Destruction and Deliverance
Genesis 6:9-22 10/7/18
It’s so good to be able to rally around God’s living, active, and life-changing Word
So, let’s look together at our wonderful text in Genesis 6. Genesis 6:9-22.
This passage before us is a wonderful tribute to the justice and mercy of our God- in Noah’s day and in our day.
God’s justice, God’s mercy.
Remember, you can’t grow in godliness, you can’t grow in walking more closely with God unless you grow in your understanding of God.
You can’t experience greater refreshment in God unless you more deeply know God.
The prophet Hosea exclaimed to God’s people, “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” (6:3)
So gracious God, merciful Father, teach us, we pray, deeply of Yourself. Purify us we pray from all sin. Open now our hearts to Your truth, overwhelm us with Your greatness so we will love and obey You and experience the fulness of Your blessing. This we pray that you might be adored in every life, amen.
Genesis 6:9–22 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 “This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 “Behold,
I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
This is the word of the living God.
From this paragraph we are shown: Righteous Noah 9-10 Ruined world 11-13
Rescue plan 14-21
Response of obedience 22
You know that as a church we endeavor to carefully mine the depths of God’s Word. Yet there’s a misnomer about expository preaching that you can just jump in at any where and hack it off at any point. Kind of like the old sausages that were strung together. Just dividing it wherever you like.
But friends, we need to pay attention to the textual units of any biblical book. Not just the chapter divisions (thought those often help) but the key sections of thought designated by a special introductory phrase. It’s called a toledoth in the original Hebrew.
There are 10 toledoths in Genesis.
The first one we see in Gen. 2:4. “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created…”
If you have a study Bible, you will see that it can also be translated, “These are the generations…”
Then in Genesis 5:1 we come across another such marker: “This is the book of the generations of Adam…”
And then we come to the third such introductory statement here before us in Genesis 6:9-
“These are the generations of Noah.”
That sentence signals for us a new section that continues to chapter 10. And it focuses on one man in particular- Noah.
Friends, if Noah would have lived in our generation, he would have stood out. Why? Because if you boiled it all down, his life was righteous.
1. Righteous Noah 9-10
Righteous comes from a legal term and means a person is honest and just. It describes one who adheres to God’s holy standard.
And God Himself is that standard of right and wrong.
Psalm 11:7 “For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.”
In other words, the truly righteous person lives in light of God’s own righteousness. And because of that he does what’s right toward God and toward others.
Notice what follows that description of Noah being a righteous man. We are also told that he was “blameless in his time.”
That word blameless is used in Leviticus to describe a sheep for sacrifice as being without defect (Lev. 1:3,10)
So it was, Noah lived a life of integrity before God. Unlike the rest around him, there were no closets of hidden sin in his life.
Now we don’t dare think that Noah, in and of himself, had the desire and ability to live a righteous and uncompromised life.
Friends, that was all from God’s grace. Remember, verse 8 tells us, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
You see, we must be desperately dependent on God’s grace to live blameless before Him. Then in His strength we choose the blames way.
Moses, who writes here of Noah being blameless, would later say to all God’s people in Deuteronomy 18:13 “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.”
So it is God who strengthens us to be righteous and blameless in God’s sight.
I love how Noah’s life really shows us how. Because would you notice at the end of verse 9,
the fantastic four words that epitomize Noah’s life: “Noah walked with God.”
That statement puts Noah on par with whom? Enoch!
Would you compare that with what we saw in Genesis 5:24- “And Enoch walked with God; and he as not, for God took him.”
There are the only 2 men of whom we read that “they walked with God:” Enoch and Noah.
So amazingly, God brought Enoch to heaven when he wasn’t yet even in his prime! But God did not take Noah early because He had a mission for him to fulfill.
Now, do you realize how Noah was related to Enoch?
Enoch was his great grandfather, which means, it you look at their lifespans, Noah would have had plenty of years to talk with his grandfather Methuselah and learn about the faith of Enoch.
Methuselah could have told Noah, “Well, I’ve already outlived my dad Enoch by hundreds of years. But he had an amazing God-centered life, that one day, he just disappeared. For God took him!” Yes, he walked
Friends, may I encourage you to view your life as a walk? You either walk by yourself in this life, walk with the world, or walk with God.
To walk with God, we shall see, means the fullness of joy and blessing as Noah experienced. And for Noah, though not for everyone, that included the blessing of a family.
For we are told in verse 10 that “Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
Children are a gift of the Lord (Ps. 127:3), and these three sons were graciously given by God to Noah. And you can be sure, righteous Noah raised his three boys in the ways of the Lord.
