Sermon Transcript: The Flood

11/22/2020 Jeff Schwarzentraub 34 min read

- Well, it's great to gather. Today, we're going to be taking a look in Genesis chapters seven and eight. And as we take a look in these chapters, I think oftentimes in church, these are two of the chapters that are sometimes the most difficult to teach on because for all of us that grew up in church, we have an understanding of the Noah's Ark story. And for most of us, when it comes to the Noah's Ark story, we have some caricature or picture or cartoon of two by two animals coming in. You can picture the elephants, you can picture the giraffes. You can picture everybody trying to squeeze in this tiny little boat, and then kind of rock back and forth. And it's this picture that we get sometimes in Sunday school on felt boards of what a beautiful picture that is, and look at all the animals. And it's the first floating zoo. And how fun is this? But really when we take a look at Genesis chapter seven and eight, we're looking at the totality of God's judgment. The two of the most sobering chapters in the entire word of God. And as we take a look at these two chapters, we wanna be taken aback by what God is trying to say to us and how serious it is that God deals with sin and how serious his judgment is. So these two chapters are super sobering chapters that we're gonna take a look at. But as we take a look at the imminent judgment of God and his wrath that's going to come on mankind, we also wanna take a look at what God is trying to provide and what he's trying to do. So I wanna invite you to open your Bibles up to Genesis chapter seven today. Genesis chapter seven. We'll begin reading through these two chapters of scripture. But this will set it up because God has already said that he was sorry that he had ever made mankind. In Genesis chapter six, He learned that every inclination of man's heart was towards evil. And so God is lamenting the fact that he's ever created human beings in his image because everyone that he created to love is turning their back completely on Him, except for one man and his family. It's Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives. And Noah found favor with the Lord. And we discover in chapter six that Noah actually walked with God. To walk with God means that you become intimately acquainted with Him. To walk with God is more than just doing a Bible study every day. To walk with God means I'm intimately acquainted with who He is. And so God gives 120 years before He's going to bring judgment on planet earth. And now as we begin chapter seven, that 120 years is almost up. We're down to the final week. And here's what God says. It says, then the Lord said to Noah, enter the ark, you and all your household. For you alone, I have seen to be righteous before me in this time. You should take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female. And of the animals that are not clean two, a male in his female. Also of the birds of the sky by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of the earth. For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth, 40 days and 40 nights. And I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made. Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him. And we've seen Noah do this before. I mean, everything that God's telling Noah to do, Noah is gonna do. God tells Noah to construct an ark. He tells him to construct an ark that's 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high. And what's Noah do? He does exactly what God asked him to do to the exact dimensions that God asked him to do it out of the exact kind of wood that God wants him to build it from. Noah is always doing this. And here's what I want us to see as we start today. When wrath becomes imminent, God provides an invitation to protect the righteous. When wrath becomes imminent, God provides an invitation to protect the righteous. Now we're gonna hear the word of the Lord. It's gonna be this. The Lord said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household. For you alone, I have seen to be righteous before me in this time." I mean, this should be devastating. You have 12 decades to get right with the Lord. And one week before the judgment's coming on the earth, here's what God says. Noah, out of the last 120 years, you and you alone, and your family are the only ones I've seen doing what I've asked people to do. Can you imagine living in a world like that? You talk about being faithful in a world of unfaithful people. Noah would fit the bill for that. Noah has spent 120 years doing exactly what God wants him to do as a builder, as a preacher, as a faithful saint and servant of the Lord. He's done everything. But here's the tragic words. As God is calling in Noah, he's not calling in anybody else. He's telling Noah it's time. Now isn't it an interesting God has weighted 120 years now? If you were God and you knew everything, the beginning from the end, you would know before you even lay down 120 years that people aren't gonna be listening to me. You would know it year 60 nobody's gonna be listening at year 120. You're gonna know it year 80. And yet, what does God do? He bares with incredible patience all the way up to the final week before it's time to get on the ark. There's still one more week to go. And what does he say? Noah, let's go. But don't we see God's invitation like this all throughout the scriptures? Isn't God always beckoning us to himself? In 2 Chronicles, chapter 16 in verse nine, we see how the Lord looks at the world that says this. