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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
July 29, 2007
God’s Judgment & Grace
Turn to 2 Peter 3. Nearly 1,950 years ago the Apostle Peter wrote and accurate description of the scientist and science philosophers that now dominate our educational institutions and with that the various fields of science and research as well. Their views have also come to dominate in governmental institutions and in society in general. Starting in verse 3 Peter writes, 3 “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with [their] mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For [ever] since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 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 the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men”.(2 Peter 3:3-7 ).
The evidence for the flood of Noah’s time is easily seen all around us, but because men do not want to recognize that there is a God who has judged the world in the past and who will hold them accountable for judgement in the future, they purposefully ignore the evidence to come up with ideas and theories to explain away the overwhelming evidence that is before them. Paul described them in Romans 1:18 as those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” God has made Himself evident to them in Creation itself to such a high degree that they are without excuse (vs. 19,20), but professing to be wise they ignore the evidence and become fools (vs. 22).
The amazing thing in all this is God’s patience. Peter continues in verse 8, “But do not let this one [fact] escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God patiently withholds His judgement of this world so that even those who have made themselves fools would have time to repent.
Al Gore among others have sought to make the pseudo-science of global warming into a political issue. They have even declared the debate is over though thousands of climatologist dispute the claims and even recent history demonstrates that fluctuations in the earth’s temperature have little to nothing to do with man (google “Global warming critique” for many articles on this subject). It was much warmer than the present in the middle ages which is prior to the industrial revolution, and even the current warming trend has had severe downturns. Back in the 1970’s there was such a cold period that scientist were telling us that we were heading into another ice age, and amazing enough, they said it was due to the same gases that are now supposed to be the cause of global warming. This is actually a religious issue for it ignores God and makes man his own savior.
There is a global warming that mankind should be concerned about and that is the one Peter mentioned in verse 7 and describes more fully in verses 10& 12. “But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” He says that in the coming day of the Lord, “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” But that is precisely why men ignore the evidence of the flood. They refuse to subject themselves to a God that is going to judge them in the future. They suppress the truth in unrighteousness in order to create for themselves their own reality.
Turn to Genesis 6. The subject of Noah’s flood is one I could talk about for many weeks to come., but today I am going to be brief and just point out some of the more significant points about The Ante-Diluvian World, Noah’s Preparations, The Extent of the Flood, and Departing the Ark. I will have a Question & Answer time during the evening service on August 12 for any specifics questions on this or anything else we will have covered up to that point.
The Ante-Diluvian World (6:1-12)
The People (1-4) Chapter 6 begins with a description of the people then stating, “Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore [children] to them. Those were the mighty men who [were] of old, men of renown.
This is a brief description of the ante-diluvian world. Prior to the flood there were mighty men of great renown, and as we saw last week many of them lived to be very, very old by our standards today. The average life span of the patriarchs in the line of Seth was 912 years (see The Spread of Sin). Yet things were not good and though God had been very patient He would not strive with man forever.
There is a lot of discussion concerning exactly who the “sons of God” are referring to in this passage. Some say it was the line of kings, others say it was fallen angels and cite Jude 6-7, and then there is the view I hold that it was the line of Seth which inter-married with the line of Cain. I hold this view for three reasons. First, throughout Genesis 1 we find that each type of life was to reproduce after their kind (Genesis 1:12, 21, 24, 25). A hybrid of angels and men would contradict that and therefore be impossible both theologically, for angels do not marry ( Matthew 22:30) nor can fallen angels be redeemed, and biologically, for each type of flesh is different (1 Corinthians 15:33f). Angels and men are as different as codfish & cats. Second, their offspring, the Nephilim, existed before and after the flood (Genesis 6:4 cf. Numbers 13:33), so the flood was not sent destroy their line. Third, the context of chapter 6 flows from chapters 4 & 5 which just traced the line of Cain and the line of Seth. The merging together of them in chapter 6 would be both natural and the explanation for the utter corruption of all mankind described in verses 5 & 6.
