Summary: Children enjoy hearing about the animals and the big boat and the rainbow and how God rescued Noah and his family, but really, the story of Noah is a sobering account of divine judgement upon all of humankind, followed by a beautiful expression of God's g
Noah’s Ark - for Adults
Scripture: Genesis 6:1-9:17
This week, about Tuesday, I asked Ron what I should preach on today and he said, “Noah, Building the Ark.” So, I thought about that, and then in the evening I read the story of Noah.
Noah and the Ark is usually relegated to Sunday School, or children’s stories. And maybe because we have done that, we’ve missed some of the most important lessons God has for us from stories like,
David and Goliath
Noah and the Ark
The Firey Furnace
Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors
So today, I’ve called the message, “Noah’ Ark, for Adults” because these four chapters are really not a children’s story.
Children enjoy hearing about the animals and the big boat and the rainbow and how God rescued Noah and his family, but really, this story of Noah is a sobering account of divine judgment upon ALL of humankind.
This story talks about the moral state of humanity back then. And perhaps we relegate this story to a children’s story because, maybe, just maybe, it’s a little too close to what is happening in our world today, so it makes us uncomfortable.
And we do that, don’t we. We take the scripture, especially some of these very severe Old Testament stories, and we take the pretty parts of them, the rainbow and the dove with the olive branch, and so many other nicer parts of the story, and we focus on those - and we miss the lesson. Or at the very least, we miss the whole of the lesson, and so our teaching and therefore, our learning, becomes scewed.
We live in an age of biblical illiteracy. Very few people know even the basic or once most popular stories of the Bible. But even with that, there are very few people who have not heard of Noah’s Ark. There are cartoons about it, movies made of it, toys, campgrounds named after it, and even jewelry and clothing depicting it.
In almost all of ancient world history there are catastrophic flood stories. Anthropologists have collected about 275 such stories.
Let’s look at what the story of Noah’s Ark actually tells us. The story really has three parts to it. Three things ABOUT God that we can learn from the story. We’re going to look at God’s Heartache, God’s Joy, and God’s Grace.
And I hope in looking at each of these areas we’ll have a better understanding of God, and who HE is, but we’ll also have a better understanding of ourselves, and where we stand with God.
Let’s look first at:
What grieves the heart of God? I mean, can he even sense grief, or sorrow - since he knows everything anyway?
In verse 6, we’re told God’s heart was filled with pain. He was filled with sorrow, over how his creation had responded to his provision.
See . . .
1. God sees evil (vs 5, 12)
God sees the evil in our lives. I wonder sometimes if we fully understand that God truly is watching us. He sees the evil in our lives and in our world. When we think it’s just a little sin, or we think we can get away with one thing or the other. God sees. There’s the little children’s chorus we’ve sung here - “Oh be careful little feet where you go.” God is not blind to us. He sees our joys and our sorrows, our righteousness AND our sinfulness. He sees where we go, what we look at, the things we listen to.
Gloria Gaither is the one I first heard talk about how it was never really hard for her to believe that God made the universe and all of creation and all those big things. But, she said, that God chose to get involved in my Monday mornings. That’s what she said was hard for her to grasp.
God is involved in our lives. He’s watching. And maybe there are times you just feel like crying out to the Lord - ‘Lord, don’t you see what’s going on around here?! Don’t you see this abuse, the wickedness of our world?” Make no mistake about it. God knows. He sees. He’s aware. Now for some us, that will bring comfort. For others of us, it will make us squirm - make us feel quite UNcomfortable. God sees. And he knows.
And . . .
2. God will not contend with sin forever (vs 3)
God is patient. And he’s kind and loving. But verse three tells us that God will not put up with sin forever. And there came a point in Noah’s day - in Noah’s generation when God decided his creation - the people he had made, who disobeyed him at the very beginning, had now crossed a line. They had sunk to a level of living in the flesh - a sinful state of living - where God’s patience had run out.