Noah’s Faith, Noah’s Family – 3

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Scripture Text – Genesis 6:9 – 7:24

Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather, and Noah knew that when his grandfather died, nothing stood in the way of God’s judgment falling on a wicked world. For over a century, Noah had been warning people about the coming judgment, but only his own family had believed him and trusted the Lord.

Then Methuselah died and things began to happen. One day, Noah and his family entered their “boat” and the rains came. (“It can’t go on forever,” people said. “It’ll stop one of these days.”) But it rained for forty days and forty nights, and subterranean explosions discharged more water on the earth. Even after the rain stopped, the water continued to rise; and within five months, the whole earth was under water and everything that breathed was dead. Everything, that is, except Noah and his family, the eight people everybody laughed at.

A Faithful Man Who Worked For God – Continued

Please read Genesis 6:14-22 to get the background for this section.

Trusting God’s covenant (Genesis 6:18). This is the first use of the word “covenant” in the Bible. The word appears often in Scripture because the covenant concept is an important part of God’s great plan of redemption. (God would explain His covenant to Noah after he left the ark; Genesis 8:20–9:17.) A covenant is an agreement that involves obligations and benefits for the parties involved. In some of the covenants, God alone is the “covenant party” and makes unconditional promises to His people. But there were also covenants that required His people to fulfill certain conditions before God could bless them.

God’s words in Genesis 6:13–21 were addressed specifically to Noah, but God also included Noah’s family in the covenant. Noah didn’t become a father until he was about 500 years old (Genesis 5:32), and he entered the ark when he was about 600 (Genesis 7:6); so his three sons were still “young” as far as pre-Flood ages were concerned. Ham was the youngest son (Genesis 9:24) and Japheth was the eldest (Genesis 10:21), and all three boys were married (Genesis 7:13). The three boys are usually identified as Noah’s sons and not by their given names (Genesis 6:18; 7:7; 8:16, 18; 9:1, 8). We are never told Noah’s wife’s name or the names of his three daughters-in-law. However, God’s covenant with Noah included all the members of the household.

The fact that God had covenanted to care for Noah and his family gave them the peace and confidence they needed as they prepared the ark and then lived in it for over a year. God is faithful to keep His promises, and as God’s covenant people, the eight believers had nothing to fear.

et God gathering animals

Gathering the animals (Genesis 6:19-22). God not only wanted humans to be preserved from destruction but also every kind of creature that would be drowned by the waters of the Flood. One of the most asked questions is how Noah was to gather such a large number of animals, birds, and creeping things? The Bible tells us that God would cause these creatures to come to Noah (Genesis 6:20; 7:8, 15) and Noah would take them into the ark. This included not only pairs of unclean animals who would be able to reproduce after the Flood, but also seven pairs of clean animals, some of whom would be used for sacrifices (Genesis 8:20; 9:3). Often times, people forget that it wasn’t just by twos, but God gave Noah specific instructions. Thanks to movies and television, many people don’t realize all that Noah had to care for. Noah and his family not only learned about the faithfulness of God, but they also saw the sovereignty of God in action.

In His sovereign power, God brought the animals to Noah and his sons and controlled them so that they did His bidding. However, this magnificent demonstration of God’s power didn’t touch the hearts of his neighbors, and though they had to have been witness to some of it they still hardened their hearts and thus perished in the Flood. The birds, beasts, and creeping things knew their Creator’s voice and obeyed Him, but people made in the image of God refused to heed God’s call. Centuries later, God would say through His servant Isaiah, “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” – Isaiah 1:3.

During all of this important activity, Noah was serving the Lord and bearing witness to a sinful world. For 120 years (Genesis 6:3), God was long-suffering toward careless and rebellious sinners; but they ignored His message and not so much lost their opportunity for salvation, but in essence threw away their only hope of salvation.

“Don’t be like the horse or a mule,” God counsels (Psalm 32:9), and Noah obeyed that counsel. The horse sometimes wants to rush ahead impetuously, and the mule wants to drag its feet and stubbornly stay back; but Noah walked with God and worked for God and let God arrange the schedule.

To Be Continued

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Adaptation of excerpts from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Basic, “Be” Commentary Series.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, ESV © 2016 by Crossway Bibles.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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