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Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Sermonator

Follows, should he be smart enough to attach it, the sermon the RRR preached on March 13th. It is part of a continuation of a study in the Book of Genesis. IT IS THE FIRST DRAFT!!!!!! Multiple spelling and grammar errors were corrected in pencil before presentation.

GENESIS 6:8-22
MARCH 13, 2005

Good morning! This morning we shall return to our study of Genesis, the book of beginnings. I’ll remind you again that we are studying it by taking God at his word, assuming that everything in it is literally true. Last time we saw the Early Earth descend into chaos and violence where "every man did what was right in his own eyes". We saw a hurt and aggrieved Heavenly Father turn his back on the way he had dealt with Adam and his progeny and begin the process of developing a new way of dealing with sinful humanity by turning toward his servant, Noah.
Genesis 6:8-22 (Read)
We know that Noah is the chosen one of his generation and the last verse we read is an indication of why, but let’s go back to the first verse of the passage.
Genesis 6:8 (Read)
A new word is introduced into the book at this point. The word we translate as grace. In Hebrew it can mean either "grace" or "favor". This word and idea are so special, I’d like to read Dr. Boise’s comments on it.
"It is true, of course, that Adam and Eve also found grace when they sinned; justice alone would have sent them into outer darkness forever. Seth and Enoch and all the others found grace. But here for the first time grace is explicitly mentioned. Since this is said of a time when the evil of a degenerate race was at its zenith, it indicates that so long as life lasts, regardless of the extent of the evil, there is always opportunity to find God’s grace where alone it can be found, namely, in the work of Jesus Christ in dying for his people’s salvation. Noah many not have known details about that future work of Christ. But he looked forward to the deliverer and ordered his life accordingly."
"Notice that Noah did not earn grace. Noah found grace. He was willing to accept God’s judgment on his sinful and rebellious nature and place his hope in the Savior. It is the same today. We have no claim on God. We have not earned anything but his just wrath and our eventual destruction. But we can find God’s grace in Christ."
Genesis 6:9,10 (Read)
The word "just" is interesting. It means "righteous". On his own, Noah could not be. He, as we are, was of the fallen race of Adam. We know that there is "no man righteous, no not one." We just saw from Dr. Boise how he became righteous. His faith caused him to find grace. How was his faith different that that of other men? Verse 9 states he was "perfect" in his generations. The Hebrew word used here for "perfect" has two meanings. "Upright" and "sincere". His faith was sincere. He truly believed and trusted as opposed to just saying the words. His faith and walk were upright before his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and he was an example to them.
Genesis 6:11-13. (Read)
We see several important points here. What should frighten us most is that God sees the corruption of man as corrupting the earth his lives on. We are not speaking exclusively of environmental corruption such as from pollution, but that sin on the part of earth on which he lives corrupts that place to the point where God wants to destroy it and the wicked humans living on it. We will see that later with Sodom and Gomorrah. God will look on the abomination of their sin and not only destroy the sinners, but turn their once beautiful cities and valleys into the salty stink hole of the Dead Sea. We need to consider this as year after year our nation bloodies its soil with the deaths of a quarter million aborted babies. And as our entertainment industry pours out every increasing filth and violence; God is patient, but his patience has an end.
Also note that all flesh has corrupted itself on the earth. God’s judgement will fall on the animal kingdom as well as the human one as the next century draws to a close.
Now God gives his faithful servant instructions:
Genesis 6:14. (Read)
In our last lesson we said that the ark is a type of the faithful remnant which will be preserved through the Tribulation, but that is not all. I’ll quote Col. Scofield:
"But the type has also a present reference to the position of the believer ‘in Christ’ (Eph. 1), etc. It should be noted that the word translated ‘pitch’ in Gen. 6:14 is the same word translated ‘atonement’ in Lev. 17:11, etc. It is atonement that keeps out the waters of judgment and makes the believer’s position ‘in Christ’ safe and blessed."
Genesis 6:15. (Read)
This is pretty straightforward. As a standard cubit equals 18, the approximate distance from an average man’s elbow to the tip of his fingers, then the ark was to be built 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Imagine a long, slender shoebox half again longer than a foot ball field and as wide as a standard mobile home is long and as tall as the bell tower in the city square and you have the idea.
