Summary: What was God looking for when He called Noah? He was not looking for perfection, intelligence, or strength; He was looking for faithfulness. And in being faithful, Noah found that one person can make a difference.
As you look around at the world in which we live, it is easy to see lots of problems. There is corruption in the government, obvious moral decline, and an almost total disregard for others.
We see a growing lack of respect in our youth toward their elders, and this is encouraged in most of the songs that are played on the radio and on CDs. And as we see these things we often say, "What can we do?" We throw up our hands and conclude that we are helpless to make any real change at all.
As much as we cannot see how we might be able to change things, God has always used individuals to make those changes He wanted made.
Perhaps the most famous of these figures is a guy by the name of Noah. He was only one man but God used that one man to actually save mankind. So today, I encourage you not to listen simply to the historical account of Noah, but also listen to what God did through Noah; a single person.
Let’s talk about ……
1. THE STATE OF NOAH’S WORLD
In order to understand what God did through Noah, we have to understand what Noah faced. Listen to what the world was like in Noah’s time.
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them.
"Every inclination of the thoughts of the heart was only evil all the time." What would cause God to say such a harsh thing? It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what was going on in everyday life back then. The people of that day disregarded God. They may have talked about Him in conversation but He did not occupy a place in their lives. Religion was an academic exercise; something they did when it was time to do it, but not a way of life for them. Morality was determined by personal choice rather than by God’s standards.
When you compare the two, those days were not much different from our own. The flood wiped those people out, except for Noah and his family. One would think that we could learn from our mistakes, but in just a few chapters later in Genesis, we read about the people of Babel and how they had reached a similar state of disobedience.
In Romans 3:10-12 Paul wrote about how things were still depraved in his day.
" … there is none righteous, none that do good, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
I don’t think things have changed very much over the years, do you? To make you realize just how much we are like the people of Noah’s day, try this little experiment.
This week as you watch television notice how many times the 10 commandments are disobeyed in just one half-hour TV show. Look at the innuendo regarding illicit relationships, or how funny they try to make it when they lie to each other. Look at how violence and hatred is glorified. And then see if you can find just one instance where anyone shows true respect towards anyone else. And then realize that this goes on in nearly every single TV show, and we allow all of that to come into our homes on a daily basis. It is no wonder why we have troubled marriages, troubled kids, and trouble finding God in our homes.
Listen to the radio (both talk and music programs) and notice the values of those in charge of the shows. They have standards that belong in the street, but do not belong to God. Unless it is a Christian station, most of them follow a god, but it isn’t the Holy God of Heaven.
Speaking of God, listen how most people talk about God today. The God they talk about is not the God of the Bible. I saw a famous TV star the other day talk about how God’s main desire is for us to feel good about ourselves and to see us have fulfillment in life. There was no talk of holiness, sin, or judgment. The God of the world is a caricature created in the image of man.
Watch any recent movie. Pay attention to the language, the morality, and watch how God’s people are often portrayed as lunatics or worse.