Genesis Beginning Of Heroes 2:
Noah The Hero Who Obeyed God - Genesis 6-9
This is the second on our series on the first heroes of the Bible from
a period we are calling the first age of mankind, the age before the flood, or
if you really want to get fancy the antediluvian, meaning before the deluge. The
Bible in listing the families and the descendants of Seth and Cain only say
more than a few words except for the great heroes and the great villains of
this age. Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, was our first hero. The hero
who walked with God. Then the Bible gives us not a few verses but four chapters
about Noah, the hero who obeyed God. And it was a good thing he did otherwise
you and I wouldn’t be here talking about him this morning.
The Wickedness of the World - Genesis 6:1-7
Genesis 6:1-7 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
The line of Seth, here called the sons of God, begin to mix themselves with the line of Cain, called the daughters of men. The Seth’s righteous line that had not been absorbed and overwhelmed by wickedness had now begun to mix with and be absorbed by the descendants of the murderer, Cain.
We don’t know how long this took but I doubt it was sudden instead I’m sure it was gradual almost unnoticeable at first. In the immediate generations before Noah we have two outstanding individuals on each side of lines of mankind. Enoch and Lamech. Enoch is the seventh from Adam and he represents the apex of the sons of Seth. While on the other side we have Lamech, the seventh from Cain who seems to represent the apex of wickedness. Lamech is the first bigamist mentioned in the Bible and he takes such joy at having killed a man that he writes a poem,
Genesis 4:23-24 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and
Zillah, Hear my voice;
ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a man to my wounding,
And a young man to my hurt.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
It seems he’s saying he is greater than Cain because he killed this young man.
From our text it appears that the final trigger to God’s unleashing the greatest judgment known to the world at that time was the line of Seth failing.
In 6v3 “The LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” In one hundred and twenty years the flood would come and man who is imbued with the spirit of God, will die because he is also a creature of flesh.
The narrative goes on, in Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast,
Let’s talk just a moment about this phrase, the sons of God. Some believe it describes the angels of God as mentioned in the book of Job. Others that this refers to the righteous line of Seth. The word “giant” in Hebrew is Nephilim and it literally means a bully or a tyrant, a giant. The simplest explanation for this phrase is that they are the sons of Seth and that some of their mixed descendants were both giants in stature and in reputation.
They finally summation that God gives before He takes action is “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
This causes God to “repent.” This word is Nāḥam. It describes the love of God that has suffered heart-rending disappointment. Literally, it speaks of taking a deep breath in extreme pain and this is what the Bible says, “it grieved Him at his heart.” He was not sorry He made a mistake, for God makes no mistakes, but He was sorrowful at the mistakes man had made and the sin that now overflowed and corrupted His creation.
It is not hard to see the parallels between the age of Enoch and Noah and our own age. When we read, Genesis 6:5 “every imagination of the thoughts of (man’s) heart was only evil continually.” How many instances from just this past week spring to mind?
Let me share with you some headlines from my news feed. Just listen to these headlines.
Doctor endorses idea of suicide through organ donation.
Florida physician allegedly called for the unvaccinated to be shot to death in a Nazi-style firing line
New Zealand virgin auctions herself for college tuition
This isn’t a headline but it was written in a homosexual newspaper, "We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, ...wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us. All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our holy gods are handsome young men. ...We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed..." - Michael Swift - Boston Gay Community News - February 15-21, 1987
Pro-LGBT Publication Argues That ‘Queer’ Public Sex Should Be Permitted By Society
June is now Gay Pride and History Month In the United States
2021 Poll: 39 per cent of 18-24 year olds now identify as LGBTQ.
50 percent of young adults aged twenty to forty cohabiting in 2010, living together in fornication rather than getting married.
Fewer Than Half of American Children Grow Up In Intact Families, meaning families that were never divorced.
More than half of the women who are murdered in the US are killed as a result of romantic partner violence.
2019 80 Year-Old Abortionist Has Killed Over 80,000 Babies in Abortions
2016 According to a majority of American adults (57%), knowing what is right or wrong is a matter of personal experience. This view is much more prevalent among younger generations than among older adults. Three-quarters of Millennials (74%) agree strongly or somewhat with the statement, “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know.”
Read Genesis 6:5 once more, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Now before we all go out in our backyard and start digging a bomb shelter in preparation for the outpouring of God’s wrath in our time, look at verse 8 of chapter 6.
The Grace of God – Genesis 6:8-9, 22
Genesis 6:8-9 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
What always will be available from God in the midst of wickedness? Grace. God’s marvelous, unfathomable, undeniable grace. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
And in that grace we can see the character and the actions of the last hero of the 1st age of mankind.
We see three characteristics of Noah’s and then one all-important action that was the result of that life.
Genesis 6:9 Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Noah was a just man.
He was perfect in his generations, and like his great grandfather Enoch,
Noah walked with God
Then in Genesis 7:22 this is the result. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he
These three traits, just, perfect and walking with God, describe a godly life. Such a life not unique to Noah, but because of the times in which he lived his life stands out. It shines like a beacon on a very dark night.