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his. What is God always looking for? He's always looking for those who want to give him their hearts. I mean, the Bible makes pretty clear, not only in the Old Testament, but all the way throughout the New Testament, there was no one good. There was no one righteous. Noah wasn't righteous because he did everything right and he didn't have any sin in his life but everybody else in his day did. Noah was declared righteous because Noah was humbled before the Lord and knew his dependence upon the Lord and his need for the Lord. And what makes us righteous as the righteousness of Christ, it's nothing that we do to get right with God. It's all of God's grace in our life that makes us right with himself. And here's what we see a picture of. We see this tragic picture that after 120 years of God telling the world that he was going to bring imminent judgment, that we're one week away from that judgment. And guess what? Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives are the only ones who are listening to God. Tragic. Absolutely utterly tragic. This story is so tragic. And yet, God is still giving an invitation to protect the righteous. But isn't that what he always does? I mean, in Zachariah, 1:3, we see the prophet saying, "Return to me and I'll return to you." Even in the New Testament in Matthew chapter 11, you see Jesus say, "Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, rest for your weary soul." What do you see the beckoning of God all the time? Come, come, come. You're welcome. Even in your sin, come. I mean, that is the New Testament and Old Testament promise of God that God delights in those that he created in his image bearers, and he invites and wants you to come. That's what God wants. And that's what we see him doing here. And we have a real hard time when it comes to the judgment of God, don't we? We don't like talking about the judgment of God. We don't like talking about God's totality of judgment. The only reason we may is because while it's true with the scripture, so praise God that you're saying it, but when we think about it and we think about what that actually means, it grieves our heart that God's judgment is so complete and so total. And that's yet what we see here. And yet we always see God providing a way for the righteous to escape. I think in Genesis, chapter 18, we think about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah when God looks down and he hears the cries coming from Sodom. And in Genesis, chapter 18, verse 20, the Lord said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now and see if they have done entirely, according to its outcry, which has come to me. And if not, I'll know." So the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great with so much sin that's so rampant that God's gonna destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He's gonna go down and take a look to see if it's really as bad as he sees that it is. And in Genesis, chapter 18, verse 22, we see Abraham trying to plead with God. Notice what Abraham says. It says, "The men turned away from there and went towards Sodom while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. And Abraham came near and said, 'Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are 50 righteous within the city. Will you indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of 50 righteous who are in it?'" Do you hear Abraham's heart to God? He's like, God, I get that there's wicked people and that you're gonna destroy it. But what if there's just 50 people? I mean, if there's 50 righteous, you wouldn't just sweep away the righteous with the wicked, right? I mean, you would make a distinction between those who wanna live for you and those who don't. So for 50 people, I mean, you wouldn't destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, correct? Verse 25, "Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from you shall not judge of all the earth, you shall deal justly." So the Lord said, "If I find 50 righteous people within the city, I will spare the whole place on their accounts." So what's God say? All right, Abraham. If I find 50, we'll spare it. I won't destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. But that's not enough for Abraham. And Abraham replied, "'Now, behold, I ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes, suppose that the 50 righteous are lacking five. Will you destroy the city because of five?' And he said, 'I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.'" Do you hear what he's saying now? He's like, Lord, okay, I get it. If there's 50 righteous people, I know you won't do that. And I'm just dust and ashes. But what about if there's like five less than that? What about if there's only 45? Will you destroy the city if there's just 45? And God's like, no. If there's 45 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, we'll leave it alone. Verse 29, he spoke to him yet again. "Suppose 40 Are found there. And he said, 'I will not do it on a count of 40.'" Do you hear what Abraham's doing? He starts at 50. He goes to 45. Now we're down to 40, but he's not gonna stop there. In verse 30, he says, "'Oh, may the Lord not be angry and I shall speak. Suppose 30 are found there. And God said, 'I will not do it if I find 30 there.' And he said, 'Now, behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord. Suppose there are 20 found there.' And he