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God Remembers

January 11th, 2009 by Vic

Genesis 5-11

There are many interlocking patterns in Genesis 1-11. A positive event is succeeded by a negative event 5 times. Creation was declared good by God (2) and then man disobeyed. Cain was the anticipated fulfillment of God’s promise to Eve (4) and then he murdered his brother. The descendants of Adam lived hundreds of years. The sons of God (6) saw and took (the same thing Eve did) the daughters of men (apparently to live longer) and God was not pleased. Man’s length of days became less and less after the flood. God renews his covenant with Noah and then Noah’s grandson gets cursed (9). God’s blessing is on the nations (10). Then the nations are scattered (11).

The flood story has a couple chiastic patterns.

Transitional introduction (6:9-10)

1. Violence in creation (6:11-12)

2. God’s first speech: resolve to destroy (6:13-22)

3. God’s second speech: enter the ark (7:1-10)

4. Beginning of flood (7:11-16)

5. The rising flood (7:17-24)

GOD REMEMBERS NOAH

6. The receding flood (8:1-5)

7. Drying of the earth (8:6-14)

8. God’s third speech: leave the ark (8:15-19)

9. God’s resolve to preserve order (8:20-22)

10. God’s fourth speech: covenant (9:1-17)

Transitional conclusion (9:18-19)

7 days of waiting for flood (7:4)

7 days of waiting for flood (7:10)

40 days of flood (7:17a)

150 days of water triumphing (7:24)

150 days of water waning (8:3)

40 days wait (8:6)

7 days wait (8:10)

7 days wait (8:12)

There is a Master Designer involved in Scripture. Sometimes we fail to see the beauty of the pattern.

Let’s review the story of Noah. From the very beginning God hates sin. Sin destroys our freedom of fellowship and creativity with God and His creation.

Because of disobedience, mankind is not in the original garden. Creation is cursed. Man has a bent to evil.

God forgave Adam and provided a covering for his sin. God promised a Son to correct the sin problem. But Cain did not follow God. Rather than repenting and receiving God’s provi sion for restored fellowship, he was like most of mankind that thinks this is their world. God continued to punish man for his sin, but man refused to repent. So God cleansed the world with water. Because of Noah’s righteousness, his family was saved, but the sin problem remained and man’s bent to sin was expressed in building a tower. God scrambled their cell phone signals so communication broke down.

Genesis 5

This is the family tree of the human race to Noah. 5:29 records Lamech’s hope that his son, Noah was God’s promised son that would remove the curse of sin.

Genesis 6:1-4 There was a population explosion and some of the women were very attractive. Who are these sons of God? The most popular view is that they are angels, but angels do not marry. Another view is that they were kings, rulers, or cult priests. A third view is that they were descendants of godly line of Seth. Later mythology tells of gods having sex with humans. Moses calls them Nephilim, fathers of giants. They were known as warriors (Ez 32:21).

Whoever they are, they have an attitude that does not please God. 6:2 says they saw and took just like Eve did. So God is going to put a limit and human life (6:3).

Genesis 6:5-8 Noah is introduced. This story is very important for us to study closely. Jesus said in Matthew 24:37 “the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage.”

There was a population explosion. It is estimated that the population of the earth was about what it is today. But because they lived longer they were “multiplying on the face of the land.” Have you heard how quickly our population is exploding?

There was wickedness and evil thinking (5)

The earth was corrupt and filled with violence (11). Violence is any unsocial, unneighborly activity. The word refers to unscrupulous infringement on the rights of others, motivated by greed. Is God happy today? How soon will Jesus come again?

For God, one righteous man was an encouragement. Noah was a righteous man who only speaks once. His only words come late in the story.

Genesis 6:9 says Noah was righteous, blameless, and walked with God. Everyone else was walking the other direction. He was a man of integrity in his community. There is a clue here how he developed that favored status. 6:22 Noah obeyed precisely. He did not know it at the time, but his future, the future of his family, his salvation and very life depended upon precise obedience. That is true for us too. Our salvation depends on our walk with God. Everyone else is walking the other direction, but we choose to walk with God.

Notice the activity of God. “The Lord saw.” (5) “The Lord regretted.” (6) “I’m going to clean things up.” (13) “I’m bringing a flood.” (17) “I will establish my covenant with you.” (18)

6:14 literally calls the boat a box—a box made of gopher wood. The word for box is also the word for coffin. We do not know what gopher wood is but the word for wood is a combination of the words carpenter and tree. The word for cover is close to atonement.

Noah’s salvation involved entering a box. How many doors did the box have? How many ways are there to salvation? Who’s in control of the door?

Noah obeyed God (22).

