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1. Knowing Someone
Walking with God involves doing something. Walking with God is obedience. Obedience is doing something: "and thus did Noah." Some men are know for the work they do. Every man will be judged by their work or as Paul said "according to their deeds." Noah was a worker. So it should be with every saint. Each should be a "worker together with God."
Has God some job for you to do? Yes, and may it be your and my ambition to find God's will for us and do it.
Noah was a worker together with God.
He was a ready worker. Availability is the best ability. The writer of Proverbs put it this way: "a friend that is near is better than a brother who is far off." If God had some job that needed to be done, some ministry to do, some mission to be accomplished, would he think of you? Would he think of me? Noah was a ready worker.
The tools of a ready worker are sharp, they are well oiled, they are, well, ready. The Bible teaches that it is difficult to work with tools that are not cared for. "If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength " (Ecc. 10:10). I am afraid God does not reach for dull tools or dull Christians. If I would be used of God I must "whet" the edge of my spirit upon the sharpening stone of God's word which must be well oiled with passionate prayer.
In another account, the Bible tells of an axe head that flies off its handle and into a pond of water. Someone failed to check it, to see if it was secure. God does not use axe heads, or believers who "fly off the handle." Let us look to our lives, our hearts, our gifts each day to clean and polish them and prepare them should the "Lord [have] need of [them]" (Lk.19:31). A ready worker has his toolbox by the door, ready should the Master call him for some project.
He was a willing worker. "And God said make thee an ark." God does not always ask us to do the easy thing. Sometimes he asks us to do a hard thing. Building an ark was an enormous undertaking. It is not for us to chose our cross. When the call to move the piano is raised down at the church, there is usually one brother who is quick to grab the piano bench. You can't fool God. God knows who is willing to "put his back into it," and those who are not.
God asked Noah to do something different, something strange. Willing workers are not afraid to do something new. The world had never seen
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the likes of what Noah was making. Are we willing to do what God asks us to do? When God asks us to do something why is it that we have a desire to do the "other" thing. When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh he was quick to book passage to Tarshish. It could be that some are hiding from God in the choir loft. We should all study the mind of the Master who prayed in the garden, "not my will, but thine, be done."
He was a faithful worker. Not every job can be done in a jiffy. Noah was a preacher of righteousness for one hundred and twenty years. Many fail in the test of longevity. Many stop drilling before they hit oil. Many drop out, and quit. Paul wrote of one such drop-out when he wrote, "Demas hath forsaken me" (2Tim. 4:10). How many Demas' have quit their post? How many have left their sheep. God calls faithful men.
Has God called you to some task, some ministry, some work? "Let us not be weary in well doing " (Gal. 6:9). Would we be God's steward? "It is required of a steward, that he be found faithful" (1Cor. 4:2).
He was a thorough worker. The Scriptures tell us that he did "all" that the Lord commanded (Gen. 6:22). Most will do something, but spiritual success comes from doing "all." Doing something half way is not God's way. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" (Ecc. 9:10).
He was a courageous worker. How foolish he must have appeared to the world around him. How mad and odd was this preacher of righteousness and ark builder. Many a man who could never be stopped by direct opposition is devastated by ridicule. The laugh of men hurts only when we think too much of ourselves. Jesus spoke about this fear when he said "whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38).
He was a successful worker. God is the one who approves our work. By the world's standards, Noah was not a very good preacher. He had only seven souls for all his labor. It would be hard to find a congregation smaller than his. If there were other churches and other preachers they must have had larger crowds. Perhaps they also had fancy parsonages, and hefty pension funds. If there were others preaching in those days, they surely were not preaching God's Word. Perhaps they were prophesying fair weather and good things to come.
Wisdom is justified by her children (Mat. 11:19). When the flood came, the thing floated. Success is not in necessarily doing anything great, but rather in simply doing what God has asked us to do. Have we followed his plan and blueprint? Have we measured what we have done by the
ruler of his word? Have we prepared for those God would send? Have we made provision? Have we made room? Have we pitched where he has told us to? If we have then the thing will float. Have we built without mast, and sail, and rudder allowing Him and Him alone to be in control? If we haveExcept the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it. Are some entering into Christ? This is the evidence of God's blessing.