said, 'I will not destroy on a count of 20.'" I mean, isn't that good enough if there's just 20 righteous people? But that's not good enough for Abraham. Then he said, "'Oh, may the Lord not be angry. I shall speak this once. Suppose 10 are found there.' And he said, 'I will not destroy it on account of the 10.'" And then he goes away. I mean, do you hear what Abraham's doing? He's like, for 50, come on, please. Don't destroy the city. There could be 50 righteous people there. God's like, okay. What if there's just 45? Okay. What about just 40, God? What about 30? What about 20? If there's 10 people, I mean, you won't destroy... God's like, no, if I find 10 people... What was the problem in Sodom and Gomorrah? He couldn't find anybody righteous. He couldn't even find 10. He got Lot out. He got Lot's wife out. He told them not to look back over their shoulder. Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. There was nobody righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. So sometimes when we read the scriptures, we have a hard time with God's totality of judgment, because we think, why would he destroy the innocent? These innocent women, these innocent children. Here's what the Bible says. There is no one innocent. We are all guilty of our sin. We all stand before the Lord guilty, every single one of us, me and you. And God knows our hearts, and God knows those who are coming to him by faith, and God knows those who are not. And what God is showing here in Genesis, chapter seven, as we see the totality of the judgment, he's telling Noah, "'Enter the ark, you and all your household. For you alone I have seen to be righteous before me in this time.'" I mean, you talk about some damning words from God for an entire generation of people. In 120 years, as I've looked throughout the whole earth, Noah, you and your family are the only people that I've found worthy of saving. You're the only ones who are dependent upon me. You're the only ones who want me. You're the only one who is doing what I'm asking you to do. You talk about being faithful in an unfaithful world? I mean, what would it be like in a world where it's never rained before, where you're taught to build an ark, not just a ship? You're talking about a ship of ships, 450 foot long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high. And you're building and constructing this ark. And when people are asking you why you're doing it, you're saying, because it's gonna rain. Well, what's that? Well, I don't know, but it's gonna destroy the entire earth and anybody that's not in this ark is going to perish and they're going to drown. That's your message for 120 years. We don't know how long it took Noah to build the ark. A lot of scholars say it would take about 55 to 75 years to have constructed that ark. But for 120 years, what's he doing? He's building the ark, he's preaching, and he's being a faithful servant of the Lord. And nobody else is listening. Now I think about my preaching ministry. I turn 50 here in a couple of weeks. Since we started this church, I mean, I've probably preached 500 some odd times. I mean, I don't know. He preached 120 years. How many people got saved? Eight, including himself and his wife and his three kids and their wives. That's it. I mean, was Noah faithful? Was Noah good at what he did? Yeah, he was the best preacher of his generation because he was heralding the truth of God to a group of people that didn't wanna hear what God had to say. And yet, we see Jesus all throughout the New Testament, we see God in the Old Testament, this invitation to protect the righteous. And so we see what God tells him to do. He tells him to take these pairs of animals on the ark. He also tells him to bring seven pairs of the clean animals because of the first thing he's gonna do when he exits the ark is he's gonna worship by sacrificing these clean animals. And notice what he says, "'For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth, 40 days and 40 nights.'" And listen to this, listen to how sobering this is. "'And I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.'" God is not mincing words. God's judgment is imminent. God's judgment is going to come. His wrath is going to be poured out. And Noah did all according to the Lord. Now, when you read this, this should cause you to question things. Something like this. 120 years, seriously, and nobody comes? Like, what was wrong with people back then? Like what was wrong in the hearts of human beings back then? The same thing that's wrong in your heart right now. You see, God is still providing a way for the righteous to escape. And what is his way? It's the Lord Jesus Christ who came and laid his life down on a cross so that we could have life in his name. Here's the question, what are you waiting for? How come it is that you go to church on a regular basis, but you're still waiting to give your entire heart and life to Jesus Christ? How come it is that your mom and dad have told you the truth about the gospel or your pastors told you the truth about the gospel, your grandparents have told you the truth about the gospel, and yet, deep in the recesses of your heart, you say, yeah, one day I'll get that right? Yeah, one day it'll be okay. One day for you is gonna be too late. When are you gonna give your heart and life completely to the Lord Jesus Christ? Because as tragic as it is to read about 12 decades of people that don't give their life to Christ, it's just as tragic in our generation for people who know the truth, and yet, refuse to come into the truth. See, Jesus Christ gave his life so that you could know him. Jesus Christ gave his life so that you could have a relationship with him. Jesus Christ gave his life so that you would not have to suffer the pain of eternal torment. But God is just as serious about sin today as he was then. And so we see that God is going to destroy everything and he lets him know in seven days, this is what's going to happen. And when wrath becomes imminent, God provides an invitation to protect the righteous. That's exactly what he was doing. But notice verse six, "When God's wrath becomes imminent, he also provides an immense amount of patience." Notice verse six, "Now Noah was 600 years old when the flood of water came on the earth. Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood, of the clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, they went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. It came about after seven days that the water of the flood came upon the earth. In the 600th year of Noah's life, in the second month of the 17th day of the month, on the same day, all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the flood gates of the sky were opened. The rain fell on the earth 40 days and 40 nights. On the very same day, Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark. They, and every beast after its kind and all the cattle after their kind and every creeping thing on the earth after its kind and every bird after its kind and all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah by twos of all flesh that was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him and the Lord closed it behind him. Now picture of this. Most of us have a hard time with Noah's ark 'cause you're like, how can you fit every single animal on the ark? Every single animal was not on the ark. Every kind of animal was on the ark. I mean, so many times in our mind, we have like, you know, a male and female lion, a male and female tiger, a male and female cheetah. You didn't need all that. You needed a male and female of the cat kind. You didn't have every single wolf and dog. You needed a dog kind. You needed a horse kind. It's not like we had zebras and horses and all this 'cause God is so creative, all he needed was a male and female of each. Answers in Genesis talks about the fact that there were probably about 1400 species. You would only need a few thousand animals to be on the ark for God to be able to repopulate the earth just the way that he wanted to. And the Bible makes clear that God did what he said he was going to do. And so you have this ark that's plenty big to host all of these different species of animals that God said that he was gonna house. Plus Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. So they're gonna enter into the ark, and that's exactly what happens. When they enter the ark, did you notice who closed the door of the ark? Did you notice who closed the door to the ark? It said, "And God closed the door." I think physically Noah was probably able to close it. I just don't know emotionally if he could. Because I know what Noah would have been feeling in his heart because you know that the second that that door is closed, it's over. Every single person that you've ever known is going to die. Every single animal that's not on that ark is going to die. And Noah, for whatever reason, didn't have to close it. God's like, I got this. I've given 120 years of incredible amounts of patience. I bore with this group of people for 12 decades and nobody's coming to me. I'll shut the door. And when I shut the door, it's complete. Now, here's what you need to understand. We read this, and it should be sobering to us like God shut the door and nobody else is coming in at that point in time. The Bible says there's gonna be a door that's shut in the future too. There's gonna be a door that's shut to sinners who are no longer gonna be welcomed in. There's a timeframe where that ends. In Matthew 25, you read about the parable, the virgins. There were 10 virgins, five were wise, five unwise, five had trimmed their lamps with oil. The other five went out to say, hey, we need more oil. Give us oil. We need more oil for our lamps. And while they're out, guess what happens? The bridegroom comes and shuts the door and they're not welcome in. And they bang on the door, but they can't get in. Do you realize, friends, that everything that the Bible teaches about the soberness of sin is so that you, while you have breath in your lungs, have an opportunity to choose Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior? Like now is the time. Now is the time. There is coming a time where you will no longer have time, right? It was 120 years back in Genesis, chapters six, seven, and eight. We don't know when the time's gonna close, but the time is closing. And why would you wait to give your heart and give your life to Jesus Christ? God is bearing with incredible patience. And what did God do? What was he doing? Well, he was allowing Noah to build this monstrosity of an ark. It was a showpiece to the world that God is who he says he is. And that God is going to do what he says he's going to do. But we don't just read about Noah, the builder, right? We read about Noah the preacher. We read about Noah the preacher. In Hebrews, chapter 11 and verse seven, we read about Noah's incredible faith. It says, "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." Noah had never