Utter Evil (5-8) “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
The description of evil here is incredible. It was not just the evil acts of man, and it was not just the evil thoughts that they had, but it went another step beyond that. Their very intentions were only evil continually so that all that they thought about was evil, and since actions arise out of what we think, their lives were evil. There was nothing good left.
There are people around today that fit that description. In addition societies continue to degenerate as they turn their backs on God and seek to do whatever they desire. The prophet Isaiah pronounced a woe on such people saying, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And clever in their own sight! 22 Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, And valiant men in mixing strong drink; 23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right! (Isaiah 5:20-23). The Apostle Peter tells us that the present world is also reserved for God’s judgement (2 Peter 3:7-12).
It was because of this utter corruption that God was going to judge man and along with him all the animals that breathed air too. But verse 8 gives one exception to the rampant evil on the earth, and that was Noah, who found favor or grace in the eyes of the Lord.
In verse 9 Noah is described as being a “righteous man, blameless in his time.” This is not just a comparison to the rest of mankind at that time, but a strong statement of how righteous he actually was because it would have been so much more difficult to live that way in such a wicked time. It is easy to do good when everyone around you is doing good and seeks to prevent you from doing wrong. It is much more difficult to be good when everyone around you is evil and strives to get you to join them in their wickedness, yet that is the description of Noah’s life and character. Verse 9 also says that “Noah walked with God.” The only other person that gained that description was Enoch who did not die but was taken directly to be with God because he was pleasing to God (Genesis 5:22-24; Hebrews 11:5).
Verse 10 tells us “And Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” Each of these sons will be important in the continuing story of Genesis. We were told in 5:32 that Noah was 500 years old when they were born. That does not necessarily mean that they were triplets, but that the oldest, Shem, was born then and the others not far behind.
A Corrupt World is described in verses 11-12. “Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.” A specific added here is that one of the expressions of the evil was violence. The earth was a dangerous and wicked place.
Noah’s Preparations (6:13-7:5)
Instructions for the Ark are given in verses13-17. God first tells Noah the reasons in verses 13 & 17, “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.” 17 “And 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.”
God then tells Noah how he wants the ark to be made. This would be the only means of his own survival and the survival of the land animals that breathed air. Its size will be 300 cubits by fifty cubits by 30 cubits. There were two different lengths of cubits used by the ancient Hebrews. Using the smaller figure of 17.5″ the ark was 438′ long, 73′ wide and 44′ high ( it could have been 16.5% larger – 510′ X 85′ X 51′). This would give it a volume of 1.4 million cubic feet (alt. – 2.2 million ft3). It was built with three decks, so it had a total deck area of 95,700 sq ft (alt – 130,000 sq ft). This would be the capacity of 522 railroad stock cars (alt – 709 stock cars). This is more than enough capacity for all the animals and their food that would have to fit inside.
The ark was made out of gopher wood and waterproofed with pitch. We know that the ancient Greeks used a mortise and tenon planking system that made their ships light, yet strong enough to ram other ships. It is possible that Noah used that system or something similar and the knowledge of it was passed down to the Greeks. If ancient shipbuilders were following basic designs passed down to them from Noah, then the ark may have also had a wind rudder on the back to turn the boat into the wind and perpendicular to the waves which would give it more stability and a smoother ride. A front rudder which was common on large ancient vessels would have also helped stabilize it. Additional structural strength was gained by having it divided into rooms. (See www.worldwideflood.com).
It also had some sort of windows a cubit (~18″) from the top that would allow for ventilation but not allow water to come in. A door in its side would allow access inside during construction and loading the animals.
Instructions for Animals & Food are given in verses 18-22. In verse 18 & 19 God gives Noah the reason for His instructions. “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.
