A Story Of Folly, Favor, And Flood
Text: Gen.6: 8
Intro: In my early years, as a member of the Primary or Junior Sunday school class, at Crestview Baptist Church, in Petal, Mississippi, I was often enthralled by the story of Noah and the Ark. Having a rather vivid imagination; I pictured myself as Noah, who had just finished building the Ark, after 120 years of hard labor. In my mind’s eye I envisioned two columns of animals, of all shapes and sizes, ambling onto the Ark, as my sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth scurried about, hurriedly driving all the various kinds of animals to their particular enclosures.
While still captivated by my imaginary alter ego, I took a moment from my supervisory duties to catch my breath. I glanced up at the ominous clouds that had already begun to gather menacingly overhead. I’d never seen clouds look this angry. Nor had I ever witnessed the wind blowing so violently. This was all new to me, and I found it rather scary.
At last, from my vantage point on the deck of the Ark, I could see the end of what had earlier appeared to be an endless line of creatures. After a few minutes of watching from the deck, I decided to go below, where I stood just inside the large door in the side of the Ark, through which the animals had been entering for countless hours. As my sons were driving in the few remaining animals, I took another look at the sky. At that moment the most amazing thing happened. Water began to fall from the sky. But even more amazing to me was the fact that even while the water fell from the sky, jagged tongues of fire branched out all over the face of the heavens, followed by a sound like the crash of a hundred waterfalls that seemed to roll from one end of the sky to the other. I pulled back in horror.
As the last animal, along with my sons, ran into the vessel, the large door in the side of the Ark began to close of its own accord. God’s judgment against sin had begun. I had preached the need for repentance toward God to my people for 120 years. But none but my own family believed me. Now, the time for repentance was over. The door of the Ark was shut. But worse was the thought that no one could get in. Their doom was sealed.
Folks, what I’ve just described to you were the imaginations of a young boy. But the basic facts are real. You see the account of Noah and the Ark is a realistic explanation of God’s holy nature, and His hatred of sin, as seen by His pronouncement of coming judgment. However, this true story also reveals the mercy and grace of God, as seen by the fact that He provided a way of escaping His wrath, to all who would believe His message. This is a symbolic picture of salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ.
Theme: This story tells us of:
I. THE SORROW OF GOD’S HEART
A. Sin Brought A Sigh To God’s Heart.
1. God gazed upon mankind’s wickedness.
Gen.6: 5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
NOTE:  The idea of the word “imagination” is that not only were man’s thoughts evil, but so were his intents, purposes, and desires. It can be summed up as follows:
Man was utterly corrupt, bad in heart and in conduct. There was no good in him. The whole bent of his thoughts and imaginations was completely out of line with the will of Jehovah. Flesh was on the throne. God was forgotten or openly defied.
Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 12.
 Dear friends, just as in the days of Noah, when God gazed upon the everyday existence of mankind, and saw his utter corruption, He also sees the despicable nature and gross wickedness of modern-day man. God still sees all. No one can hide their actions or motives from God. Listen to what God says:
Jer.23: 24 “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”
2. God grieved over man’s wickedness.
Gen.6: 6 “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
NOTE:  The word “repented” does not indicated that God realized that He had made a mistake by making man. This word “…speaks of taking a deep breath in extreme pain” (Ibid, pg. 12). In today’s language, we would refer to this as a sigh. This word must be connected with the word “grieved,” in the last phrase of verse six, which basically means “…to pierce oneself or to experience piercing” (Ibid, pg. 12).
 John Phillips has the following to say concerning the word “grieved.”
The fact remains that “grieve” is a love word—we do not grieve for those we do not love. The word is highly expressive, for it reveals the heartache of God over the rebellion and wickedness of men. His lovingkindness was scorned, His patience abused, His offer of salvation ignored. It stabbed Him to His heart.
John Phillips, Exploring Genesis, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 81.