Genesis 6:16 (Read)
The word "window" means literally "a place of light". MacDonald tells us this means it was an opening for light and ventilation that ran the whole length of the ship on both sides, perhaps under the eaves of a slightly peaked roof or covering. We also see that the mighty barge was to have three decks and the way verse 16 is worded, the door may have been massive also, opening onto all three decks at once.
We are talking a VERY large boat here. We think of how many people such a ship could carry today, but a significant portion of modern ships is taken up with propulsion and steering machinery, lounges and the like. The ark needed none of those. Models built to these proportions placed in the huge wave tanks that hydraulics labs such as the one at the University of Iowa use, show that it pivots naturally into the waves and meets them head-on as they flow past it. So no rudder was needed and no sails. There was no need of a deep, ballasted keel.
Genesis 6:18 (Read)
God’s grace has made an exception for righteous Noah and his family. In the New Testament we read another such story.
Acts 16:25-34. (Read)
In this well-known story, we also see an entire household saved. Paul says in verse 31 to the jailor, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Some of our friends in the Reformed Church would have you believe that salvation, or at least the predestination to it, comes through the parents, that it is inherited. But look at verse 32, after Paul’s promise he and Silas taught both the jailor and his family and possibly servants. Verses 33 and 34 state that they all came to believe. It was not automatic, each had their own faith, but it came about because of the father’s leadership. Today, many of the problems in this nation and world come from the lack of a father’s leadership. The vast majority of the 1000’s of patients we’ve had on the adolescent unit in Des Moines and of those I oversee as a jailer do not have an upright and sincere father in leadership such as this jailer and also Noah had.
So were Noah’s whole family saved simply because HE was faithful? No, but through his witness and by his example, they came to believe also. As Luke would say elsewhere in acts, "as many as were ordained to salvation, believed".
Genesis 6:19-20 (Read)
God is now telling Noah what will happen a century in the future when the great Flood will come. He also lets Noah why it will be done this way. It will become Noah’s responsibility to keep them alive. God established with Adam the responsibility of keeping the garden and thus plant life, now a new responsibility is being added: husbandry. Abel had become a shepherd and was accountable for his sheep, but now taking care of wild species falls on humanity’s shoulders. From this will grow the idea of game management and responsible use of wildlife.
Genesis 6:21. (Read)
Noah has his second big job. It’s not enough he has to build this huge boat on dry land, he has to plan for food for all the animals and for his family for at least a year. If you’ve seen an elephant eat, for instance, you have something of the idea of the task this placed ahead of him.
The actor Bill Cosby has a hilarious comedy sketch about Noah where he portrays the patriarch complaining to God. "Who’s going to feed all these animals, and who’d going to clean up after them"? We know the answer… Noah and his family. The task before him is huge. He will have to invent technology. A forest of gopher wood will have to be felled, transported, sawn and shaped, then cured. Miles of caulking, a small ocean of pitch, it will all have to be prepared. The construction will take a hundred years and all this time they will be surrounded by the most perverted, vile, and violent generation the world has ever known. None of us would have blamed him had he simply seen the task as too much for him and given up. Did he?
Genesis 6:22. (Read)
What a statement this is! What a legacy! Here is his entrance into the Hebrews 11 hall of fame. "By faith Noah…" No job too big, no detail too small. God said it, that settled it, and Noah did it. Period. God wants Noahs today, men and women who look at the task before them and do it. He provides the strength and means but he provides something else too. He provides the walking orders. In C.S. Lewis’ book, The Horse and His Boy, a sniveling court underling is groveling before a wicked king trying to excuse his failures. "If it please your majesty…" he whines.
Then king says, "It pleases me principally to be obeyed!" We don’t have a wicked and capricious God, we have a loving one who cares for his children, but he is pleased principally to be obeyed. It's more important to him than sacrifice.
Am I obeying God today, in everything?


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