Summary: Faithful people stick with others. Find out how God is particularly sticky.
Who can identify this fruit? (Show picture.) It looks a bit like a coconut, but it isn’t. It’s about the size of an orange and it grows in the Amazon. This fruit is called bacuri. The part that you eat is the sticky white pulp in the middle, which they say tastes sweet and sour at the same time. The pulp is used to produce creams, sorbets, and fruit juices. When the outside of the fruit is squeezed, it oozes a latex-like substance making bacuri a particularly sticky fruit inside and out.
What are some of the stickiest fruits you’ve handled? Mangos? Peaches? The Fruit of the Spirit is also sticky. I say this because one of the characteristics of this fruit is faithfulness. Someone who is faithful is someone who sticks with you. God is sticky. Once he makes a promise, he holds on to it and will never let it go. No one and nothing can shake that promise from his hand like yarn caught in the claws of a cat. This same God calls us to be faithful and through the Holy Spirit produces faithful-stickiness in us. Let’s see what that stickiness ought to look like in our lives as we study the interaction between God and Noah. (Read text.)
Our sermon text should remind us that there really is no such thing as the “good ol’ days.” Sin may have not been as obvious a couple of generations ago as it is today, but ever since Adam and Eve’s declaration of independence, this world has been a sin-stinking place. That was true at the time of Noah, five or six thousand years ago. When God looked at the world of that time, he saw believers carelessly putting their faith in jeopardy by choosing marriage partners based solely on sex appeal, not whether or not their spouse would help them in their walk with God. God also saw a wanton disregard for life as the strong fell upon the weak and took for themselves whatever they wanted. While these unbelievers could no doubt act like “nice” people from time to time, God was not fooled. He saw that “every inclination of…[their] hearts was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5b). God was disgusted by what he saw and so he prepared to cleanse the world of these people who had no use for him. Friends, it’s good for us to remember that it isn’t just automobiles that can be recalled by their maker, so can human beings (John Jeske).
And the day for total recall of all human beings is coming! Jesus promised that one day you will have to stand before his judgment throne, and we know he’ll stick to that promise. Noah was convinced that God was faithful to his promise to cleanse the world and so he resolved to stick close to God’s directions. If God said that a flood was coming and that he should build a big boat so that he and his family and every kind of animal could survive, then that’s what Noah would do.
Now you’ve seen the cutesy pictures of the ark in children’s books giving you the impression that Noah could have assembled that boat in a weekend or two. Not so. The ark he was to build was huge. It was about as high as a four-story house and a football field and a half long. It wasn’t until 1884 that a ship of that size was built again! Besides his work on the ark, Noah also had to gather a year’s worth of food for his family and for as many as 2,000 animals. It’s no wonder God gave Noah his orders over a hundred years before he actually sent the flood. Noah would need the time to prepare for what God said was coming.
Don’t you wonder what kind of insults Noah faced as he worked on the ark? We might get an idea from a modern “Noah.” In 2007 a man in Holland built a replica of the ark that is five times smaller than the original one. It still cost the Dutchman $1.35 million (CDN). It’s interesting to read the posts about this man’s project. Scoffers talk about the waste of time and effort. I mean if you had $1.35 million, would you build an ark? Why not build a comfortable home instead? In the same way Noah’s industriousness must have impressed his contemporaries as he cut down trees, dragged them to the worksite, purchased or made nails and then spent countless hours pounding the wood into place until his hands were numb. Noah then sweated in the sun slapping pitch on the ark so that it would be seaworthy. But what was it all for? A flood? Really? And yet Noah continued to stick to God’s plan for him. Noah was faithful because he knew God would be faithful to his promise to send that flood.