Noah was to bring into the ark a pair of each kind of animal that would otherwise become extinguished in the flood. This would include birds, land animals and the “creeping things.” Much criticism has been leveled at this story by skeptics who say Noah could not have fit all those animals into the ark much less all the food too. But it must be remembered first that Noah did not have to bring into the ark animals that could survive the flood. That includes all the aquatic creatures. In addition, many insects and such could have survived on the floating debris that would have formed into rafts. Second, Noah only had to bring in a pair of animals of each kind, not each species and varieties as we describe them today. All species and sub-species that exist today are the expression of the genetic potential of each animal kind that were on the ark and from which they are descended. Third, the average size of all animals is less than that of a rabbit, and Noah did not have to bring full size adults onto the ark. He could have brought on board young dinosaurs and elephants which would have been much smaller. Fourth, many animals can go into diapause or hibernation which would have greatly reduced the food and work load needed to care for them. John Woodmorappe answers all the questions related to ark capacity and care of the animals in his book, Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study. (Pictures)
Noah did all that God had commanded him (vs. 22). We are not told specifically how long it took for Noah to build the ark. It is thought that God’s statement in Genesis 6:3 that “nevertheless his days shall be 120 years” may refer to the number of years the flood would come after He told Noah to build the ark. The life span of people prior to the flood and for some years after the flood were more than 120 years. During that time of preparing the ark we know from 2 Peter 2:5 that Noah was also a “preacher of righteousness,” and from Hebrews 11:7 that his reverent preparation of the ark was a condemnation of the world. The day finally came when the flood would begin.
Instructions to Enter the Ark are given in 7:1-4. Noah was told to take his household into the ark. Noah’s character is again stated as being “righteous” in verse 1, but sadly, he is the only one that is so commended. All others are corrupt. Additional instructions are given here about taking seven of each of the clean animals in addition to the pair of every other kind. These were animals that God wanted to reproduce quickly following the flood, and the odd animal was for sacrifice following the flood. In verse 4 Noah is told that the flood that would “blot out from the face of the land every living thing,” and it would begin in seven more days. It would start with rain that would last 40 days and nights. Keep in mind that there had been no rain on the earth to this point. The earth was watered by a daily mist (2:5,6). Again we find that Noah “did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.”
The World-wide Flood (7:6-24)
Entering the Ark (6-9). More details about entering the ark are given in verses 6-9 including specific dates so that a chronology could be kept. Noah was six hundred years old when he entered the ark. He took in his wife, his three sons and their wives for a total of 8 people along with all the animals.
The Flood Begins in verses 10-12 on a very specific date. It was the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month on the seventeenth day. “On the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. 12 And the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.” It is important to note that all the water did not come from the rain, but also from the “fountains of the deep.” It is probable that the majority of the water came from that source because there would have been much more capacity for water below the heavens than above them.
The Lord Shuts the Door (13-16). Verses 13-16 again recount the loading of the ark but with precise details about Noah, his sons and their wives entering along with the beasts, cattle, creeping things and birds in which was the “breath of life.” What is very important to note in this section is what is stated at the end of verse 16, “and the Lord closed [it] behind him.” It was God that shut the door. Until that point in time any of Noah’s neighbors could have gotten aboard. Again we know that Noah was a preacher of righteousness and his building of the ark was a forewarning of the condemnation to come. But none responded, and finally God shut the door sealing Noah and his family and the animals safely inside, but sealing out all others.
So it is with the gospel message. We are to proclaim it as long as we can, but eventually God will shut the door on the lives every person. They will then stand before God for judgement for the state they were in when either they died or He returns. God does not give a “second chance” after death. He has given multiplied “chances” to hear and respond to His claims and His command to repent while alive on this earth. Do not put off your own response to God. You don’t know when the door while be shut in your life. Will you be safe in His arms of love or shut out of them for eternity?
The Extent of the Flood (17-24). Verses 17-24 detail the extent of this flood and the details need to be carefully noted. There are many that claim the flood was only a local incident because they do not believe the Bible and they ignore the evidence all around them about it. The idea of a local flood is foolish for several reasons, but the most significant is that it ignores what the text itself states.