If we define these three characteristics we would say that Noah’s life was characterized by justice, purity and holiness.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, probably my favorite commentary, says this, “The word righteous, from Hebrew ṣâddı̂q, describes Noah’s character as it manifested itself in relation to other human beings. “Straightness” or “up-rightness” was evident in his behavior. All his conduct revealed this moral and ethical righteousness. Hebrew tāmı̂m, perfect, describes the perfected product of a wise builder; it is full, complete, and flawless. The statement, he walked with God, opens another area of thought. In walking with God, Noah had displayed a spirit, an attitude, and a character that made him accepted and approved for the most intimate spiritual relationship. He manifested qualities of soul that endeared him to the Lord. - Charles F. Pfeiffer, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: Old Testament, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), Ge 6:9.
Noah was touched by God’s grace, he accepted the gift of that grace and it produced in him a life of justice, purity and holiness. Then when the time came for a hero to step forward the seed of grace, that had grown into a godly life produced the fruit of obedience.
God warns Noah what is coming, instructs him what to do and the Bible says in vs 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Noah obeyed God, no matter the monumental, almost impossible task God had given him, no matter the time needed, no matter the sacrifice called for. Noah was a hero of faith and he simply obeyed the commands of his God.
Noah is unique in his circumstances and the times in which he lived, but he is not unique in experiencing the gift of grace, nor I pray is he unique in the life that grace should produce.
God’s grace is not rare it is abundant, it is all around us. The word grace appears 69 times throughout the Bible. God’s grace is seen in the life we live, the families we raise, the rain that falls, the health we enjoy, the unseen but ever-present providence of God that applies to all mankind. That is what we could call general grace, the idea that the rain falls on the just and the unjust, but to Noah and I pray to us grace is much more than God’s goodness to all mankind.
God’s grace to us is not in the background but it is front and center in the lives of his children today as it was for Noah. John 1:16-17 “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Grace to us is not the gentle sun shining upon the earth but is the glorious son of God, Jesus Christ shining in our hearts. And if we have experiences God’s grace then that grace should produce in us a life that is reflective of such a great gift.
Noah again is not unique. Our lives touched by grace should also be just, pure and holy.
And as we live that life of grace when we are commanded by God to act on His behalf, no matter how impossible it may appear to us, we will obey. We will obey because we have been changed by grace, matured by justice, purity and our walk with God and when God calls, then we will be ready.
Hebrews 5:8-9 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
What another great hero, Moses, told the children of the Lord before they took on the impossible task of conquering the Promised land, still applies to us. Deuteronomy 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
We’ve got a lot to still cover so let’s move quickly to …
Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
This is familiar territory, so I won’t read about all the animals or the timelines of the flood. What I want you to notice here is the ark itself. God told Noah, “Come into the ark.”
There is only one way of salvation, Jesus Christ and there was only one door in the ark.
God invited Noah and his family into the ark and we are invited to come to Christ.
The ark saved Noah and his family from judgment because they believed God’s promise, they put their faith in God’s salvation. Christ saves us from eternal judgment because we have put our faith in Him.
The ark endured the cataclysm of God’s judgment but kept Noah and his family safe. Jesus Christ went through the flood of suffering for us and came out in victory.
There are many other types but we just don’t have the time to explore them all. (Isn’t the Super Bowl today?) Here is the point of the foreshadowing of the ark, as Noah was saved by grace through faith in the ark, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The ark went through the most powerful flood of all time, not a gentle rising of the waters, but a rending of the fountains of the deep and a ripping of the windows of heaven. There would have been earthquakes, volcanoes in the deep and on land, lightning and thunder would have deafened the world itself and rain would fell for 40 days and nights, it never ceased to pour down in great sheets signifying the outpouring of God’s wrath.
Genesis 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die.
God’s wrath was poured out from above and pushed up from beneath and nothing, nothing would survive. And yet this one small ship, this raft of refugees, nothing but a “floating box” perhaps 600 feet long, 100 feet wide and 60 feet high, made of cypress wood and coated inside and out with pitch a natural tar, this speck survived. It survived not because Noah was a great planner, but because God was and is a great protector. The ark survived not because of Noah great skill but because of God’s great salvation. The ark survived not because of Noah’s goodness but because God’s grace.
What a powerful picture of salvation in Jesus Christ.
We are saved by grace: Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We come at the invitation of our Lord Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We are safe and secure from the terrible wrath of God for all eternity. Romans 8:33-39 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I’m so glad that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, but I am overjoyed that I found grace in the eyes of the Lord. I heard the Gospel, Jesus was lifted up. The Holy Spirit said, “Come” and I joyfully accepted the gift of salvation. Now I stand in that unshakeable, unbreakable, unending salvation knowing that whatever this age and the age to come may sweep over me, I am secure because like Noah in the ark, I am safe in my Lord Jesus Christ.
How safe are you this morning? You’ve heard the Gospel and the invitation. We’ve presented them from God’s word this morning. I know that is true but what only you can know is if you’ve entered in to that grace. If you’ve accepted the invitation to, “Come unto me.”
Let me also add this, if you have entered in, then know this above all other things in this world. You are now safe, nothing can take you from God. Nothing can deny His promises. Nothing can destroy the eternity that waits you with Him in heaven. The world is raging but it can’t come into the ark that is the power and protection of God, not now and not in eternity to come.