In marked contrast to righteous Noah, we are now shown the
2. Ruined world 11-13
Here we see the ugliness of sin.
“Now the earth”, v. 11 tells us, “was corrupt in the sight of God.”
“Corrupt”( shachath) means to act perversely, immorally, and wickedly. There’s a viciousness and destructiveness to it.
Jeremiah 2:30 uses that same term to describe a lion on a rampage.
You can be sure, the world of Noah’s day like our day, didn’t see themselves as being corrupt.
No, “we are modern, sophisticated, free from moral constraints, liberated, and following our natural instincts.”
And the result was a world filled with crime, chaos, and killing. It was virtual anarchy.
Remember, all that sin of corruption is “in the sight of God.”
Yes, God saw it all. V. 12: “And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.”
Moral corruption in the world was rampant. And none of it escaped God’s notice. None whatsoever!
And beloved, that goes for our sin as well. Though we think no one knows and no one sees our secrets sins, they are all right before God’s face.
Don’t forget how Hebrews 4:13 drives this reality home to our hearts: “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
Now notice what went hand-in-hand with corruption (v. 11): “…and the earth was filled with violence.”
Friends, here’ a key you need to realize about sin.
Sin is rarely a stand alone, isolated situation.
Sin leads to further sin. Sins in fact often goes in tandem.
Idolatry leads to immorality.
Lying goes with stealing.
And with corruption, as we see here in our text, goes violence. For moral compromise and perversion often proceed more violent sins.
Violence speaks of trampling on others to get what you want, treating others with cruelty and viciousness.
It’s the big draw in so much of today’s entertainment: computer games, movies, even cage fighting. Those feature for the viewer’s eyes cruel and brutal acts of violence whether real or imagined that destroys another made in the image of God.
Psalm 11:5 cautions, “The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.”
So just because a movie may have no immoral scenes or words, if it celebrates violence, it celebrates what God hates.
God through the prophet Ezekiel confronted His people for provoking Him with violence:
He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose.” Ezek. 8:17
That idiom, putting the twig to their nose, may describe pagan worshippers putting an olive branch to their nose in honoring their idols).
Now the last person you should ever want to provoke is the living God. For “It’s a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10:31
But the wicked antediluvian (preflood world) continued to provoke God.
That’s what God now says directly to Noah. 13
“The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.
We saw in verse 6 that God was grieved in his heart, sorry He had every made man.
And now we know the sin had escalated everywhere, particularly corruption and violence.
God had been patient with the sinful world for over 1600 years since Adam.
Yet now, God’s patience had run out.
The world had gone past the point of moral no return.
And God is saying, “all that is left is for me to finish what you began- self-destruction. You began to destroy yourselves, and I will completely destroy you.”
Ironically, the verbs in the original, corrupt and destroy, both share the same root.
Friends, mark it well. Noah got the point. It wasn’t partial renovation God has determined. He now knew God would bring total destruction.
Remember, that wasn’t because God is vindictive or capricious.
According to a Babylonian story, the god Atrahasis sent the flood to destroy man for making too much noise and having too many children!
No, God had to destroy the world because man, walking in sin, had trampled on His grace. They blatantly dishonored Him in every vile way.
And remember, that includes women cohabiting with demon possessed men. Communion between those made in the image of god with the spirit world that produced Nephilim- God would bring that to an end.
One of our young people asked me this week, “Do you think those Nephilim could have been saved?” Great question. For they were the progeny of the sons of God (demons inhabiting male bodies) intermarrying with women producing a defiled race.
Remember, Heb. 2:16- God does not help angels (good or evil) when it comes to salvation.
We can be confident, based on the all inclusive judgment of God here, against all flesh, that those Nephilim were all eliminated by God, they all died in the flood.
Yet before wiping them out with the wicked world, God details for Noah a
3. Rescue plan 14-21
First, God tells Noah the big picture of what to do. Then He explains how Noah was to do that.
Verse 14: “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.”
Now, you need to realize, Noah had never made and perhaps never even seen a boat.
That word “ark” (tebhah), mentioned 5x in 3 verses (14-16) is key, since it’s the instrument of God’s rescue plan.
That same word for ark is used in Exodus 2 to describe the little wicker basket Miriam puts her brother in among the reeds of the Nile River. That’s what God used to save the life of baby Moses. And now God uses a far larger ark to save Noah and his family.
Would you note how God specifies what kind of wood Noah was to use- gopher wood. What’s that?