First, the flood waters rose quickly for forty days causing the ark to float (vs. 17-18). The waters increased to the point “that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.” Every mountain top was at least 22 ft under water. Gravity will not allow you to stack water so this cannot be a local or even a regional flood. It is a world-wide flood.
Second, verses 21-23 makes three universal statements about the destruction of life on earth. In verse 21, “And 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.” Verse 22 further describes this as “all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.” Verse 23 reiterates, “Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth.” Then to back these three statements up, verse 23 concludes, “and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.” A local flood could not have done this.
Third, verse 24 states, “And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.” It was not just that the water covered the peaks to a depth of over 22 feet, but that it remained that high for at least 150 days. Again, this is a description of a world-wide flood, not a local or regional one.
In addition to having to explain away the text of Genesis 7, those who advocate a local flood have to answer the following questions. Why did God have Noah build an ark and get all the animals in it when it would have much easier to migrate away from the flood zone? Why does Peter state that 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” (1 Peter 3:20) and additionally state that mockers ignore the fact that “the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:3-6)? Why does Jesus believe flood killed everyone except those in the ark (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27)? And finally, what would be the meaning of God’s promise in Genesis 9:13 that “never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh”? There have been plenty of devastating local floods since then. Are they saying the rainbow is meaningless because God is a liar? The simple fact is that it was a world-wide flood of judgement, not a localized disaster.
Departing the Ark (8:1-27)
The Flood Stops in 8:1-2 . “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. 2 Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained.” God did not forget about Noah for His grace was still on him. Note that it is both sources of the water, “the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky,” that are closed.
The Water’s Recede in verses 3-5. They prevailed for 150 days and then began to decrease. It was a full five months after the flood started that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede for 3 more months until “in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.” This is 224 days after the flood began.
The Test of the Dove (6-12). Verses 6-12 tells us about Noah’s testing to see if they could go out of the ark. Forty more days after the other mountain tops were visible Noah opened the window and sent a raven out, but it just flew about. Apparently Noah had a means by which he could see the horizon, but he could not look down enough to see if the land was drying. He then sent a dove out to see if it could find dry land, but it came back because it could not find a place to land. He waited another 7 days and then sent the dove out a second time. This time it returned with a fresh olive leaf in her beak. Remember the plants would have survived the flood and repropogated themselves from broken pieces or seeds that either floated themselves or were part of mats of vegetative debris that would have formed. The land was drying up and the plants were starting to sprout. Noah waited another seven days, then sent the dove out a third time, but this time it did not return.
The Ark is Opened in verses 13-14. “Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first [month,] on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. 14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.”
After 314 days Noah removes the covering of the ark. This enabled him to be able to see the land around the ark. It was drying up, but must have still been quite muddy for it is another 57 days before it was dry enough to leave the ark.
The Departure from the Ark is described in verses 15-19. “Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 “Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” After one year and 17 days of being in the ark God told Noah he could leave it, and Noah did exactly that. I am sure that he and his family and all the animals were glad to have been in the ark, but they also would have been glad to leave it after being inside that long. Note that God repeats the command given back in Genesis 1 that the animals “be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
Burnt Offerings (20) One of Noah’s first actions after departing from the ark was to build and altar and offer a burnt offering of every clean animal and bird that he had taken onto the ark. That is why there were seven of each of them. The odd one was for the offering.
