (Gen. 6:13-16).
Long before the flood came, long before the first drop of water fell from heaven, the Lord God provided for the salvation of his own. The ark was not an afterthought with God. It was not hurriedly put together after the waters began to rise. It was something God planned and purposed long before.
· God determined the size, shape, and material of the ark.
· God determined who would be saved by the ark.
It was designed, built and stocked to house a specific number of residents, both of men and beasts.
· God determined where, how, and when the ark would be built.
Are you getting the picture? In just this same way, the Lord God planned and purposed the salvation of his people by Christ in his eternal purpose of grace. The Lord Jesus was provided and set up in the purpose of God from eternity, long before the clouds of Divine wrath began to swell against fallen men. Our salvation was not an afterthought with God! He made provision for our salvation in his Son before the world began (Acts 2:23; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:3-6). Christ is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
A. Long before we sinned in Adam, the Lord God planned the salvation of his elect in Christ.
The plan of salvation is not a path you follow to find God. It is the path God follows to find his elect. It is an eternal plan!
1. God determined from eternity who he would save (2 Thess. 2:13).
2. God purposed from eternity that he would save his elect by the substitutionary sacrifice of his dear Son (Rom. 3:24-26).
3. And God’s purpose of grace is sure and immutable (Rom. 8:28-30).
B. In the fulness of time, God provided his own dear Son to be the salvation of sinners (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10; Gal. 4:4-5).
Ilustration: Simeon - “Thy salvation.”
The ark was God’s provision for Noah. And Christ is God’s provision for sinners. As the ark was a provision of pure, free grace, so Christ is the provision of God’s grace.
“Hail! Sovereign love that first began
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail! Matchless, free, eternal grace,
That gave my soul a hiding place!”
“O the love that drew salvation’s plan!
O the grace that brought it down to man!
O the mighty gulf that God did span,
Mercy there was great and grace was free!
Pardon there was multiplied to me!
There my burdened soul found liberty!
II. THE ARK WHICH NOAH BUILT WAS AN ALL-SUFFICIENT REFUGE FOR ALL WHO ENTERED IT.
The ark was a huge, immense ship. There was no lack of room in it. But there was no wasted space. There was room enough for Noah and his family. There was room enough for two of every unclean bird, beast, rodent and insect in the world. There was room enough for seven of every clean animal. And there was room enough in the ark to supply all the people and animals on board with food for a full year. The ark was an immense ship - 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high! And it housed all kinds of creatures.
Even so, the Lord Jesus Christ is a great and mighty Savior, an all-sufficient Refuge for sinners of every kind. As the ark was an immense vessel, in which a vast multitude of animals, as well as Noah and his family, floated safely through the storm of God’s wrath, so Christ is an immense Savior. His salvation is an immense salvation, delivering a vast multitude, which no man can number, from the wrath of God.
A. There was only one door in the ark; but that one door was enough!
All who entered the ark, clean and unclean, large and small, male and female, all came in through the same door. And there is but one Door of salvation for sinners. That Door is Christ (John 10:9; 14:6).
1. If you would be saved, you must enter in by the Door, Christ Jesus - Grace is a great equalizer!
2. This one Door is sufficient! - All who will may enter in!
B. There was only one window in the ark; but that one window was enough.
It gave light to all and gave all the light that was needed. That window represents the Spirit of God through whom Christ, the Light of the world, the Sun of Righteousness, shines into the hearts of men. All who come to Christ and receive salvation by him are illuminated and taught by God the Holy Spirit (John 16:13; 1 John 6:44-45). And all who are taught of God are well taught. When God teaches, you get the lesson! He teaches us…
· Of sin - Our sin!
· Of righteousness - Christ’s Righteousness!
· And of judgment - Blood atonement!
C. There was plenty of room in the ark for all who came into it!
And you can be sure of this - Every needy sinner who comes to Christ finds all his needs abundantly supplied in him.
1. All the grace I need is in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
· Blood enough!
· Pardon enough!
· Righteousness enough!
· Power enough!
· Grace enough!
2. All the temporal blessings I need in this life are in Christ (Phil. 4:19).
3. And all the spiritual blessings I need, for all eternity, are in Christ (John 1:15; Col. 1:18; 2:9-10).
Everything that God can or will do for sinful men and women, he has done for us in Christ. Everything that God can or will require of sinners, he has supplied in Christ. And everything that God can or will give to sinners, he has given to us in Christ.
E. This is what I want you to see - The Lord Jesus Christ is a mighty, all-sufficient, able Savior for sinners!
1. he is able to do all that he has promised (Rom. 4:21).
2. He is able to save to the uttemost all who come to God by him (Heb. 7:25).
3. He is able to keep that which we have committed unto him (2 tim. 1:12).
4. He is able to keep us from falling (Jude 24-25).
5. He is able to raise us from the dead (Phil. 3:20-21).
“He is able! He is able!
I know He is able!
I know my Lord is able
To carry me through!”
III. NOAH AND HIS FAMILY CAME INTO THE ARK BY DIVINE INVITATION (Gen. 7:1).
God graciously revealed his thoughts of mercy, love, and grace to Noah. Had the Lord not made himself known to Noah, Noah would have perished with the rest of the world. In the same way, the Lord graciously reveals his love, mercy, and grace in Christ in the hearts of his elect by the gospel (2 Cor. 4:6).
Now look at God’s call to Noah and learn about the call of grace.