Genesis 7:1, 5, 16,

God wanted men to love Him, but they left Him to love themselves; all except Noah. Noah walked with God. Noah listened to the word of God and obeyed. For 100 years, Noah worked on his ark. He followed God’s plans. It does not say he went to church every week and paid his tithe. He just obeyed in the routines.

Can you imagine the ridicule he took being a righteous eccentric? It is not easy living in a sinful world. It has never been easy being the only right eous one in a group. It has never been easy to follow the plans of God when everyone else is going the other way. But it is worth it all. It was not easy to live in a zoo for 370 days.

You may have just changed jobs or changed situations and hoped it would be easier if you could just get away from the ridicule. Now you are in a smelly situation. There is no way to get rid of the manure. Noah must have done some creative recycling.

We have no recorded words of Noah. Who he was and what he felt are irrelevant. His motives and attitudes are hidden in his silence. But God speaks and acts.

8:1, 6, 15, 20, 21

God remembers Noah.

Apparently the window must have been in the roof of the ark. Noah could not see the waters receding.

8:18 Some Jews have calculated that this is the day of Jesus’ resurrection.

God had been silent during the flood. Can you imagine how good the voice of God sounded to Noah after the flood? 8:15 God had not for­gotten him. All doubts were erased with the voice of God. It was with joy and enthusiasm that Noah obeyed God and built an altar.

What is the first thing Noah did when he got out of the box? Everything was different. He was commanded to populate the earth. Shouldn’t he build a house or a barn or a wagon? Shouldn’t he make some tools?

What did Jesus mean when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you?

God was pleased with the offering. God realizes that man’s heart did not change in the flood, but he will not curse the ground again for man’s sin. The flood did not change man’s heart, but the altar brought mercy. And God blessed Noah (9:1).

There are many ancient stories about the flood. We are not told too much in Genesis. Moses was not writing this history to satisfy the scientist, but to satisfy the person seeking to know God.

What is Moses telling us about God? GOD judges sin. GOD saves the righteous. GOD provides a covenant relationship with man.

9:3, 14-15, 20

Man is permitted to eat meat, but not blood. Abstaining from eating blood shows respect for the Giver of life.

The rainbow reminds God of His covenant. God also has a rainbow around His throne.

Noah was a farmer. He was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank wine, got drunk, got too warm, and passed out naked in his tent. But God does not disapprove of Noah’s actions.

Elsewhere the Bible tells us that drunkenness is sin. But the sin of Ham has far reaching consequences.

While Noah was being criticized for building a box he obeyed God precisely. While Noah was living in a zoo he obeyed God faithfully and waited for God to tell him what to do. But now while Noah has it easy, he gets careless. He is the father of all. He is in charge of repopulating the earth and he gets careless.

Often when we are in desperate situations we seek God’s guidance and stay close to Christian friends. But when things are easy we can get careless.

There are a couple ways Noah could have become drunk. If grapes are left on the vine too long they can ferment, but they don’t taste good. When juice is left out for 3 days it starts to ferment unless it has been cooked or pasteurized. If wine is stored in a container with too much air it turns to vinegar.

God does not condemn Noah, but neither Noah nor God was pleased with the son who thought his father’s action was funny. There is a lack of respect. Unkind gossip is a sin. The older brothers respected their father and refused to make a joke of him. Real love does not joke about sin. Love does not display sin. “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

Some of our actions may look as foolish as Noah’s. It may be sin and it may not. God sees our heart.

The only place in this story (24) that Noah speaks he curses the son of Ham and blesses the brothers Shem and Japheth. This is the first time a man gives a curse. And the consequences of this curse continue today.

Gen 10

This is the family history of the sons of Noah. The nations were dispersed.

Gen 11:1-9

For a while after the flood, families scattered filling the earth as God commanded. Then they decided to get together to form a world council of church es. Their hope and dream was to reach heaven without God, without the shed ding of blood, and without a covering for their sin. They wanted to study the stars and predict the future.

The intentions of man’s heart were not toward God. They wanted to build this great memorial to make themselves a name. But from God’s point of view it was very insignificant. God (5) came down to look at it. And then (8) scattered them again. The tower was suppose to be a monument to human achievement, but only displayed man’s pride and foolishness.

God wants us to be salt and light and we want to form committees. Babylon becomes a metaphor for pride and godlessness. Revelation sees Babylon as a one world religion (16) and an economic force (17) that turns people into consumers.

Ezekiel told the exiles to get out of Babylon. They were getting too comfortable. An attitude of pride does not please God.

Maybe like Noah you have been living in a zoo. Your life really smells terrible. There is chaos and commotion everywhere you turn. God remembers you. He will tell you when to get out of the zoo.

I believe the presence of the Lord can live in our zoo if we live in obedience. If we sin we need to repent, believe on Jesus and let Him wash our hearts clean by faith so He can be at home in our hearts. Humble yourself before God and live.

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