Summary: The altar is the place where God wants us dwell. He allows circumstances to get us there, and He would like us to dwell there.
An Ark, An Altar, An Activity, and and Awakening
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Background Texts: Genesis 6:8-9:25
Noah was a man that God hand-picked in a generation that was perverse like ours. He lived during part of two dispensations: The Dispensation of Conscience and The Dispensation of Civil Government. In the first, he was a hero; in the latter, he did not fare as well.
I. An Ark
God chose Noah to preserve the seed of man upon the earth. The Lord revealed His plan, at least in part, to Noah. Noah went to work on building a boat.
This boat was to called the Ark It signifies a number of things to us.
A. Security--it was the only safe place from the wrath that God was going to pour out on the earth.
B. Separation--it was where those who believed in God would find their refuge.
C. Secret place--reserved for the elect.
D. Sacred--where the presence of God preserved
E. Sweat--yes, there were 120 years of back-breaking labor to build it, and then the work of watching over and feeding the animals on board.
Are you and I working on an Ark in our spiritual journey. It is that special place in God that will safely lead us in His perfect will.
Someone said, , "Hey, brother, God is everywhere". Yes, that is true.
He was inside the Ark to show His mercy and grace.
He was outside of the Ark releasing His anger and wrath.
Note that God did not remove the trial of the flood from the life of Noah, but He provided him a vehicle and a refuge so that he could ride out storm. God will give you the method or the miracle you need to get on the other side of your present affliction.
II. An Altar
If you have an Ark, then you surely have an altar. That is where we show forth praise and worship and thanksgiving to our God.
Gen. 8:20 states that Noah offered a sacrifice on an altar upon the unloading of the animals after the flood.
It was a sweet fragrance unto the Lord and it please Him.
There are 2 basic sacrifices required in this New Testament era:
1. A living sacrifice-----Ro. 12:1 Sometimes it tries to crawl off the altar before God receives it.
2. A sacrifice of praise----Heb. 13:15
An altar speaks of dedication. That signifies discipline and temperance.
An altar need fire to make it productive. Fire is the opposite of water.
Lev. 6:13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
III. An Activity
The new earth was not heaven. God did not bring Noah this far just to sit around and do nothing.
Idleness is the devil's workshop.
Noah wasn't a lazy man. Now he did not need to build any more boats, so he ventured out on a new occupation.
In this new relaxed mode, he chose to plant a vineyard---Gen. 9:20
Herein is symbology: Passing from faith to works.
We read no more of an altar. Now it is all about making a living and enjoying the fruits of his labor.
Many of us have this same tendency. While the pressure is on, we press on to do God's bidding. After a great victory, we are prone to set back on our laurels and live a little less serious.
Making some money and having some clean entertainment has its place in life, but it should never replace the altar. That is a sure recipe for ruin.
NOBODY IS AN ISLAND UNTO HIMSELF!!
Regardless of your intentions, your actions and reactions will affect for good or bad, those around you.
Ham wasn't looking for problems. He was trying to mind his own business. He happened upon his dad and saw his nakedness. And he was cursed.
IV. An Awakening
Noah woke up, but the damage was already done.
That was pretty much the end of Noah's testimony.
You can wake up before something worse happens. Don't slumber too long. Get back to the altar and quit looking for some other activity.