Summary: Noah was all dressed up with no place to go.
1. Have you ever looked at your old high school Yearbook? People sign their names over thier pictures and usually write what they want to accomplish in life.
Things like, "I hope to make my first million by the age of thirty."
"I plan to rob a bank and escape to a paradise island."
"I will be the next heavy weight champion of the world."
"I will be the next Billy Graham!"
2. The painful truth is - few of our dreams and schemes succeed!
3. When God shuts you in to seeming failure.
I. FIRST, WE HAVE NOAH'S CONDITION.
A. He had Nowhere to go.
Noah was hemmed in - he literally had no where to go. He was confined to the Ark...and would be for over a year!
Trans:Have you ever been there? I have and I am...
How many are confined to a hospital bed today? Just laying there hour after hour, day after day, confined to a bed.
Many are stuck in a dead end job - no promotion in sight, no skills to get a better job, just settled into a low-paying, boring routine.
Some have no job at all - living in poverty. Too poor to take a vacation; can't afford gasoline; bills pilling up;
Maybe placed in a tiny, no growth ministry - regular members cease being regular; Baptistry sits empty; finances touch and go; but this is where God has placed you.
Noah understood and so does God...
Elvis had a song called "Nothingville."
Only just a two-bit town
Where nothing's real
They treat me like a country clown
I ain't gonna keep-a-hangin' round'
The doors keep slammin' in my face
People keep puttin' me in my place
It's a rat's race at a snail's pace
B. Noah had nothing to do.
Noah didnt have to steer the ark; there was nobody to lead to Christ in that Ark; nothing new or exciting - just the same boring, smelly routine of feeding the animals and listening to the pouring rain!
If we were honest, often life turns into a boring routine - your life has become predictable...you do the same thing day after day after day.
After a long, dry sermon, a minister announced that he wished to meet with the Church Board in the vestry after close of worship.
The first man to turn up was a total stranger. "You must have misunderstood my announcement," said the minister. "This is a meeting of the Board."
"I know," said the man, "but if there is anyone here more bored than I am, I sure would like to meet him!"
Trans:I doubt if many our lives are in harmony with out yearbook predictions. We all know days that seem to go nowhere with nothing all that important to do.
Winston Churchhill wrote:
"The main qualification for political office, is the ability to foretell, what is going to happen - tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year - and then to have the ability afterward, to explain why it didnt happen!"
II. FURTHERMORE, NOTICE HIS COMMOTION. 8:7
A. Who told him to send out those birds? No one!
When we are hemmed in we try get unhemmed...Like Abraham and Sarah who thought Hagar might help them get out of their unproductive situation.
B. Why did he do it?
To see if the water had gone down - but why? So he could get out of the Ark!
How many want to get out of a marrage? A ministry? A job? An unpleasant circumstance?
C. What good did it do Noah to send out those birds?
It accomplished nothing! The truth is God had shut the door of the Ark and God would open the door in His good time.
Trans:I wonder how much wasted commotion we are involved in? Worthless Worrying; Anxious Activities; Foolish Fears;
We need to accept where God has placed us - and learn to wait on His time-table. Ultimately we are waiting to get out of this confined world and enter into eternity.
"For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God." Romans 8:19 (NASB)
"And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:23
"You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near." James 5:8 (NASB)
Some years ago I read about a speedboat driver who had recently survived a racing accident. He said that he had been at near top speeds when his boat veered slightly and hit a wave at a dangerous angle. The combined force of his speed and the size and angle of the wave sent the boat spinning crazily into the air.