 When one puts together the ideas behind the words “repented” and “grieved,” we conclude that “…God experienced heart-piercing sorrow as he looked upon the tragic devastation sin had produced. His handiwork had been marred and ruined” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 12). As the psalmist said, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness…” (Ps.5: 4a). God hates what sin has done to His creation. Let me illustrate:
Leonardo da Vinci was painting his masterpiece, “The Last Supper.” He went looking for models to sit for the various disciples and for Jesus. He found a handsome and innocent looking man in a choir in one of the churches in Italy. He painted him as Jesus in the great painting. The man’s name was Pietro Bandinelli.
Years passed as da Vinci continued to work on the painting. He left the face of Judas Iscariot till the last. Leonardo went out into the streets of Rome and looked for the most forlorn person he could find. At last he saw the man whom he wanted for the disciple that betrayed Christ. His face was drawn and villainous. He hired the man and brought him in to sit for the face of Judas. When he had completed the work he was about to dismiss the man when he asked, “By the way, sir, what is your name?” The poor gentleman said, “Don’t you know me? I am Pietro Bandinelli. I also sat as your model for the face of Jesus.” The poor man had drifted so far that his face had gone from that of Christ to that befitting the scandalous Judas Iscariot. Dear friend, beware of drifting from God. And be busy sharing for God.
Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com.
B. Sin Brought A Sentence Upon Mankind.
Gen.6: 7 “And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”
NOTE:  From the very beginning, a divine penalty was placed upon sin. God told Adam and Eve, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen.2: 17).
 The writer of Hebrews, speaking of the punishment of sin, under the old covenant, said, “…every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;” (Heb.2: 2b). That is an absolute upon which God still operates, for “the wages of sin is death…” (Rom.6: 23a). Every person on earth will either be judged in Christ Jesus, or by Christ Jesus.
II. THE STANDING OF NOAH
A. He Enjoyed God’s Favor.
Gen.6: 8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
NOTE:  Grace has been defined as “God’s unmerited favor in behalf of sinful and undeserving man” (Professor Ron Walker). Grace is never based on what one has done. If it were, it would not be grace at all. Paul makes this clear.
Rom.4: 4 “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award—yet receives such a gift anyway—that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.
G.W. Knight, Clip-Art Features for Church Newsletters, p. 53.
 God, in His foreknowledge, chose Noah as His instrument of deliverance before he had done anything good or bad. The statement of Lamech, at Noah’s birth, implies this.
Gen.5: 29 “And he called his name Noah, saying, This shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.”
The word “Noah” means, “rest,” “comfort,” “consolation” (John Phillips, Exploring Genesis, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 78). Lamech foresaw in his son, an instrument in the hand of God, to bring about rest and comfort from the curse that had come upon the earth, due to sin. Noah would be the means by which mankind could start anew.
B. He Endeavored To Be Faithful.
1. Noah lived a life that was right with God.
Gen.6: 9b “…Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations…”
NOTE:  The word “just” is translated “righteous” in the New Living Translation, which is in agreement with many other biblical scholars (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 9).
 Notice also that Noah is said to be “perfect in his generations,” meaning that he was “…(without blemish) in a morally corrupt world” (John Phillips, Exploring Genesis, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 82). But Phillips reveals a deeper meaning behind the word “generations,” which I’ve never seen until now. He explains as follows:
The word “generations” means “to go in a circle.” It suggests that Noah found a new center of gravity for his life in God. As a planet goes in circles around the sun, so Noah’s life revolved around God. Without that great central attraction the natural tendency, the normal drives in his life, would have taken him off into the outer darkness of the wicked age in which he lived. But Cainite civilization failed to attract him. He found a greater attraction in God, and henceforth his life revolved around Him.
Ibid, pg. 82.
 God’s Word still urges Christians in this present generation to live blameless and undefiled lives.
Rom.12: 2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
2 Cor.6: 17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
2. Noah lived a life that enjoyed a relationship with God.
Gen.6: 9c “…and Noah walked with God.”
