Summary: Its great to survive, but not if that is all we want to do.

Just Surviving? Genesis 9

Jeff Russell Friendship Baptist Church, Langenselbold, Germany

The other day I greeted a friend outside the mailroom. I asked, “How is it going?” He said, “We’ll, I’m survivin’.” His statement told me a lot about himself. 1)that he was honest. he wasn’t going to say the usual “fine” when it wasn’t, 2) he gave me an indication that while things weren’t as he hoped the would be, he was giving ithis best efforts to keep his head above water, so to speak. 3) That while he was just surviving, and because all his efforts were focused on the present just to manage his

world, he didn’t have much or any resources to consider for the future. Now for this

person, just surviving was a temporary situation. But for many people, perhaps even some in this auditorium this morning, they have been in the state of just surviving for so long it has become normal. In fact if we ever get to the point where we are doing just a

little better, we start feeling uncomfortable.

Sometimes the effort to do more than that

is exceeded by our desire to “just get by.” And its a temptation that increases the older

we get or the more we become established where we are. I can remember when I was

in my twenties, I’d always want to live on the edge, to push the limits, to challenge

authority, and to prove wrong the people who told me that I just couldn’t do it. But the

temptation to maintain the status-quo is a swelling whirlpool that grows stronger with

every passing year. And while we admire those that survive, but its the desire to

continue on and live beyond that is not only the measure of our character, it is also the

measure of our faith.

It is not that God does not want us to enjoy life- He does. But He also knows

that the moment we let down, we start on a downward slope towards death and

destruction. Its effects are even more devestating in the church than it ever could be

individually. We begin this by looking at the life of Noah in Genesis 9. Now, with all

respect to Noah, Noah was a survivor. He was a survivor because he trusted God and

looked to God for power and for strength to overcome the ridicule when building the

ark. By faith, Noah endured the horror of seeing his home and those of his neighbors

destroyed by rising waters that disappeared beneath the tumultuous waves of the wrath

of God. By faith, Noah survived the shere boredom of life aboard that boat shared with

animals of all different kinds for forty days and forty nights. Noah didn’t have a Game

boy on board nor could he sit down and pop in a video tape or a DVD. He didn’t even

have 24 hour CNN that he could watch for excitement. That really was brave, wasn’t

it. Now most people think that it was an admirable act of faith to obey God and to

survive the flood and the experience of the ark- and it was. But for Noah, and for the

rest of us, the real test of Noah’s faith and dependence upon God lay not just beneath

the threatening clouds of doom before Noah got on the ark- no, friends, it was

afterward. It was after Noah and his family set foot on Mt. Ararat did the real test


In chapter 9, God told Noah: “And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring

forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” It was not just an admonition

to procreate children, but also to be in pursuit of a better life than what Noah had

known before the Flood. Noah enjoyed the brilliant rainbow as a reminder of God’s

covenant promise with Noah and all people after him that God would never destroy the

Earth by water again. But the spiritual journey was not ending- it was actually just

beginning. And I am certain that Noah understood that, at least at first. And he lost no

time getting to work and becoming as industrious in his new home as he had been

working on the ark as it says in verser 18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of

the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. You

ask, why did Moses remark here that Ham is the father of Canaan. We will see that in a

minute. Things were going well, the ark is unloaded. Mrs. Noah sets up her household

and they all get to work. But in verse 20 things begin to change And Noah began to be

a husbandman, and planted a vineyard. Nothing wrong here, Noah is still hard at work.

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