The Lord’s Promise. Verses 21 & 22 record the Lord’s response to the offering. “And 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 will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” 9:8-17 gives further explanation that this covenant was specific that “all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” The sign of this covenant between God and every living creature would be the rainbow. God said, “I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 “And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, 15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
The story of the flood is one of the most attacked stories in the Bible, but the evidence throughout the rest of the Scriptures and throughout the physical world around us is that it really happened just the way it is recorded here in Genesis. God is incredibly patient and longsuffering, but there comes a time when He judges. He has done so in the past and He has said He will do so again in the future. That is what people try to avoid by denying the flood. However, you don’t avoid the future by ignoring it. That is about as safe as an ostrich with its head in the sand. He closed the door once and He will do so again. Are you ready for the future? If so, give praise to the Lord for His mercy and grace given to you just as it was to Noah. Our ark of safety is Jesus Christ. If not, you can be today. You do not have to be shut out. Turn from your pride and sin to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sermon Notes – July 15, 2007
Sin & Its Consequences – Genesis 3
People ignore / deny the flood because _____________________________________________________
The Ante-Diluvian World (6:1-12)
The People (1-5)
The average life span of the patriarchs in Genesis 5 is ______________
The “sons of God” are _____________________
Genesis 1 states that each kind of animal would reproduce after ___________________
The Nephilim existed __________ and ___________ the flood
Utter Evil (6-7)
. . . every intent of the _____________ of his heart was only ___________ continually
Noah was a “righteous man,___________ in his time.” Noah _____________ with God
A Corrupt World (11-12)
Noah’s Preparations (6:13-7:5)
Instructions for the Ark (6:13-17)
The ark was 300 by fifty by 30 cubits – at least _______’ long, 73′ wide and 44′ high
It has a volume between ____________ and 2.2 million cu ft.
It had a capacity between ___________ and 130,000 sq ft.
Instructions for Animals & Food (6:18-22)
Noah only had to bring in a pair of each ________ of animal that could _____ survive the flood outside the ark. He did not have to bring all animals classified as “species” today. He could have brought young
The average size animal is smaller than a _____________
Instructions to Enter the Ark (7:1-4)
The World-wide Flood (7:6-24)
Entering the Ark (6-9)
The Flood Begins (10-12) – on the _________ day of the 2nd month of Noah’s 600th year.
The water comes from the ____________ of the deep and the floodgates of the sky
The Lord Shuts the Door (13-16)
The Extent of the Flood (17-24)
All the high mountains are covered by at least _______ cubits of water (________ft)
______ flesh that moved on the earth perished
_______ that was on the dry land, ________ in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died
He blotted out __________ living thing that was upon the face of the land
_______ Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.”
The waters prevailed on the earth for _________ days
Departing the Ark (8:1-27)
The Flood Stops (1-2)
The Water’s Recede (3-5) – after ________ days, the tops of the mountains were seen.
The Test of the Dove (6-12) – the dove did not come back after it was sent out the __________ time
The Ark is Opened (13-14) – after ___________ days, the covering of the Ark was removed
The Departure from the Ark (15-19) – Noah left the ark on _____ day of the 2nd month of his 601st year.
Burnt Offerings (20)
The Lord’s Promise (21-22 cf. 9:8-17)
God would not destroy the world again by a _________. The ____________ is the sign of this covenant
Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study by John Woodmorappe
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times “sin “is mentioned in the sermon. Talk with your parents how you can learn to “master” sin.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why do people ignore / deny the flood? How will God judge mankind in the future? Are you ready for the future? What were some of the difference between those who lived before the flood and those who lived after? Who are the “sons of God” in Genesis 6. Explain your answer. How evil was it prior to the flood? Why did God spare Noah? What is the significance of the statement that Noah was “blameless in his time”? Explain. What are the basic dimensions of the ark? What was its minimum capacity? What was it designed to do?Which animals did Noah have to bring onto the ark? Give several reasons why the ark was large enough to hold all the required animals. Check out some of the resources above for additional information about the ark. What is the significance of the Lord shutting the door to the ark? When did the flood start? When did it end? What was the total length of time was Noah in the ark – (hint, he entered before the flood started, and left long after it had ended). What statements in Genesis 7 prove the flood was world-wide? What other facts demonstrate the flood was world-wide – not local? What was the first thing Noah did when he left the ark? What were promises God made to Noah and all living things after the flood? What is the significance of the rainbow?
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