How are you "doing?" Jesus said, "not everyone who saith Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who doeth the will of my father." Again I must ask, "how are you doing?"
Noah was not just a hearer, he was a doer of the word. (See James 1:22).
Walking with God means trusting God. Noah would never have claimed to have saved himself. All his ark building was as filthy rags in the sight of God. To be sure faith and obedience are necessary but it is still God who saves. "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." Yet salvation requires participation and a cooperation with God. There are those who insist that we cannot say "no" to God. They talk about "irresistible" grace. Those who drowned in the deluge resisted until the end. Don't blame God for a single corpse. "It is not the will of God, that any should perish."
People today are just as puzzled about the cross as they were about the ark. What a strange curiosity both are! What a stubborn resistance men have to the Gospel and the call to "repent" and "believe." If you perish in the coming judgment, don't blame God.
1. Listen. "And the lord said unto Noah " God is not just speaking to Noah these days he is speaking to you. He is speaking to me. Listen. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son " (Heb. 1:1-2).
God spoke to Noah and Noah listened. Noah built well. His life depended upon it. Salvation begins when we are willing to listen to God. As in the days of Noah, most choose to ignore God's Word. New life begins when we willingly tune in and listen. Little Samuel came to a personal faith (came to know the Lord) when he said "Speak Lord, they servant heareth."
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2. Obey. Real faith obeys. The Bible account tells us that Noah did "all" God asked of him (Gen. 7:5). Partial obedience is like building half a boat. Real faith knows no half measures. The great commandment is "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart ." Half-hearted faith is not faith at all. Faith without obedience is not faith at all. Jesus asked "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say." The Christian life must be one of obedience.
3. Room "In my Father's house are many mansions," Jesus told his disciples. There is room for all who will come. In another place Jesus said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (Jn. 6:37). Watch them come. Noah's family came one, by one. The animals came two by two. God drew all. God's grace reaches all. The antelope and the wolf, the fox and the lamb, the ant and the anteater. Creeping things came and flying things. The high and the low came also. There would be a place for all that came.
4. "And they came unto Noah." Noah did not have to set his traps. Noah did not have to fix his snares. None are brought in cages or in chains. They came unto Noah. None are saved against their will. None are dragged into heaven. If one reading this is still not saved, ask God to make you willing to be willing and he will; but be assured, he will not force you into his ark. In the Book of Revelation we find the Lord standing outside the door of the church at Laodicea knocking. He does not burst in uninvited. "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in ." (Rev. 3:20).
Those who entered the ark did so willingly. Perhaps they could not explain the strange tugging at their heart or the magnetism that seemed to attract them, but be certain of this the will of man must want to come. "Today, if your hear his voice, harden not your heart." The message is the same today as it was in the days of Noah. The message is simple. The message is "come." "Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
5. "In" The Bible says that those who were saved went "in." Salvation is as simple as that. "If any man be "in" Christ he is a new creation " Looking at the cross will not save or change you. Looking at the ark would not keep you from drowning. You are either "in" or you are not.
6. One Door The blueprints called for only one door in the Ark. Jesus said "I am the door." All attempting to enter another way are thieves and liars. In God's plan of salvation the Bible is clear. "neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." In another place, Christ made it even clearer, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me."
7. And the LORD shut him in. When God closes a door no man can open it. The door seems to be closing today for salvation. The door of time is closing for everyone. Death shall close any opportunity to trust Christ. When God shut Noah in he was secure. He was safe. How sad it will be for those who will be shut out! Hurry. Enter in today.
There are no survivors of judgment except those who have entered
There are times when faith appears to be "doing something." Then there are times when faith appears to be "doing nothing." An important element of faith is waiting.
Noah means, "rest." Nothing describes faith and trust like that of simply resting. One need only behold the picture of security and serenity as an infant slumbers in its mother's arms. Though the world around is on fire, it knows only peace and rest within its mother's embrace. That Noah's mother should name him thus was nothing less than prophetic. "Rest little one, Rest and sleep" must have been among the first words Noah heard in this world. Little did he realize that he would experience such a salvation of Grace that, that would be all he could do while he waited out the ravages of God's wrath on the world and rode upon the face of the flood.
