Noah And The Flood

Bible Book: Genesis  6
Subject: Noah, Flood, Sinfulness Of Man; Grace of God
Series: Genesis
[Editor's Note: This is sermon 7 of 8 on Genesis by Dr. Willmore.]

In Genesis chapters six and seven, we see very vivid descriptions of the wickedness of the world, the holiness of God, the wrath of God and the judgment of God. We also see a dramatic demonstration of the grace of God.

David Atkinson commenting on Genesis six says, "There is a cosmic backcloth to this picture. The story of God's intimate care for Noah and his family is set in the wider context of God's purposes for his whole creation. 'And God saw...' (6:12). The last time we read these words, what God saw was 'very good' (1:31). Now, He not only sees that the wickedness of man is great in the earth (6:5), but the whole earth itself is corrupt and filled with violence (6:11-12). The judgment that will be directed to people is also directed to all living creatures: 'everything that is on the earth shall die'" (6:17).

John Phillips reminds us that, "The likeness of Noah's day is very evident in our day. We have our new Prometheans - our atom smashers, our health bringers, our food developers, our code breakers, our mind readers and our pathfinders. We have our modern Epimetheans determined to exploit all new discoveries for advancement for evil. We have our computers, dedicated to the spread of pornography, homosexuality and licentiousness, deliberately trying to reshape society so that abnormality and vice is the accepted norm."

The Lord Jesus confirmed the depravity of the hearts of men in Noah's day. "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:37-39).

The outpouring of God's wrath upon a sinful human race did not come in the flash of a moment. The storm, according of John Phillips, "had been brewing for some fifteen hundred years. Signs of that coming storm were evident, not in the skies of heaven, but in the sins of humanity. Callousness, corruptness, and crime were the indicators." The biblical account of Noah and the flood reveals the wickedness of man and the holiness of God. It is a dramatic demonstration of judgment and grace.

Several significant facts emerge from chapters six and seven.

I. The Wickedness of the World (v. 6:1-17)

The moral character of the antediluvian society was in a downward spiral. As the heart of man became increasingly corrupt, society as a whole began to erode proportionately.

The wickedness of mankind had come to a head. G. Campbell Morgan notes that the description of life on earth at this time was a terrible one. "The wickedness of man was great," that describes the outward condition; "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," that describes the inward character. The completion of the depravity is revealed in the use of the words, "every", "only", "continually", "God was defied and the flesh with its passions and lust was regnant."In Genesis 6:1-7, we find the expression "God saw" (vv. 2 and 5) and "God said" (vv. 3 and 7). God saw the wickedness of man and He said that He would destroy man. Man cannot hide his sin from God and he cannot escape the consequences of his sin. Noah's only hope was the ark. Our only hope is in Jesus Christ.

The passage also reveals the holiness of God. Against the dark backdrop of the sinfulness of man we see the holiness of God. God is holy and His nature is immutable. The world may change, men may change, man's nature may spiral downward into sin, but God never changes. He is always holy and righteous. Because God is holy and righteous, He must condemn and judge sin.

God Is A God Of Grace. God, who is holy and righteous, is also a God of grace. Noah experienced the grace of God. Noah found the unmerited favor of God.(6:8).

Noah did not come upon the grace of God by accident. We are told that he found grace. This implies that he was looking for the grace of God. Noah came from a godly family who taught him the ways of God. Noah was a descendent of Seth. He came from a family who for generations had passed along their testimonies of the goodness and grace of God. Somewhere along the way, there was planted in Noah's heart a desire to know God, to live for Him and to serve Him.

Dr. Graham Scroggie observes that scripture records seven distinctive characteristics found in Noah's life: "He was righteous, upright, virtuous, straight (7:1); he was perfect, characterized by moral integrity; he was pious for 'he walked with God', as did Enoch; he was courageous, 'a herald of righteousness' (2 Peter 2:5); he had 'godly fear', and 'faith' by which he became 'an heir of righteousness' (Hebrews 11:7)."

God never leaves Himself without a remnant. In Noah God found a man of faith and obedience. Noah and his family became God's remnant by which He would repopulate the earth.

Noah was a man of unquestioning obedience to the word of God. Although the orders he received from God seemed strange and unusual, Noah obeyed and did everything God told him to do (6:22).

II. The Means of Salvation (v. 6:14 - 7:23)

God told Noah to build an ark measuring 450' by 150' by 45'. It had the capacity of three million cubic feet, making it comparable to a modern ocean-going vessel. But Noah's ark was never intended to be a ship. It was a vast, enclosed chest, solely for the purpose of housing and preserving a large number of living creatures. No craft was ever expected to endure such storms.

The ark is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Noah and his family were secure in the ark, saved from the judgment and wrath of God, so shall all be who are in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John  14:6) In comparing the ark to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Reverend Guy H. King makes the following observations: the ark - way of salvation is like the Jesus - way of salvation in the following ways: "It is 1.) a supplied way; 2.) a sole way; 3.) a sufficient way; 4.) a suitable way; 5.) a substitutionary way; 6.)  a scorned way; 7.) a safe way and; 8.) a simple way."The flood waters came; everything on the face of the earth was destroyed. Men, cattle, creeping things and the birds of the air died. Only Noah and his family, secure in the ark, were saved.