BOLD Week 5:
Keep Your Eyes Above the Water – Genesis 7
Our teaching today is of the time when God sent the Great Flood which destroyed all living creatures on the face of the earth with the exception of Noah, his family, and the animals that were on the ark.
Everybody was overtaken by the storm except Noah and his family. The question on the table today is this – What made Noah’s day so stormy, and how was this one guy so special that he and his family were spared a fate of judgement passed upon all the rest of mankind?
We all face storms…some more than others and some inside or unseen…but storms none the less. The question is are we going to stay afloat and keep our eyes above the crashing waves…or will will drown in the storms that come our way?
The Time when Noah lived was a stormy time. They had a Spiritual Storm. They were in a time of spiritual crisis because they had rejected of few things that might sound familiar to us today:
They were a people that rejected the Moving of God’s Spirit, look in Genesis 6:3 “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”
They rejected the Message of God’s Servant. Look in 2 Peter 2:5 where Peter refers to Noah as a “man of righteousness.”
They rejected the Means of God’s Salvation – the ark
But watch – this story is an Instagram, – a BOLD PICTURE of something going on that we miss in the photoshopped filtered view of the animals filing into the Ark 2×2 that we see in the Bible Story Books of our childhood!
In our old story books, we see Noah at peace with everything going on and the green field and the sunshine on his shoulder – makes him happy…Sorry, slight John Denver reference from the 70’s…but this couldn’t have been the picture. My guess is that the movie NOAH, from last year’s box office might have been more on point than our old VBS stories portrayed.
The world as Noah knew it was falling apart – God looked upon His creation and saw a broken, messed up people, with messed up lives, messed up families and messed up kids…God saw all of the worst that man offers and simply was disgusted with His creation.
You see – The ARK is an Old testament picture of the New Testament Cross!
The folks in Noah’s day had a Spiritual Storm, but they also had a Social Storm, This will always follow a spiritual storm! The social storm they faced was sizable…they had material blessings. In Matthew 24 the bible says they were “Eating & Drinking” without care – life was a full on party with no room for God or His direction in life.
They had a moral bankruptcy in their culture. Look at Genesis 6:5, 11&12.
They had a family breakdown, look in Genesis 6:1-2, or Matthew 24:37-39 “Sons of God wed the daughters of men.” These were the sons of Able who served God marrying the daughters of Cain who rejected God. They were unequally yoked together – there was a collapse even in that day of the family.
So in light of the spiritual breakdown, that led to a societal breakdown, God decides to take corrective action – just like He often does in our lives –
He sends a Sovereign Storm into their lives.
The ultimate storm in this story is sent by God.
But while the world was rocking and reeling with stormy waters…Noah found grace! He was spared the storm and the heartache.
So what was it that allowed he and his family to stay afloat and keep their eyes above the waves? All the world was buried deep beneath the waters (Genesis 7:19-24). If it were to have covered Mount Ararat, in modern day Turkey – some 17,000 plus feet of water – now that’s a flood – But watch this –
The Flood and the ARK and God and His creation are all connected –
WE are all connected to this story because GOD saw fit to spare one dude – and his family.
Noah was still afloat with his family! How did he keep from the stormy time taking him and his family down with the rest? And maybe more critical to you and me – don’t get lost in these details – don’t miss the picture being painted here – the flood is our daily lives, the salvation from the flood for Noah is the Ark and the salvation for us is THE CROSS!
Like the whole Bible, in all it’s glory and grandeur – this story – the flood – It points us to Jesus.
Life is a mess, we make it worse. We create and choose sin, and then have no way out. Sin has captured us, owns us and drives us. We need to be rescued from the flood of selfishness, sin and sorrow.
God decides…”I’m cleaning this mess up and instructs Noah to build the great boat…and in obedience – the only guy that was willing to do so – builds the boat.
Can you imagine what would happen if you were to actually start obeying God? His friends at the Ararat Golf Club must have thought – Dude, Noah has lost it.
His closest friends must have thought – man, he always was a bit weird. The Today Show sent Al and Matt and Savannah. GMA sent Strahan and Robin. Jimmy Fallon was sharing his thank you notes about Noah…it must have been an unbelievable price to pay…obeying God.
So what happens…and we know how the story ends – Noah and his family are spared and we are all here as a result.
Watch this now – Noah had a Personal Experience with Grace, 6:8. We will never escape the storms and we will never survive the heartbreak of God without grace.
But Noah also had a Powerful Walk with God (Genesis 6:9?. Only two men in the Bible were referenced in exactly this same manner: Noah and Enoch, but we can walk with God today! Noah displayed a chosen path for his walk with God – you can choose your path…but you must choose.
Noah chose a really good path, a path we can model. Noah walked with God in Prayer. In Genesis 6:13 “God said to Noah.” Here is a great question to ask yourself…When is the last time you heard from God? To hear from God, you need to enter into a conversation with Him. Noah walked in prayer, but he also walked with God…
In Obedience (Genesis 6:22), Here is a great truth to apply to our daily lives – and we all know it to be true…but it sure seems to be more difficult day by day. That truth is that many…if not most of our challenges and storms in life are a direct reflection of our obedience or disobedience to God. Or put more simply – our willingness to see God as He is and in reality who we are.
Maybe the most powerful reflection of Noah’s walk with God was his private and honorable time with God, Look at Genesis 7:16, It’s like the passage in John 20:19 when Jesus appeared behind closed doors with the apostles during a very stormy time. They found that behind closed doors with Jesus: *There is Privacy With God. *There is a Forum for our Petitions to be heard of Him.
There is a Place to Praise Him. There Is Peace Because the Past is Forgiven, the Present is Secure, and the Future is Settled.
Behind closed doors, away from the bustle of the storm and the collapse of society…away from the cultural norms of the day He Showed Them the Scars.
So as a result of these things – Noah and his family are chosen to Start Over. When the storm was gone, Noah had little of anything to start a new life, but he had stayed afloat!
The storms were terrible, but they were temporary. The storms were on all the earth, but one man stayed afloat. The storms were of man’s creations, Satan’s temptations, and God’s indignation, but regardless of the source of the storm, there was but one way to weather it- get on board with God.
When the storm was over and the family gave thanks, God began to bless them (Genesis 9:1). You may be in the midst of the biggest storm of your life today, but if you will seek God and be obedient to him through it, he will keep you afloat, and a blessing will follow your storm!
Do you see the grand picture here? Bigger than any social media post that has millions of likes and favorites – God sees our lives – in a mess – without hope – lonely, broken, hurting, and says I HAVE A WAY FOR YOU TO BE SAVED FROM THE STORMS OF THIS LIFE!
Instead of an ARK – He gave us His Son on a Cross…and as Noah was saved by the closing the door of the ARK…and sealing the door for their safety – God has provided an ARK for you and wants you to step into His safety and choose the cross – the cross that Jesus died on and took the punishment we deserve and died on – God wants to seal the deal by the shedding of Jesus’ blood and the broken body of Jesus – So we can find the Hope of Glory – The living breathing, raised from the dead Jesus as our ARK – Our way out of the storms of this life – As Noah chose to obey God – You and I can choose Jesus and He places us in His family – Safe – Secure and Sealed – Choose Jesus TODAY!