Jesus would one day call out to another needy world, "Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The ministry of the church is to let the whole world know that a "greater than Noah is here." When the judgment of God again falls on this sinful world, only those resting in Christ will be saved.
There are times in the life of faith when God calls us to do nothing else. There are times when we must work. There are times when there are temples to erect, walls to raise, and arks to build. There are times when we need to hold a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. There are times when we must put our hand to the plow. Then there are other times, there are times when we are simply called to trust, and wait, and rest.
What else could Noah have done? The ark had no rudder, no sail, no mast. Everything depended on God and God alone. There was not a single thing Noah could do except trust God. So it is with salvation. "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." Noah had nothing to boast of; he had only to rest.
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Finally, after five long months of being tempest tossed the ark rested (Gen. 9:4). How wonderful it must have felt to feel solid earth once again beneath his feet. What a comfort it must have been to find such a firm foundation. The Bible tells us that the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. Ararat means "holy ground." True faith can rest on nothing else.
God saves us unto holiness. We are to be saved from our sin, not in our sin. Salvation is a call to holiness. When God called Moses the Patriarch heard a voice speak from the flames of the burning bush, "Moses, take off your shoes, for the ground on which you stand is holy ground." God always calls us unto holiness. There is no more holy or sacred spot on the spiritual earth than the place known as Calvary. Take off your shoes saint and sinner alike, come unto him and "[He] will give you rest."
After the ark rested on Ararat, Noah still rested and waited. Four more months passed before Noah opened the window and looked out. The Bible speaks of the patience of Job. It seems that Noah could be the patron saint of patience. He waited, and waited and waited. He could have written David's fortieth Psalm "I waited patiently for the LORD." He could have penned the words of Isaiah "they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles "
It was not an eagle Noah would reach for, but a raven and a dove to search the land like the spies of Joshua. Each fowl was true to its nature. One had a taste for the baser things, the other for the more noble. Doves have an appetite for the sweeter things of life; ravens are satisfied with carrion. Like a minister of God's good Word, the dove finally came with good news. In its beak it held what to this day is the symbol of peace: an olive branch. It was a message of faith, hope and love that Noah longed for. No preacher could have been more eloquent. God is good.
Watch this man of faith and wonder. He reached out took the dove back in and then waited, the Bible says, seven more days. Perhaps it was on the Sabbath that the feathered creature came carrying hope. We cannot tell. If it was, Noah would wait until the next before he left the vessel. But not before he heard a greater word. Ministers have their place in God's economy, but for some no message by dove or disciple will do. Noah must hear God. There are times when Samuel must withdraw from Eli and say "speak LORD, thy servant heareth." There are times when Paul must turn away from "flesh and blood" and look for God.
"And God spoke unto Noah" (Gen. 8:15). We must learn to wait on God. We must be careful about climbing out of the place God has asked us to enter. Some rush out as soon as the rain seems to have stopped, but it proves to be too soon. Some are content with the comforting words of mortal men. Some are satisfied to follow their instincts and intuition. Some wait for God's Word.
When we wait for God's Word we may continue to "rest" in it even when we labor. When we try to build our lives, or our world on the words of men, we build our house upon the sand (or mire). Jesus said of such houses, "and great will be the fall of it."
Rest, dear one. Rest upon the Word of God. When God says, "come in" enter though it be a boat, a battle or a business and rest in him. When God says, "Go," then "Go" in the power of his might. Rest on his promises and rest on his word, though the world you know shall crumble around you, you will be safe in his "everlasting arms."
The first thing Noah did when he emerged from the ark was to build an altar. This is what I call making "altar-ations." There is a big difference between making a few alterations and making "altar-ations." One changes very little, a sleeve is shortened, a hem is taken up, something else is taken in or let out a little. On the other hand, altars are for sacrifice.
After the Apostle Paul explained the riches of God's grace and our great salvation he goes on to say. "I beseech ye therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service."
Chapter eight of Genesis begins with these words: "And God remembered Noah." Man's problem is never in God not remembering us. Man's problem is in man's not remembering God. Noah seemed determined not to make that mistake. The Scripture says, "And Noah builded an altar" Gen. 8:20. Noah was a builder, not only of the Ark, but also of an Altar. After being delivered from the waves, it is spiritually instinctive to worship. We come out of the Ark right to the Altar. Why did Noah worship God? Was it duty? Was it obligation? Was it legalism? No. Noah loved God, therefore Noah worshiped God. In worship we recognize three things.