A. This was a Divine call.
God himself spoke to Noah.
B. This was a personal, particular, distinguishing call.
“The LORD said to Noah, Come into the ark!” Noah’s family benefitted from the call. But only Noah was called (1 Cor. 7:14).
C. This was a sovereign, powerful, effectual and irresistible call.
Noah went in (Gen. 7:5). Most gladly, most willingly, most cheerfully, all who are called by God the Holy Spirit flee to Christ, the Ark of salvation. All who hear his voice enter into the Ark (Psa. 65:4; 110:3).
IV. THIS ARK, BY WHICH NOAH WAS SAVED, BEAUTIFULLY REPRESENTS OUR ATONEMENT FOR SIN IN CHRIST.
There are two things in particular which setforth our Lord’s work of atonement.
A. Noah was commanded to pitch the ark within and without with pitch (Gen. 6:14).
The word which is here translated “pitch” simply means “to cover”, or to “take away”. At least 70 times in the Old Testament it is translated “to make atonement’. The pitce was a covering which sheltered Noah, and all who were in the ark, fromt he terrible storm of God’s wrath.
Illustration: The Mercy-Seat!
· The pitch without is redemption accomplished (Heb. 9:12).
· The pitch within is redemption applied (Heb. 9:14).
B. Notice also that the storm of God’s wrath fell upon the ark with all the fulness of its fury.
As the rains descended and the depths of the earth were broken up, the angry, merciless billows of God’s unmitigated wrath beat down upon the ark. Everyone in that ark went through the terrible storm of God’s undiluted wrath. But the ark took all the punishment!
Do you see the picture? When Christ was made to be sin for us, the terrible storm of God’s wrath fell full force upon him and beat him to death, without mercy, until his justice and wrath were fully satisfied and totally expended! As our adorable Redeemer hung upon the cross, dying as our Substitute, he cried, “All thy waves and thy billows have gone over me” (Psa. 42:7). And in him all of God’s elect have gone through the storm of God’s wrath. But Christ, our Ark, took all the punishment!
· Having once endured God’s wrath, Noah had no cause to fear another flood. He was assured that he would never again suffer the flood of wrath.
· By God’s promise! - By God’s covenant! (Gen. 9:11-13). (Picture Noah at the next rain storm.
V. ALL WHO WERE IN THE ARK WERE PERFECTLY SAFE - “And the Lord shut him in” (Gen. 7:16).
Though the ark passed through the horrible storm of God’s wrath, all who were in the ark were perfectly safe and secure. The Lord brought them in. The Lord shut them in. And the Lord kept them in!
A. There were three stories in the ark, the lower, the second, and the upper decks (Gen. 6:16).
1. Some suggest that these three stories represent the believer’s threefold salvation in Christ (2 Cor. 1:10).
· I have been saved - Election, redemption, and regeneration.
· I am being saved - Perseverance.
· I shall be saved - Translation, resurrection, glorification.
2. I think there is also a picture of the safety of all God’s elect in Christ.
· Some who are in Christ are in the lower deck of doubt and fear. Some, most are up and down!
· Some are up in the second deck of strong faith.
· Some are in the upper deck of full assurance.
But all who believe are in the ark! And all who are in the ark are perfectly safe and secure. God has shut them in. It is not the strength of our faith that gives us security, but the strength of our Savior, the Ark (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:31-39).
3. All who entered the ark passed throught the flood and came out of the ark unharmed (Gen. 8:18; John 18:9; Rom. 8:29-30; Heb. 2:13).
B. The ark was a place of peace and rest for those who were in it.
It had many “rooms” (marj. “nests”) in it (Gen. 6:14).
In Christ we have something more than a refuge. We have a resting place. We are like young birds in their nests, the objects of another’s constant, loving care.
Illustration: The dove found rest only in the ark.
Christ is our Rest, our Sabbath. We find
rest only in him (Matt. 11:28-29).
NOTE: Though they were tossed upon the stormy tempests, all were safe and secure in the ark. Like frightened birds, they nestled down in their resting place. Is it not true with you? In Christ we pass throught he storms of life and trials of faith unharmed, if not unalarmed (Isa. 43:1-7). With David, we say, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
C. Oh, there is safety and security in the ark, Christ Jesus!
All on board the good ship Grace are safe!
1. Satan cannot harm us.
2. The law cannot condemn us.
3. God has sworn that his wrath shall not be poured out upon us again (Gen. 8:20-22; Isa. 54:9-10; Rev. 4:3).
4. The Lord Jesus Christ cannot fail to save all who trust him (Isa. 42:1-4).
“Firm as His throne the gospel stands, My Lord, my Hope, my Trust.
If I am found in Jesus’ hands, My soul can never be lost!
His honor is engaged to keep the weakest of His sheep.
All that his heavenly Father gave, His hands securely keep.
No death, nor hell shall ever remove His people from His breast
In the dear bosom of His love, We shall forever rest!”
1. Are you in the Ark?
· The Door is open for all who will to enter in and be saved.
· If you perish, it will be because you despise the Ark and refuse to enter in.
2. Are you in the Ark? If you are…
· The Lord put you in - In election - In redemption - In regeneration.
· In the Ark all is safe.
· The Lord will keep you in.
· Let us, like Noah, offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God.
· Let us ever rest in God our Savior and the covenant of his mercy (Isa. 54:9-10).