NOTE: The whole idea behind the statement that Noah “walked with God” is that he had “…close fellowship with God,” as it is rendered in the NLT (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 9). This idea of fellowship is also implied in Amos 3: 3, where the question is asked, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” The only answer to that question is “no.” Our fellowship with God ought to be the most important thing in our life.
Some years ago, when Earl Weaver was manager of the Baltimore Orioles, Pat Kelly, one of his outfielders, showed up late for practice. When Weaver asked him why he was late, Kelly, a born-again believer said, “I was in my quite time with the Lord. You do want me to walk with the Lord, don’t you?” Weaver remarked, “Actually, Pat, I’d rather you walk with the bases loaded.”
Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com.
III. THE STATE OF THE WORLD
A. The World Was Corrupt.
Gen.6: 11a “The earth also was corrupt before God…
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”
NOTE: The basic meaning of the words translated “corrupt” and “corrupted” is “to decay, i.e. (caus.) ruin…” (James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible, published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia; #7843 of the Hebrew And Chaldee Dictionary, pg. 115). The Amplified Bible translates the first part of verse 11 with the words, “The earth was depraved and putrid in God’s sight…” (The Lockman Foundation, The Amplified Bible, published by Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan; The Amplified Old Testament; pg. 7). One of the sad facts of our generation is that it no longer views sin as exceedingly sinful (Rom.7: 13c). Sin has been glossed over by modern-day society, and tries to make it sound better, by calling it “an unfortunate mistake,” or “an unwise choice.” But God still sees sin for what it really is, filthy, dirty, ungodly, and putrid—a stench in the nostrils of God. Folks, calling a Cobra a Garter Snake makes it no less deadly. It is what it is.
I read somewhere the story of a woman who once said to a famous evangelist; “I’m deeply troubled over a problem that I know is hurting my testimony. It’s the practice of exaggeration. I start to tell something, and then go on and enlarge the story until it’s all distorted. People know that what I say is not true, and lose confidence in me. I wonder if you can help me?
The preacher looked at her and said, “Let’s talk to the Lord about it.”
She prayed, “O God, you know that I have this tendency to exaggerate.”
At that point the evangelist interrupted, “Call it lying, Madam, and you may get over it!”
The woman began to weep and finally made a full confession of her SIN. Sometimes we want to call our sins by a more pleasing name. We may call sin a “habit,” “tendency,” or “personal flaw.” God calls it “SIN.” When we are willing to confess and repent of SIN, God can and will forgive the SIN and give us power to overcome it!
Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, PastorLife.
B. The World Was Cruel.
Gen.6: 11b “…and the earth was filled with violence.
13b …for the earth is filled with violence through them;”
NOTE:  The meaning of the word translated “violence” is “cruelty” or “injustice” (James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible, published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia; #2555 of the Hebrew And Chaldee Dictionary, pg. 40). The people of the antediluvian world, because of the utter corruption of their hearts, simply acted out in physical expression, the carnality that resided within. Our generation, for all its touted civility, is just as cruel as the people of Noah’s day.
Of all married couples, 30% have at least one violent episode during their marriage. Each year some 1.8 million wives are severely attacked by their husbands, and almost the same number of husbands are assaulted by their wives. In 1975 it was estimated that nearly 2 million individuals faced a mate wielding a gun or knife. Nearly 2 million children a year (almost 4% of all children between the ages of 3 and 17) are victims of parental abuse and neglect. More than 2,000 die as a result. According to national averages, every household in America is the scene of family violence at least once a year.
Murray Straus and Richard Gelles, Behind Closed Doors, Violence in the American Family, Family Violence Research Program, University of New Hampshire, 1980.