1. God is faithful. "God remembered Noah." When all human hearts that ever loved us grow cold, and turn to other things and forget, God will not forget. Why? For God loves you! Why could God not forget about Noah when Noah was in the Ark? The answer is simply: because God was in the Ark with him. Whenever we are in God's will, God is with us.
2. God is Merciful. "And the Ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat." When you think there is no place to go, or there is no place for you to rest, God has provided a resting-place. Thank you Lord that I can rest in thy mercy.
3. God is Good. "In her mouth was an olive branch." The carnal raven did not return. It listened only to its own stomach and could live on unclean things, on the putrid, on the carrion. The dove, on the other hand, brought in its mouth the assurance of God's goodness. Whatever God sends me, I know that it is working for my good, because God is good.
As a "saved" person, you may be in need of some alterations. The best way to do that is through "Altar-ations." We are saved by Grace (Gen.6:8), but grace understood breeds gratitude. We should build personal and family altars of worship and thanksgiving to God. Such is well pleasing to God (Gen. 8:21). We should never go a day without first pausing at the
family altar where God can make certain alterations to our mind, or will and our emotions. There we remember God's faithfulness, and therefore we are grateful people. There we remember God's mercy, and therefore we are merciful people. There we remember God's goodness, and therefore we love that which is good.
The danger is not in that God will forget us, but rather that we will forget God. When you come to the altar bring your heart and look for one thing above all else: look for the heart of God (v. 21) and worship him.
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And God blessed Noah. After one dark, damp, violent year in the Ark, Noah emerged onto dry ground and the light of day. After Noah built an altar and worshiped the Lord, God responded with a special token of his grace, a rainbow.
1) IT IS A TOKEN FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD TO SEE.
The treaty of Paris, which acknowledged America as a sovereign state was brought out a few years ago to be put on public display. God put his covenant on public display at the Ark's door. God put his seal upon the parchment of the sky. Let no man say that God never spoke to him. For the rainbow speaks to the American, and to the Englishman, and to the African, each in his own language. (Ps. 8:1,3;Ps 19:1-4;Acts 26:26)
2) IT IS A TOKEN OF LIGHT
John tells us that God is light (1Jn. 1:5). In the rainbow, the white incomprehensible light of heaven is divided into a brilliant display of seven colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet). (Jn. 1:6-10; Jn.8:16)
3) IT IS A TOKEN OF JUDGMENT.
Let the world never forget that God hates sin. Let the world never forget that God will judge sin. Let the world never forget that the cup of God's wrath contains enough judgment to cover the mountains. Woe to the man who forgets the judgment of God. (Gen. 6:5-7;Acts. 24:5;Heb.9:27).
4) IT IS A TOKEN OF MERCY.
The anger of God is measured. His arrows are sure. There are no innocents caught in the crossfire of God's vengeance. God had mercy upon those that trusted in him and believed him. God told Noah it would rain. Noah believed God and built the Ark as instructed. And (although there was not yet a cloud in the sky), seven days before the rain began to fall, Noah entered the Ark. God was merciful to Noah and to all that believe. (Lam. 3:2; Jn. 3:16)
5) IT IS A TOKEN THAT JOINS HEAVEN TO EARTH.
As Jacob's ladder touched heaven and earth so this token joins God and man. So too the Cross, and in the atoning work of the Great Mediator we find the only solution to the seeming dichotomy between judgement and mercy. In Revelation 4:3 we see the rainbow around the throne of heaven. When we see the empty cross we remember the gloomy past and the calm present and the bright future. (Isa. 59:1,2; Eph. 2:13)
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6) IT IS A TOKEN OF GRACE.
