Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Noah's Ark

(Here we are, up for our turn to do the service at Friendship Manor again. Continuing to follow my wife's advice, I will go with another familiar story from the Bible. Short and sweet.)

Gen. 6:5-8 "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. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 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. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."

NOTE: Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. What wonderful words those are! Doesn't that make you long to have those words written of you? Lee found grace in the eyes of the LORD. "Your name here" found grace in the eyes of the LORD!

Gen. 6:12-14 " And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 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. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch."

God goes on to give specific instructions to Noah for the construction of the ark. I have heard it said that in modern times a scale model of the ark has been built, using the dimensions from the Bible, and found to be one of the absolutely most stable, and unsinkable shapes ever constructed.

Gen. 6:17-22 "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. 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. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."

Did you catch that? It says that Noah did ALL that God commanded him. How important was Noah's obedience? It would seem that the fate of the whole human race depended on it. And not only the human race, but also the animal kingdom. How good a job do we do of being obedient to God?

So Noah did as the Lord has commanded him, and the Lord did as he said he would. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The flood rose to a point approximately 20 feet higher than the tallest mountain. Every creature that lived upon the land perished, except for those in the ark. After the prescribed amount of time, the flood waters went down, and the ark came to rest upon Mt. Ararat.

The story of Noah and the ark, though it is a true story, also serves as a pretty good picture of salvation. We already mentioned some things about Noah that line up with salvation. The Bible says "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." All around him was great wickedness, but Noah found grace. There is great wickedness all around us, but if you are truly a Christian, then you have found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

The Bible says that "Noah walked with God." It is not possible for a person to be truly saved unless he walks with God, and walking with God involves going the same direction, and with a common goal.

Noah did all that God commanded him. Salvation involves doing as God commands. In the New Testament Jesus says: if you love me, keep my commandments. I think it is safe to say that most of us fail miserably at this. But the difference is that a true Christian will try to follow God's commands and it will be grievous to them when they fail.

Another parallel between salvation and the story of Noah is the protection from God's judgment. While all the earth was being punished for its wickedness, Noah and his family were shut up safely in the only vessel capable of withstanding the judgment. In fact, in Genesis 7:16, the Bible says that "the LORD shut him in." The same is true for the Christian. Once Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, then you are safe from the judgment to come. Jesus said "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28)

Hebrews 11:7 "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."

Just as Noah was saved from physical death by his faith in what God told him, and his putting that faith into action, he was also saved spiritually and declared righteous before God because of that faith. The same is true today. Through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can also become an heir to righteousness.

Jesus Christ died in our place paying the penalty for our sins, and what he gives us in place of our sins, is a share in his righteousness. And just as Noah's faith in what God told him resulted in his work of building an Ark, our faith in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, if it is real, will result in turning from our sin, and to building his Church.

Remember what it says here in Hebrews. It was Noah's faith that caused him to build the ark, and it was his faith that allowed him to inherit righteousness. The work of building the ark was simply the result of that faith. The exact same thing is true for you and me. It is our faith that will cause us to turn from sin and our faith that will allow us to inherit righteousness. The repentance and good works are simply a result of that faith.

If you have never done so, won't you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Won't you believe that he died in your place, and paid your penalty so that you might live? Won't you have faith like Noah?


Dan said...

This is right where we are studying in my fellowship right now. I love that Noah "found" grace in the eyes of the Lord he didn't earn it or deserve it, he was just obedient to Lord and the Lord was gracious to Noah.

St. Lee said...

Amen brother. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.