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Summary: Noah preached for 120 years and knew what it was to resist temptation, but eventually it knocked him off his feet.

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Intro:

1. C. S. Lewis, "A silly idea is current, that good people do not know, what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those, who try to resist temptation, know how strong it is.

After all, you find out, the strength of a wind, by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation, after 5 minutes, simply does not know, what it would have been like an hour later.

That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out, the strength of the evil impulse inside us, until we try to fight it."

2. Noah had preached about righteousness for 120 years, and knew what it was to resist temptation, in it's full fury.

But, like all of us, it eventually knocked him down...

3. Even the Mature are not exempt from Failure.

Trans:Gen. 9:18-29

Boice, "The first thing the fall of Noah teaches us is that anyone can sin. No one is above or beyond temptation...We want to be righteous and blameless, and walk with God. Yet here is Noah, our example, falling into sin. If he can sin, anyone can, ourselves included.

This judgment needs to be strengthened, however, for the point of the story is not merely that anyone can fall but that everyone does. If this story existed by itself apart from the rest of the Book of Genesis, it would make the first point but not necessarily the second. It would say that anyone can fall but not that all do. However, the story is not isolated. It occurs in the context of a book in which the deterioration of character is traced in personage after personage and the message of the book as a whole seems to be: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Rom. 3:10-12).

Genesis begins with man (Adam) in Eden under the blessing of God. But sin enters and the book ends with a man (Joseph) in a coffin in Egypt, a place of bondage. The first child, Cain, is named in expectation of the coming Deliverer ("here he is"). But Cain becomes a murderer. Noah likewise falls, for all sin and "fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).

There is this lesson too. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, so he had lived righteously before God for a long time. In his youth and for most of his life he was "blameless among the people of his time."

But now, in his latter years, he mars that earlier record. Is this a unique incident? Not at all. It is merely one good example of the fact that many in the Bible were strong in living for God when they were young but departed from the will of God when they were older.

Moses sinned late in his life by striking the rock and taking some of God's glory to himself, as a result of which he was not permitted to enter the Promised Land.

David sinned with Bathsheba when he was in his fifties.

Solomon departed from the will of God when he was old. It has been thus for many. Past success does not provide power for future victory. So although we cry "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth" (Eccles. 12:1), we have to cry "Remember him in middle age and in old age as well." None of us is ever past temptation or the need of God's sustaining grace."


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