Where sin abounded grace did more abound. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. In every life some rain will fall, but breaking through the clouds shall be the sun of God. There are a thousand little rainbows in a thousand gracious texts throughout the Bible. They make the storms, the clouds, and the rain bearable. (Gen. 6:8; Eph. 2:8-9)
7) IT IS A TOKEN FOR TEARS
Who but man rains tears? Noah and his family soon learned that only the outer world was changed, the inner world was still in danger of going a stray. One can look at the rainbow and the cross all day long and never be changed by it unless we want to be. (2Cor. 5:17; Rev. 4:5)
"Love covers a multitude of sin." Love does not rejoice in iniquity.
Noah, a man who found grace is found intoxicated to the point of scandalous spectacle. Here is a warning to all that would be intemperate. Wine then and now is a mocker. It is better left alone. Someone may want to defend it by pointing out that a grape or a vegetable is without morals and therefore cannot be sinful. To that I can only warn that while you might not see the evil in the wine, the wine will find the evil in you. It will not bring out the best, but rather the worst in you. How Noah came to find himself in this awful position is unexplainable, and undefendable. Even if he did not know what fermentation was or could do, to be in such an unbecoming posture had to be the result of a great deal of "excess."
If this "savior" of the old world could so fall, if this builder of arks and altars could lay so low, then let every child of God "take heed lest he [also] fall." If Noah, the survivor and recipient of grace, could so stumble and lie in disgrace, then let every preacher of righteousness "keep [his] body under, lest by any means when [he] has preached to others, [he] should become a cast away."
The sin of drunkenness and exposure was not the most grievous sin in Genesis nine. If we are not careful, sin begets sin. How do you respond, (no, better) how do you react when presented with some sinful behavior of others? How we react when we innocently stumble upon sinful behavior speaks volumes about the state of our spiritual condition.
First Ham violated a most basic principle of filial respect and honor. No matter how unworthily a parent may behave, nor to what low a state they may stoop, children should show a proper amount of respect and honor to the one from whose loins they sprang. Running to tell others, wanting to expose the fallen is not a quality of grace. Ham's behavior suggests a mocking, and a disrespect that was grievous, boorish, and vile.
But Ham's sin goes deeper. Noah was not only a parent; he was also a preacher of righteousness. When Ham came upon such spectacle he should have gone out and built his own altar and wept in sackcloth and ashes. He should have bowed his head and brought his broken and humiliated heart to God for repair and cleansing. Instead, he seemed to rejoice in finding the Priest of Aarrat in ruins. He seemed to rejoice in iniquity, rushing from Noah's tent with awful news so as to expose his father's shame to the whole wide world. He knew little of grace, or of the God, who would later teach, "love covers a multitude of sins." This is not to suggest that it is God's will that the church or the Christian sweep sin under the rug. Sin must be dealt with. There is a right and a wrong way to deal with sin. Paul wrote to the Galatians "If a man be overtaken in a fault ye who are spiritual. Restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
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It is somewhat painful to find this picture of a patriarch in the Scriptures. Little is told us of the life of Noah after the flood. We are not told of his triumphs, only of this tragedy. We are not told of the happy times around his table, only of this humiliating experience in his tent. The Holy Spirit neither minces nor wastes words. This incident is told for our edification. Noah was saved by grace, but let none presume upon grace.
The highlight of his life was when he stepped out of his capsule and stood on the top of the world. Later we find him, although not lost, to be lower than any of us ever want to be. Oh, let us all be careful. Let us "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world " Many things that appear innocent may be intoxicating. Beware the sweet vintage of worldly grapes. Too much of anything in this world could incapacitate us and make us unfit for service. An hour of indiscretion can destroy the reputation of a lifetime. Starting well is no guarantee that we will end well.
Cursed be Canaan. Ham must have had many sons. To what extent this one shared in his father's irreverence we do not know. Woe to the father who leads his sons in sin. Canaan would become the symbol spiritual opposition and antagonist to the righteous. Noah little realized, until this incident, the diabolical difference that divided his own family into the godly and the ungodly. Ever since this breech and this curse, the family of man has been divided in two. What communion, said Paul, has light with darkness? When the children of Ham (the son of Eber, and his most famous offspring, Abraham) tried to enter their inheritance, who was it that stood in the way? It was Canaan.
