Lessons From God’s Original Sailor Man
September 12, 2004
First Baptist Church, Chester, IL Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A Residents along the Mississippi River are no strangers to overflows and flooding during the spring thaw and rains. Since the early 18th century, settlers have built levees and floodwalls along the 2,000-mile-long waterway to try and control it. However, in years with record-breaking rainfall, like 1927 and 1993, trying to tame the river becomes impossible.
The Mississippi and its swollen tributaries reached peak levels in April of 1927 and overflowed their banks. One by one, levees built to contain the river broke, and a wall of water pushed its way across midwestern farmlands. The flood covered 27,000 square miles, an area about the size of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont combined. For two long months the water would remain above flood stage, leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes.
The flood of 1993 was one of the most devastating floods in United States history. More than double the normal amount of rainfall fell in the Midwest during the first half of the year, flooding over 16,000 square miles in nine states. Major flooding was confined to the Upper Mississippi due to the less than average level of inflow from Lower Mississippi tributaries.
Despite the severity of those floods, they pale in comparison to the flood Noah
and his family experienced.
These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Gen 6:9 (NASB)
Noah is known as the man who build the ark, but that’s not the only things he built in his lifetime.
B There was something about Noah’s character that got God’s attention. (ETS)
a God looks for certain people to use. (ESS)
b I hope you will get on board to begin building a character that gets God’s attention. (Objective)
C What are you doing right now to getting God’s attention with your character? (Probing Question)
a Transitional Sentence: Let’s look at two building lessons we can take from God’s original sailor man, Noah, that can help us building a godly character.
RIGHTEOUS Blameless in his time Walked with God
Charles Spurgeon had this to say about pride: "O you self-righteous people, how can you talk about being saved? What saving do you want? You are as full of good works as you can be and your pride shines—how can you be saved? Those who are saved by Jesus are those who are in themselves lost, ruined and undone. Until you know your ruin, and confess your sin, it is not likely you will ever accept a Savior. While you feel you can save yourselves, you will attempt it; but when you can do no more, then you will fall into the arms of your Savior; and what a blessed fall that will be!"
1 " . . .Noah was a righteous man,. . ." Gen 6.9b
A If you describe someone as ‘good’ in English, you would describe that same person as ‘righteous’ in Hebrew.
(MSG & NCV translate ‘righteous’ as ‘good’.)
a Noah was not without sin, sinless, perfect.
b Ezekiel 18.5-9 describes a righteous man as one who has kept the moral law.
He did what was right & refrained from what was wrong.
c Gen. 7.1 , ". . . for you (Noah) alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time." tells us that even God saw Noah as righteous or good.
B Most people consider themselves to be good.
a Maybe our closest friends, neighbors, family would testify that we are good, but what does God see us as?
b Romans 3.10 "as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;"
How did Noah pull it off?
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Heb 11:7 (NASB)
Noah pulled it off by FAITH!!!!!
c The same way we pull it off!!!
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Eph 2:8 (NASB)
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21 (NASB)
You don’t have to be perfect, w/o sin, sinless . . . you have to be HIS to be righteous!!!!
Author Max Lucado writes:
All of us occasionally do what is right. A few predominately do what is right. But do any of us always do what is right? According to Paul we don’t. "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10, NKJV).
Some may beg to differ. "I’m not perfect, Max, but I’m better than most folks. I’ve led a good life. I don’t break the rules. I don’t break hearts. I help people. I like people. Compared to others, I think I could say I’m a righteous person."
I used to try that on my mother. She’d tell me that my room wasn’t clean, and I’d ask her to go with me to my brother’s room. His was always messier than mine. "See, my room is clean; just look at his."
Never worked. She’d walk me down the hall to her room. When it came to tidy rooms, my mom was righteous. Her closet was just right. Her bed was just right. Her bathroom was just right. Compared to hers, my room was, well, just wrong. She would show me her room and say,
"This is what I mean by clean." God does the same. He points to himself and says, "This is what I mean by righteousness."
2 " Noah was . . . blameless in his time, . . ." Gen. 6.9c
(Blameless usually describes animals used in temple sacrifice & it is rarely applied to people. Job, being the only one I’ve found, besides Christ.)
A God didn’t choose Noah randomly.
a Noah wasn’t the most talented, skilled, or had the most social standing.
b His actions/life/stood among the rest of creation.
(There were probably other’s who said they loved God, Noah lived it!)
c In the face of critics, dissenters, opposition: Noah kept following/loving/serving God!
What would have happened if Noah wouldn’t have stood out against the crowd?
B If we are right before with God through faith in Christ, we should be living right lives before people.
a We, Christians, should be blameless in our time!
b Barna Research surveyed evangelicals and discovered we’re far from blameless in our time. (We look just like our time.!)
*The divorce rate is the same in the church as the world.
*Our stance on abortion, homosexuality, extra-marital affairs, sex before marriage, gamble, scripture, sinlessness of Christ, absolute truth, give as little . . .
*Noah didn’t know it at the time, but he was being scoffed, opposed, criticized because he looked like Jesus. (Jesus came to do the will of the Father!)
*I think the reason we don’t get scoffed, opposed, criticized is we look like everybody else!
We look like everybody else in Wal-Mart, on the line, teachers on facility, students,. . . WE DON’T STAND OUT, WE BLEND IN!!!
c Titus 1.10,16 MSG
10 For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. 16 They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’re real creeps, disobedient good-for-nothings. Titus 1:16 (MSG)
3 ". . .Noah walked with God." Gen 6.9d
A Noah came from a long line of people who had walked with God.
a Enoch Enoch walked with God Gen 5:24 (NASB)
*Taught his son, Methuselah, how to walk.
*Methuselah passed it on to his son, Lamech.
*Lamech in turn shared with son, Noah. (Noah walked with God.)
b Noah’s walked saved his family.
1 Then the LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, Gen 7:1 (NASB)
*The rest of the world missed the boat, but not Ham, Shem, Japheth.
*Witnessed to his daughter-in-laws & his wife.
c Noah’s exercised his walk daily.
*He didn’t build the ark in a day. (He got up everyday to face the challenge, opposition.)
*He wasn’t righteous one day a week, blameless one day a week.
B Just because we’ve walked an aisle, does not mean we’re walking with God.
a We are told to . . .
Walk in love. (Eph. 5.2)
Walk as children of light. (Eph 5.8)
Walk carefully. (Eph 5.15)
Walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5.16.25)
. . . one step at a time . . . One day at a time.
b Your walk can make an eternal difference in your family.
If your greatest passion is to leave your kids money, land, homes when you die, your not leaving them much. (Wood, Hay, Stubble)
Just as surely as the flood came, God’s judgement is coming again.
c Your family sees the way you walk!!!!
If your walk with God is a hobby you do once a week . . .
If your walk with God is phoney/hypocritical . . .
If your walk with God is interrupted when the waters of life rise . .
YOUR TEACHING YOUR KIDS HOW TO WALK WITH GOD!