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Summary: Noah & the Flood - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). The Holiness of God (chapter 6 verses 1-7)

(2). The Grace of God (chapter 6 verse 8 to chapter 7 verse 10)

(3). The Wrath of God (chapter 7 verses 11-24)

(4). The Faithfulness of God (chapter 8 verses 1-22)

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• You cannot have failed to see the recent stories in the media (Feb 2014);

• Regarding a small mobile-phone-sized clay tablet;

• The tablet was covered in a 4,000-year-old cuneiform script;

• And you can see it on display at the British Museum in London.

• This cuneiform tablet tells a similar story like Noah, the biblical patriarch;

• Who gathered his family and the world's animals onto a massive ship,

• It contains a number of differences, such as the ark was round in shape;

• And made out of coiled rope not gopher wood.

• Of course I guess you know the old joke why it was called that;

• Because for 100 years Noah kept telling his sons to ‘go for wood’!

• Now this tablet has been at the British Museum since 1985,

• But the owner Irving Finkel did not surrender it for translation until 2009.

• The story is now in the news because Irving Finkel, owner of the tablet;

• Has published a book (The Ark Before Noah),

• And he suggests that Genesis borrowed the story from this earlier Babylonian account!

• The news media did not tell people that this tablet isn't dated with a date itself.

• It's date has been estimated according to Finkel, to be 1900 and 1700 BC.

• We would say he has given a guesstimate to it.

• The cynic might say, well he does have a book to publicise and sell!

• Many (conservative Christian) Bible scholars;

• Believe that the flood occurred circa 2349 BC,

• And that the account in Genesis was written by Moses circa 1450 BC;

• Shortly before his death.

• Christian scholars would therefore say that the Babylonian text;

• Must be a corrupted version an adaptation of the true story in Genesis.

• Or it might be an independent attempt at describing the world-wide flood.

• Rather than discredit the Genesis account;

• It actually confirms the fact that another great civilisation;

• Believed that a world-wide flood took place.

Note:

• Did you know that nearly every culture in the world has a tradition of a global flood?

• You will find over 200 of these stories from all over the world.

• From Asia to Africa, From South America to Europe;

• Most ancient civilisations have the story of a flood documented in their ancient records.

Ill:

• Interesting trivia:

• The word for "boat" in Chinese characters (Chinese character 船 )

• (which survived the Communist-era character simplification);

• Is composed of the symbols for "vessel," "eight," and "person,"

• (Literally "mouth", and sometimes translated as "family member.")

• The characters were developed by the historian Can Ji;

• At the order of the Emperor Huang Di during the 3rd millennium BC,

• And in many cases used combinations of pictograms to represent more abstract ideas.

• Is it coincidence or did he based his character for "boat";

• On the knowledge of the eight people were saved on a ship through the flood?

• We don’t know and therefore it is trivia and amusing;

• Rather than a historic or scientific fact.

• TRANSITION:

• Now there is something appealing and charming regarding the image of the ark;

• i.e. If you buy a children’s Bibles; the ark;

• (or a child’s representation of a small house on a boat) often features on their covers.

• i.e. In bookshops there are so many children’s books that retell this story

• i.e. So many ‘Parent & toddler’ groups or children’s nurseries are called ‘Noah’s Ark.

• This story is so well known, by people of faith and no faith.

• On March 21st 2014 a new Hollywood motion picture will be released;

• (Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone & Emma Watson).

• Once again this story will brought to the attention of millions of people;

• I am sure the film will be entertaining,

• I am sure the film will also be visually stunning to look at.

• I also hope and pray it will cause people to reflect and think!

• After all why did these events happen?

• Why did God bring such a judgement on humanity and his creation?

This narrative is one of contrasts:

• You have the appealing and charming regarding the image of the ark;

• And the vast array of animals coming to find refuge and shelter.

• Yet it is also one of the darkest narratives in the whole Bible.

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