seen it rain. Remember how the world was watered at the time? There was a mist that was coming up from the earth. There had never been rain. What did God tell Noah? It's gonna rain. You're gonna need this ship. You're gonna need this ark. You're gonna need to do everything the way I told you to calculate it and do. So what does Noah do? Exactly what the Lord tells him to do, even though he does not have knowledge in his head as to how all this is gonna work out. What's he doing? I'm gonna be obedient to the Lord, even though I don't fully understand it. But guess what else he is? He's not only a builder, he's a preacher, 'cause in 2 Peter, chapter two in verse five, we read about him being a preacher. When it talks about God did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. So what else was Noah doing in his spare time? Not only was he building, what was he doing? He was proclaiming. He was preaching. He was heralding. He was letting the world know this is not just some ship, this is God's plan to save mankind. I'm letting you know that God is angry with our sin. I'm letting you know that this is the only way to be saved. I'm letting you know that God is righteous and I'm proclaiming on his behalf. And not one person outside of his family ever listened to him. Not one. Does that make Noah a bad preacher? I mean, you study the history of preaching. Crowds don't necessarily make a great preacher. Faithfulness to God does. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. And there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands in hell that heard Noah preach, telling them to get into the ark and they did nothing with it. Right? I mean, the tragedy of good preaching is when people don't listen to the preacher and people don't listen to what God is trying to say through the preacher. But make no mistake about it, he was showing incredible amounts of patience because that's God's character. 1 Corinthians 13, love is what? Patient. It's the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance. It's his patience, not wanting anybody to perish, but for all to come to the saving knowledge of him. And that's what you have in chapter seven. But make no mistake, his immense amount of patience comes to an end because as they enter the ark, and as they get into the ark and he calls him seven days before get into the ark. And we don't know in that seven days, which day they actually gone. It could have been that last day. But when that door shut, guess what? It was that day that the flood happened. Now, when we talk about flood, make no mistake about it. We are talking about a global flood. You're gonna see that all throughout this. We're not talking about a local flood. If this were a local flood, God could have told them move. Like pack up your stuff and like go 30 miles. It's gonna be okay. I mean, God could have told them, you don't need this boat. You don't need this ark. You just need to get to the high ground. This is a global flood. We're gonna see how everything is completely covered. And where's this flood gonna come from? It's gonna come from the rains of the earth. And it's also going to come from underneath because we see that the flood gates burst open from underneath. Very possibly, we didn't have all the different continents like we do right now, but it was through the flood that everything began to expand. And I don't have time to get into all of the science of this this morning, but if you wanna study fossils, if you wanna study the timing of fossils, if you wanna see everything, if you believe in a global worldwide flood around 2348 BC, everything that the Bible teaches fits completely just the way that the Bible says, right? I mean, the fossil record is evidence of a global, universal, worldwide flood. And God was bearing with incredible patience, but the end of his patience came. He closed in Noah and his family and all the animals, and then the floodwater came upon the earth. Now I want you to see this because when God's wrath becomes imminent, God not only provides an invitation for the righteous, He not only provides an immense amount of patience, but He provides an intense punishment for sin. This is the most sobering part of this passage, because we don't like to think about God as one who is complete and total in his annihilation of punishment for sin. But I want you to hear this from the word of the Lord. In Genesis, chapter seven, starting at verse 17. Notice what happened. It says this, "Then the flood came upon the earth for 40 days and the water increased and lifted up the ark so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed 15 cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished. Birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth and all mankind, of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life died." Now listen to this, how sobering this is. "Thus He, God, blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the land from man to animals, to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from under the earth. And only Noah was left together with those who were with them in the ark and the water prevailed on the earth 150 days." That should grieve your heart. Total annihilation. Total annihilation. The whole earth was covered up to 15 cubits higher than the highest mountain. You say, where we get enough water for that? Like, where would that all happen? There's plenty of water on the earth right now to flood the entire globe again. God just made a promise that