Well, it has nothing to do with those little critters that put holes in your lawn, gophers
Some suggest it was cedar, others cyprus or even pine.
Yet we just don’t know what gopher wood was or if it still exists.
Some linguists think the word may describe a process of laminating pieces of wood together to span the great distances.
The ark, God tells Noah was to be subdivided into various rooms or cabins. Various animals were to have their own compartments and be isolated from others.
You sure wouldn’t want a pair of lions chasing sheep around the ark or foxes in the same pen with chickens.
So, they were in separate quarters.
But how on earth would that ark ever keep from taking on water? What would keep it from sinking?
By the way, virtually even boat today uses what’s called a bilge pump to pump out water that trickles in.
Noah of course doesn’t have a bilge pump… and he doesn’t need one.
Because God has him seal the inside and outside of the ark with waterproof pitch. All the cracks were filled from inside and out to make that vessel impervious to water.
Now I love the fact that God provides for Noah the exact dimensions he was to follow in constructing the ark.
It was far different than what’s described in the Epic of Gilgamesh. For that legend says the ark was a perfect cube, 200’ tall and wide.
Yet that would have easily capsized when large waves hit so that none of them survived.
It shouldn’t surprise us, the measurements God gives Noah were absolutely perfect for maximum stability in the ocean.
God instructs him (v. 15), “This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.”
Assuming a cubit equals 18 inches, then it would be 450’ long, 75’ wide, and 45’ tall.
That’s absolutely huge- the length of 1½ football fields. Or a closer perspective, the ark would have been far too long to fit on our entire church property from the far neighbors fence it would have extended all the way out and across Oxford street!
If you have seen the full-size replica of the ark in Kentucky made by Answers in Genesis, you will see it’s staggering in size, just massive!
God made it plenty big to accommodate the cargo. And we will see that in a moment.
Here’s what’s also so amazing. The proportions God gave were perfect. In fact, they been deemed by modern ship builders as ideal shape for stability in turbulent seas.
For you want a ratio of length to width ratio between 6:1 and 8:1. And the ark was 6:1!
Remember, the ark didn’t need a motor or sail. And it didn’t need to be propelled or steered. God took care of both of those!
But what about light and ventilation? For we will see in chapter 7 and 8 that Noah with his family and all those animals were onboard for over 1 year!
God knew that from the beginning. That’s why he tells Noah (v. 16):
“You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top…”
Don’t imagine a little moon roof on the top of the ark. They would have been gagged from the odor and lack of oxygen.
The entire roof of the ark extended past the side of the ark with supports so there was an 18’ opening all the way around the ark. It was an overhang , that allowed light and fresh air to enter the top of the ark.
No, there were no balconies, no portholes. For God didn’t want Adam and his family to see the horrors of what was coming.
How though to get into that huge ark?
God tells Noah (v. 16b), “Set the door of the ark in the side of it.” Then He adds, “you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.”
Three stories tall to comfortably accommodate all that God would rescue.
Rescue from what? We know. But Noah doesn’t until God explains what’s coming.
Verse 17: “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.”
Now Noah realizes what was coming. Not come localized flooding as we have had recently in the Carolinas.
It was universal. For the goal, God tells Noah, was to take the breath of life from every creature under heaven. That’s man and beasts.
I was recently asked by a man with whom I have been sharing the gospel about what he considers a big objection to the God of the Bible.
It called theodicy or the problem of evil. If God is just, powerful and loving, how can He allow evil to exist? How can he allow the flood to destroy so many people?
Listen, such questions fully misunderstand God. For God doesn’t just allow the flood. He causes that as an expression of his just and holy love. For the flood wasn’t a natural catastrophe that God couldn’t control.
He takes full responsibility for it- “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh…”
You see, God didn’t just allow the flood. He planned it, He caused it. And that all flows out
of His perfect, holy, and loving heart that sinful man had despised.
From the fall of sin in the garden, the wages of sin has always been death. It’s an axiom God has built into His moral universe- the soul that sin must die, sinning cannot go unpunished.
Now think about this. Had God wanted to end the world in an indirect and subtle manner, He could have just made it so men and women would no longer be able to bear children.
And in less than a thousand years, the entire world population would be history.
But God wants to show the world of that day and our day the deadly consequences of sin.
Through this account, He wanted to shake up His children Israel to whom Moses read these inspired words by showing them the grizzly and gruesome judgment of God on sin.
The apostle Peter uses that as a warning for those who were playing fast and loose with sin.
II Peter 3:5–7 “For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
God destroyed the first time by a flood. And He will a second time by fire. And remember God’s stated goal is the same in both: that “everything on the earth shall perish.”