 It was just a few days ago now that Mark Castillo confessed to drowning his three children, ages 6, 4, and 2, one by one, in the bathtub of his room at a Marriott hotel (msnbc.msn.com). Things like this are commonplace in today’s society. The statement of Matthew 24: 12 fits our day very well when it says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
C. The World Was Condemned.
Gen.6: 13 “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”
IV. THE SOURCE OF NOAH’S DELIVERANCE
A. It Was Of Divine Design.
Gen.6: 14 “Make thee an ark of gopher (cypress) wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”
NOTE:  Noah and his family would be able to weather the storm of God’s wrath against mankind’s sin only if they followed God’s plan. God gave Noah specific instructions concerning the construction of an Ark, which is a type of the believing sinner’s deliverance from the penalty of their sin through Jesus Christ. Noah could not take the liberty of doing his own thing, for the results would have been disastrous. The same is true concerning salvation. There is one, and only one, way of salvation—repentance toward God, and faith in the redemptive work of Christ on Calvary.
 Folks, Jesus is the Ark of our deliverance from the wrath to come. He alone is the sinner’s only hope of salvation.
[2a] The world would have people believe that the names of Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, or Confucius are names by which a person might achieve eternal life. But God says of Christ, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12). Again, the Word of God is plain when it says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim.2: 5).
[2b] The world would have one believe that there are many ways to salvation, and that one is as good as another. But Jesus said, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14: 6).
[2c] The world would have you believe that you can make it to heaven on your own, by doing good works. But God’s Word says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3: 5 & 6). God’s Word also tells us, “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Isa.64: 6b).
B. It Would Provide Divine Deliverance From Destruction.
1. In mercy, God’s judgment came slowly.
Gen.6: 3 “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”
Luke 17: 26 “And as it was in the days of No’e (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that No’e entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
NOTE: In 2 Pet.2: 5, Noah is referred to as “a preacher of righteousness,” and as such, he preached God’s message of repentance for 120 years, while he worked on the Ark. But as Luke 17: 26 & 27 points out, even as Noah warned the people of coming judgment, life went on as usual. They ignored God’s warning, and eventually suffered the consequences. God never rushes to judgment, for he is ever longsuffering and merciful. Speaking of the nature of God, Peter said, “…but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet.3: 9b).
2. God’s judgment came surely.
Gen.6: 17 “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”
Gen.7: 11 “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits (22.5 ft.) upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.”
NOTE:  God had warned that judgment was coming; and it came just as He’d predicted it would. As someone once noted: “The gristmill of God’s justice may grind slowly, but it grinds surely” (Source Unknown). Just because God doesn’t always pay up every Friday, at 3:00 o’clock, doesn’t mean that He’s forgotten what is due. The only way the sinner can escape the wrath of God’s judgment against sin is to enter the Ark, Christ Jesus. You can enter the Ark today, by repenting of your sins, and trusting Christ with all your heart. The Bible says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3: 36).
 A lot of folks seem to think that they will somehow escape God’s judgment; that everything will be all right in the end. But God’s Word declares, “…and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num.32: 23b).
Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray once informed a man who had appeared before him in a lower court and had escaped conviction on a technicality, “I know that you are guilty and you know it, and I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and wiser Judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law.”
Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, the thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall, dropped down the other side, and found himself in the city prison.
Oops: The Book of Blunders, 1980.
3. Noah, and all who were in the Ark, was saved.
Gen.6: 17 “But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.”
Gen.7: 23 “And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”
NOTE: Only eight people survived the judgment of God, in the days of Noah. The number “eight” is the number of new beginnings in the Bible. A new beginning is exactly what God wants to give every lost sinner. Through Christ, the sinner can be washed as white as snow. God says to the lost sinner:
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa.1: 18). Jesus Christ weathered the storm of God’s judgment on the Cross, so you and I wouldn’t have to. Dear lost friend, come into the Ark today. Turn from your sins, and turn to Christ Jesus by faith. God’s promise to you today is: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom.10: 13).
Theme: This story tells us of:
I. THE SORROW OF GOD’S HEART
II. THE STANDING OF NOAH
III. THE STATE OF THE WORLD
IV. THE SOURCE OF NOAH’S DELIVERANCE