he would never ever do it. God's gonna make a promise that he's never gonna flood the world again the way that he did there. Which is another reason that we're talking about a global flood, because I've lived long enough to know that Hurricane Katrina and different floods throughout the world and different tsunamis have caused massive damage to hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of people. And yet, what we don't have is any indication of a global flood again. God promised he would only do that one time. And that's exactly what he did. And how total was his wrath? Every single human being that was not on that boat, every single animal that was not on that boat, every single bird that was not in that boat died. Now you think about this for a moment. Just think about what it would be like. I mean, it's one thing to be invited into the ark by God and say, okay, you're gonna live, but nobody else is. And then you hear the sickening thud of the ark closing. And you know, as soon as the floodwaters burst open from underneath and you know that the rain starts coming for 40 days and 40 nights. I mean, I don't know what Noah heard. It doesn't tell us in the text. I don't know if he heard screaming. I don't know if he heard pounding on the door. We don't know. What we do know is this. Noah knew that every single person that he had ever come into contact with in his entire life was either dying or in the process of dying right when the flood started. You think about that for a moment. You think about every single relative that you have. You think about every friend you have. You think about every single person that's ever cut your hair or where you've gone and got groceries or filled up with gas. You think about every single person. And while you're inside this boat being saved and protected by the Lord almighty because you've depended upon him, every other person, every other animal, that's not in your presence is dead or in the process of dying presently. This is sobering. This is sobering. We have a hard time with this 'cause we like our God to be merciful, relent. Like relent, like stop. When's it gonna stop? It never stopped. Never stopped because God's wrath is total and it's complete. And here's what you'll see. When we get to the Book of Revelation here in the coming weeks, his wrath is still coming. And it's gonna be just as complete as it's ever been. And while you still have air in your lungs, I'm here to tell you as a pastor, that God loves you with an unconditional love and he wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you. He loves you. He's tired of you waiting. He's tired of you kicking back, He's tired of you saying one day, I'll get there. And he's looking for your whole heart, and he's looking for your whole life now because there's an intense punishment for sin. Chapter eight. It says, "But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused the wind to pass over the earth and the water subsided." Now, when I read this, I don't read this as God remembered as if I forgot about Noah. Like everybody else died. But yeah, there is this boat like floating with animals and floating... I totally remember now. That's not what it means. What it means is that God is considering what's going on. And as everyone else has been punished, God is coming to his mind of what he needs to do now, because now that he's protected Noah from imminent judgment, he's gotta get him ready for this new world to repopulate it. And so he remembers Noah. And after this water has prevailed now, it's rain 40 days and 40 nights, 150 days, the rain's just sitting there. Now we see that God is gonna cause a wind or ruah or his very breath to pass over the earth, and the waters are gonna start taking 150 days to come down now. Verse two says, "Also the fountains of the deep and the flood gates of the sky were closed and the rain from the sky was restrained, and the water receded steadily from the earth. And at the end of 150 days, the waters decreased." Verse four says, "In the seventh month, on the 17th day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of area. The waters decreased steadily until the 10th month. In the 10th month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible." Now, when you start reading through all this, it's like, okay, why this date? Why that date? Have you ever been on a trip with your family in a car for a long time, right? Here's what we have. We have, we have God inviting them into the ark. They're gonna be on the ark for 377 days. This is a long trip. You know, how much longer, dad? How much longer? How much... It's gonna be a while, just settle in. I mean, they've been here for a long time. and what we're getting the picture of is God's total judgment on planet earth. And even as he's removing the waters and even as they're coming down now, and even as they're able to see the tops of the mountains, they're recognizing just how complete the destruction was of humanity for the sin that they had against God. That everything has now died. Notice verse six, it says, "Then it came about at the end of 40 days that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. And he sent out a raven and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him to see if the water was abated from the face of the land. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot. So she returned to him in the ark for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark to safety." So as the water's going down, Noah's gonna open up the window, and guess what he's gonna send out? He's gonna send out a raven, and this raven's gonna fly it around here, there, everywhere until the raven can find a place to land. He sends out a dove the very same day. The dove's looking around, the dove's gotta find a place to land. It can't find a place to land 'cause water is still on the surface. So the dove comes back to Noah and Noah's like, all right, come on back in. We're okay. I'll protect you. And then they wait another week. Noah waits another week and notice what he says. So he waited yet another seven days, and he sent the dove out from the ark. The dove came to him in the evening. And behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. So he waits a week, sends out the dove. The dove comes back that night, got an olive branch in its beak. Noah begins to understand the waters are going down. Trees are starting to be seen. Things are gonna get back to a new normal. And let's see what this is gonna be. So back comes the dove. Noah it takes the dove back in. He's gonna wait another week. Notice what happens. "Then yet, he waited another seven days and sent out the dove, but she did not return to him again." What happened? Everything had abated. God had removed the flood. God had removed the water. God had done everything that he needed to do. And now what we see is when judgment is imminent, that God is gonna provide instructions to persevere. That God's gonna have instructions for Noah and his family in this new world after he's already destroyed everything. And notice what it says in verse 13, it said, "Now it came about in the 601st year and in the first month of, and..." I'm sorry, "In the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering from the ark and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. In the second month, on the 27th day of the month, the earth was dry." I mean, Noah is looking out and he's been watching the water dissipate for 150 days. He's starting to see tops of mountains. He sent out a raven, the raven's going back and forth. Finally, the raven's gone. He sends out a dove three different times. Now the dove's not coming back. He realizes it's time to take the cover off the ark. He takes the cover off the ark, he looks around and he realizes, hey, the ground is dry. A month later, it's completely dry. And now for the first time in 377 days, he's gonna hear from the Lord. Now, why is that important? You ever gone through a tough time before where the Lord was showing you what he was gonna take you through? The Lord was gonna show you what he was gonna do? And yet, you go through those times where you're not really hearing his voice. I hear his voice through the scriptures. I hear his voice through prayer, but I'm kind of needing a little more than what I'm getting here. Why was it so important that Noah walked with God? Because he needed to be very acquainted with God so that when he was going through the difficulties he was going through, not getting the answers that he needed at the exact time, he could still trust his Heavenly Father. All of us need to be so intimately acquainted with God that we can still trust our Heavenly Father. Even when we don't get the specific answers to why are we going through what we're going through? I don't know about you, but 377 days, I like cruises, I like boats, they're fun. 377 days with every kind of species of animal? My father being a veterinarian, I want off that boat like yesterday, right? I want out. I mean, I don't care anymore. Let's get off this boat. And now he's gonna hear the voice of the Lord. In verse 15 of chapter eight, "Then the God spoke to Noah saying, 'Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of a flesh that is with you, birds and animals, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. They may breed abundantly on the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth." Verse 18. So Noah went out and his sons and his wife and his sons wives with him, every beast, every creeping thing, every bird, everything that moves on on the earth, went out by their families from the ark. I mean, you talk about a beautiful day. 377 days. God's invited you and you haven't really heard his voice for that whole time. And now God says, "Come on out. You get out, bring your family out, bring all the animals out." I think everything would be like, yes, we're out. Come on out, let's do this. Let's start the world over. We're gonna be God's conduit of his grace for what he's going to restore and what he's going to rebuild and how he's going to do this. And there's this picture of Noah still being obedient to God that a whole year later coming out with his family. Now, wouldn't you like to know what he's gonna do? Like what's the first thing Noah's gonna do? What would be the first thing you would do? I mean, would you like get down on your knees, kiss the ground and be like, ah, praise the Lord. I don't ever wanna go swimming again. I mean, what would you be thinking? Here's what Noah's thinking. Noah's thinking about one thing. He's thinking about the worship of Almighty God. Says, "Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar." What's Noah want to do? What's his urgency of getting off the boat? It's not just getting away from the stench of the animals. It's not just saying, you know what? I love my family, but 377 days in the same boat, a little much, I'm ready to get off. That's not what his heart is. His heart is this. I can't wait to build an altar to worship my God, because he is always worthy of my worship. Do you know that God is always worthy of your worship? That Noah was worshiping while he was on the ark? And that the first thing Noah wants to do when he gets off the ark is to worship? And that there will always be people and culture that will tell you that worship is not essential, and it's not important? But the most important thing that you can ever do is to worship the Lord Jesus Christ with everything that you have. Amen. And that's what we have here. He's getting off the boat, he's gonna take all the clean animals. Why did he bring those extra animals? 