Shem and Japath survived a spiritual testing when Ham came with the news of their father's fall. They did not treat it as unimportant, as men are prone to do today. Nor did they yield to curiosity, or give such quarter to the devil. They did not enter into Ham's sin, nor Noah's. They preserved their faith and dignity in their careful approach to cover shame, giving time for their father to recover, and rectify his wrong. Noah blessed the God of Shem. We thank God for his grace. From Shem would come the Savior of the World. From Shem would come the Hebrews.
Japheth is said to dwell in the tents of Shem. Who are these that should enjoy the cover and kindness of God's blessing? It is we, the Gentiles. Today we enjoy the holy heritage of the Hebrews. We are the children of God.
Let us make a few more brief observations that may act as warnings to us all.
1. Noah was a husbandman. After the waves, and after the worship, came again the work. All labor is profitable. Noah was a man of industry, and a man of business. Let every businessman beware of Noah's fall. It is possible to become addicted, to become intoxicated, to become drunk with ones work. Many a man has so given himself to his particular husbandry that he has collapsed spiritually. The fruits of our labor are delicious, but if not tempered by moderation they may very well go to our head. Once the things of the world have "gone to our head" there is no reasoning, pleading or persuading that will sober us or bring us to our senses more effectively than a very great fall. Work, work hard, but beware should your vineyard rob too much of your time or turn your heart , for next it might take away your testimony.
2. Sin always leads to shame. Grammarians make it clear that Noah is held accountable for a deliberate act, not an unconscious act. Human history is filled with lewd and lurid stories that were fueled by alcohol. The dangers of alcohol and the destruction of drunkenness are legion. Wherever alcohol is served, immodesty is not far away.
3. Germs or Gems. The great blessing of Shem is not found in his genes or in his race. The blessing is in that Jehovah was to be their God. Ham went to Africa. The darkness of Africa was not in the color of any man's skin, but rather in the bowing before and worshiping trees, and mountains, animals, and things. That Africa should fill the world with slaves, albeit in chains, should not be lost on anyone who reads Genesis nine.
1. Even the best are capable of the worst. It is hard to imagine how one can go from the pinacle to debacle. Don't think that you cannot fall. Don't let down your guard. Samson, the strongest man fell. Solomon, the wisest man fell. David, the bravest man fell. "He that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."
2. Little sins cause great sorrow. A grape is a little thing, but one thing leads to another. Solomon said, beware the little foxes, they spoil the vine." Germs are little, termites are little, foxes are little. Don't say sin is a "little thing."
3. One sin can stumble many. Canaan was cursed. Sin is contagious. Once its influence wafts like a vapor from some open bottle of self-indulgence it touches one, then another.
4. Sin finds our weakness. Noah did not know what this thing would
lead to. We need to be cautious. Some berries in the woods are poisonous, some will fruits cause bad side effects and are best left alone. The days of "you may eat of every tree of the garden" are over. Be cautious.
5. Every sin has its own curse. God cursed Canaan, and so too every sinner. "Evil shall slay the wicked."
6. No one needs sin. Each son of Noah had the same nature, but not all sinned. Japheth and Shem responded by not entering in to Ham's iniquity.
7. There is hope for every sinner. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Noah seems to have been forgiven. Thank God for his mercy and his grace. Even those individuals in the tribe of ham who so sought , found grace from the God of heaven. There is saving grace.
Noah brought both clean and unclean animals into the Ark. Apparently, so too with his sons. Eight souls came out of the Ark, but not all were saved. One might have been one of the original twelve disciples chosen by Christ to be part of his inner-circle, and still be lost. Jesus cleansed ten lepers, but only one was saved. Paul said that not everyone who is a Jew "outwardly" is also a Jew "inwardly."
Salvation is personal. Peter calls Noah the "eighth" person. People are saved one by one. They are not saved in groups. Hebrews speaks of Noah's work as "preparing and ark to the saving of his house." A godly father can do no less, and he can do no more. He can prepare. He can build, he can invite, he can preach, and he can pray. He cannot save. He can do no more.
Just because someone has a reserved seat at the table for the Last Supper does not mean they have a place in heaven. Just ask Judas. Real faith goes from arks to altars. Real faith "moves with reverence." Real faith sees rainbows after rain. But real faith also remembers the wrath and the ruin, and a world wrecked by sin. Real faith is glad to be an heir to righteousness. Real faith rests, and real faith is not afraid to let God reign.
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