In Noah’s day, that included everything except a small and sovereign exception:
Verse 18: “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
Covenant here speaks of a promise still to be spelled out after the flood in chapter 9.
But what you need to see right here is this. It’s God forging the deal not Noah. In fact, this covenant isn’t a bilateral agreement, there’s no need for mutual consent!
Here so wonderfully we see God is the One who chooses to save and whom He will save.
He decides whom He will spare from disaster and on whom He will set His saving love out of a world of rebel sinners.
We see that same reality echoed by in Amos 9:8. “Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD.”
Friends, when it comes to salvation, it’s ultimately God’s choice and God’s initiative. If you chose to follow Him, it’s because God chose to save you! So, never ever forget, from start to finish, “Salvation is of the LORD.” Jonah 2:9
Now did that mean that Noah could just sit back in his chair and let go and let God?
No, as an instrument in God’s hand, Noah had a job to do. A big job. Not just building that massive ark. For look what else he is told (v. 19):
“And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.”
So Adam’s job was to make sure that a male and female from every animal species got on the ark. Imagine the check list on that!
But don’t imagine Noah running around trying to catch and hogtie animals he would drag on to the ark.
I can remember as a child watching my dad in the evening trying to get a handful of crazy chickens into their cage- they were all running around as if their heads were cut off- very challenging.
Well, God caused those thousands of animal pairs to cooperate with Noah. They became compliant.
Genesis 7:15 tells us “So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life.”
God clarifies Noah was not to leave out any birds, animals, or creeping things but bring two of each. That’s so they would continue to reproduce.
But how on earth could 2 of each kind of animal ever fit on the ark? That’s a common objection by those who have a small view of God and His Word.
First, God made the ark plenty big for adequate space for all the animals and Noah’s family.
By the way, the inside capacity of the ark was massive.
It would have had 100,000 square feet of room, 1.5 million cubic feet, and it could have carried 14,000 tons!
That’s works out to be 522 railroad box cars. It’s been calculated that would be enough space to hold 125,000 different animals!
Of course, Noah didn’t have to bring the fish on board- no need to haul an aquarium on the ark!
What about food for Noah and his family as well as for all the animals?
God thought of everything even before there was a need.
He instructs Noah, “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”
Church, every facet of that ark’s plan, preparation, and passengers- it was all the grace of God.
Praise God, all of us who already have and those who still will come to Christ for salvation, it’s all because of God’s great grace.
Righteous Noah 9-10 Ruined world 11-13
Rescue plan 14-21
Brings us to Noah’s
4. Response of obedience 22
How does Noah react in light of all that God had commanded?
Verse 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
So wonderful. Noah stands as a stellar example of total obedience.
He didn’t only do some of what God has told him but all. Every part. Nothing left out. 100% obedience.
And friends, God loves full obedience to His Word.
That’s at the heart of a real relationship to God.
You love to do what God calls you to do. That’s His will revealed in the Bible.
It’s the heart of the Great Commission left by Christ: “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” Mat. 28:20
Friends, what produces such wholehearted obedience?
It’s what the apostle Paul calls “the obedience of faith.” Rom. 1:6, 16:26
And Noah’s faith in God is what produced obedience to God.
Hebrews 11:7 so wonderfully summarizes Noah’s faith in God.
“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
Beloved, Noah’s faith was placed in God’s Word. He fully trusted what God said, and fully obeyed.
So too, must we. Anchor our faith in God’s Word to us. Listen to it, believe it, and obey it.
If you haven’t come to Christ, then believe God’s Word. There’s a soon coming day of judgment. There’s a flood of divine wrath that God will pout our on all who live for self and in sin.
The ark points to the cross. The only means of salvation in Christ.
For there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
If you are truly saved, then take God at His every Word.
How you spend your time, what you look at, the thoughts you entertain, how you use your finances, choose to obey God in every choice. And you will live a life that finds favor in the eyes of the Lord.
And don’t forget. There’s a whole world facing eternal judgement that must hear of salvation through Christ.
So be a faithful preacher of righteousness that God will use to share the only hope in Jesus Christ.
Destruction and Deliverance
Hope in Christ Bible Church 10/7/18
Gen. 2:4, 5:1
1. Righteous Noah 9-10
2. Ruined world 11-13
3. Rescue plan 14-21
II Peter 3:5–7
4. Response of obedience 22
Rom. 1:6, 16:26
How in my life situation would God call me to be a fully obedient doer of His Word like Noah?
Destruction and Deliverance