'Cause God told him to bring the extra animals so that he'd have what? That he'd have a sacrifice of praise. That he'd have a way of bringing praise with his lips and he'd have a way of bringing praise with his presence and giving his best. So he offers these burnt offerings and notice how the Lord responded. In verse 21 of chapter eight. "The Lord smelled the soothing aroma, and the Lord said to himself, 'I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth. And I have never done anything to destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, in cold and heat, in summer and winter, in day and night shall not cease." What is God's promise? God's promise is this. I'm gonna continue to bring four seasons. I'm gonna continue to repopulate the earth. I'm gonna let the animals repopulate the earth. And Noah, I'm gonna let you be fruitful and multiply, and your sons and their wives be fruitful and multiply because we are going to recreate something even better than what we started with. And that's the heart of God. The heart of God's instruction is after punishment for sin, God is redeeming a group of people for himself. God is redeeming a group of people that wanna honor and worship Him. That's why we still have breath in our lungs. God has given us an invitation all the time to say, will you be part of my remnant? Will you be part of the people who completely trust me? Because friends, the day is coming where God is going to completely destroy the world because of sin. People don't like to talk about it. People like to say that God's mean if he does that. But the purpose of our God is this, not only is God loving, God is completely holy and he's completely righteous and he's completely good. And so he must punish sin. And yet, in his great love that he has for us, he provided the provision of his son, Jesus Christ. This is a tragic story. When we read it, these two chapters, it should grip our hearts to say God completely destroyed everyone except Noah and his family and their extended family. It should grip us. But what's even harder to read is that story is about us if we haven't come to a place of our need for the Lord Jesus Christ. That God in his mercy loves us so much and created a world that he loves us so much, that he provided a way. And in the same way that the ark was a way of salvation, guess what we have in the New Testament? We have the cross of Jesus Christ. The Bible says broad is the way and wide is the road that leads to destruction and many are on it. But narrow is the gate and small as the road that leads to life and few find it. Few find it. It doesn't mean that God only wants a few to find it. It just means that for many people that live in our generation, they don't listen to the severity of God's warnings about sin. And instead, live completely for themselves. And nothing, but nothing but nothing would be more tragic than to know that you've heard the truth that Jesus Christ died for your sins according to the scriptures that he was buried and that he was raised according to the scripture so that you could have a way out, and chose not to take it. See the purpose of the story is for us to see the comprehensive totality of God's wrath so that we'd be aware that that's coming again. But that we'd also be aware of it like Noah. We don't have to experience it. We don't have to experience it. God loves you so much so that you would never have to experience that. And what I'm talking about today is not playing church, not asking you when you prayed a prayer or raised your hand or walked an aisle or signed a card. I'm asking when in your heart of hearts, did you recognize your need for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for all your sins, who was buried and who was raised from the dead? And here's my question. When did you turn your life completely over to him? 'Cause the Bible says that if you're his, no one can ever snatch you out of his hand. That you belong to him forever and ever. And no matter what happens, and no matter the coming judgment that's coming, you can be completely safe as you've ever been. You can be as completely safe as Noah and his family was because you are in Christ. You're in the realm of Christ. Which is why I wanted to end the day by giving you an opportunity to respond to Jesus. Because of this story tells us anything, this story tells us that while God is serious about sin, he's also serious about grace. He's serious about providing an opportunity. And his desire is that not one of you would perish, but that all of you would have life in his name. And the way you have life in his name is not by being a good person. The way you have life in his name is by recognizing your sinful nature, recognizing that Jesus Christ died for you and rose for you, and turning your heart and life over to Jesus Christ.

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