Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 years ago

Righteous Noah (Genesis 6:9-22)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

If you're able, please remain standing and let's give our attention to genesis chapter six, verses nine through twenty two. Genesis six, chapter of Genesis, chapter six, verse nine. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man and blameless. In his generation. Noah walked with God and Noah had three sons, Shem Ham and Jafeth. Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and the Earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the Earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the Ark and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it. The length of the ARC three hundred cubits, its breath fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits. Make a roof for the Ark and finish it to a cubit above and set the door of the Ark in its side. Make it with lower, second and third decks, for behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the Earth to destroy all flesh, in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the Earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you and you shall come into the Ark. You your son's your wife and your son's wives with you, and of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female, of the birds, according to their kinds, of the animals, according to their kinds, of every creeping thing, of the ground, according to its kind. Two of every shore, every sort, shall come into you to keep them alive. Also, take them with you every sort of food that is eaten and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them. Noah did this. He did all that God commanded him. May God bless his word to us. Please be seated among the Patriarchs, among the great heroes of the faith. Noah is certainly a giant. We are told right at the very beginning of this section that Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, that he walked with God. That's the third time now we've heard about walking with God. The last one being Enoch, who was taken up by God and was not, and before that of Adam, who was not walking with God in the garden, but instead hiding from him because of his sin and his shame. Not so with Noah, as with Enoch, he walks with God. You remember what that means? Means to walk in God's ways. It means to keep his statutes and his rules, to love, as he loved, both God and neighbor. Noah walks with God. In addition to describing the general course of his life, it...

...also says in particular that he was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. These are this is high praise. I'm from the God of the Bible, the god of Noah. I'm to declare that a man is righteous and blameless. Noah, of course, was a cinner, just like Adam and Eve, just like kine and seth and able and like Enoch and all the rest. But Noah walked in a way that it was righteous. Noah walked in accordance with God's word, and Noah was blameless. The the actions of Noah are then sandwiched, so to speak, on the end as well. You get this description here of no at the beginning and then at the end Noah's given various commands and promises and then we read that Noah did this, he did all that God commanded, so that we don't see here a change in Noah. We don't see noah sort of starting out as good and then going through a progression of things and becoming bad or the opposite. Instead, we see that Noah is good and we see God's actions and commands and then the proof of it that Noah did this, he did all that command God commanded him. And what did Noah do? Noah built an ARC. In response to God's promised judgment of the world. He built an arc and the hope that God would establish crew, would establish the world again through him and through the animals that he was bringing on the arc. As we think about these things, it's good to remember why God gives us these stories in the Bible. God tells us stories from the past as a way to teach us about the future, as a way to change us in the present. These are the reasons God tells us these things. Why God tells us what has happened. It's not merely to entertain us or give us interesting stories or fun things to remember or helpful narratives on which we can build playroom toys and things like that. It's much more than that, right. It is given to a specifically by God to tell us something, to teach us about the future and to change us in the present. The story of Noah is no different. Here God is telling us about the first judgment of the world in order to teach us about the last judgment, so that we might escape it before it comes. As we think about the judgment of God, I want us to consider three things this morning. God's Justice and judgment, God's commitment to judgment and God's salvation from judgment. So God's justice and judgment, his commitment to judgment and his salvation from judgment. People like to think of God as cruel and unfair. When they hear of God flooding the world and drowning men and women and children and animals, they imagine a beautiful world filled with beautiful people drowning in the waters of an angry and capricious God. This is the way that many of the other flood stories in the ancient Near East that were no doubt perversions of the original one. I'm speak of God in these ways or the gods in these ways and these kind of vengeful and and silly ways. People judge those under the sentence of death in this story as good and...

...they judge the judge as bad. The ones who are under the sentence of death they say, well, those are the good ones, and the one giving the sentence, they say he is the bad one. But nothing could be further from the truth. God did not determine to make an end to all flesh, to destroy the world, because he was annoyed or board. He did not flood the world because of some petty disagreement or a bet that he lost. God did not regret and destroy the very people that he made in his image because he had a bad temper or roke up on the wrong side of the bed. We all know the truth. He destroyed the world because it was corrupt. He destroyed the world because it was filled with violence. When people think about the flood, they like to forget this part and impute to God things which should never even leave our lips. He destroyed the world because it was corrupt. Three times it's stated. Listen to it in verses eleven and twelve. The Earth was corrupt in God's sight. The Earth was filled with violence, and God saw the earth and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted, had corrupted their way on the earth. God goes on to say to Noah, I have determined to make an end to the an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence. He couldn't be clear, as he pronounces his judgment in this way, that a judge looks down and sees the case before him. He looks down and he sees that it is corrupt. This is not an accident, this is not unfair. Something is corrupt when it is ruined, when it is spoiled, when it is putred, when you find something corrupt in your fridge and throw it out, do you blame yourself? Does anyone blame you and say, will be a little more gentle, let the mold go, grow a little more, let the decay continue on. No, you don't question it. You don't even think twice about it. Sometimes you don't even look at it. You simply know what it is and you get rid of it as fast as you can, out of your fridge, out of your garbage can, out of your house, for out of the place in which you dwell. God had made mankind in his image, but his image had become corrupt, not by some accident or him forgetting it and leaving in the back of the fridge, but because of the thing itself, because of sin. People sinned and corrupted themselves, ruined themselves and became rotten and putred. They were in a state of decay, the curse of death on them. Adam, you remembered, was tad was told from dust you are made into dust, you shall return. Instead of filling the world with righteousness and blamelessness and love and joy and good society, the things that were found in Noah, men filled the world with violence. It's amazing that God mentions this particular thing. God doesn't name idolatry or false worship as the things which the world was filled with, though certainly that was true as well, but in particularly, in particular, he focuses on violence, crimes against humanity, human against human it's not merely a relationship that that's between the between man and God that's the problem, but even between man and man. You remember, of course, the effects of sin as they spread out from Adam and Eve through their...

...children into the world. What is the first story we have recorded. After the fall, violence, murder, deception, corruption, the world was corrupt, corrupt, corrupt. The world was filled with violence, filled with violence. So God was not unfair in flooding the world and judgment. He was perfectly fair. Mankind owed him love and obedience, for the world was his and he made them, and as fellow creations, they owed each other love. Instead, the world was in complete rebellion against God. It is astonishing how arrogant we can be on this point of justice, how much we desire to downplay our own sins. When someone wrongs us in the slightest and the smallest ways, we are so quick to think that we are fair and wishing upon them or giving to them what they deserve. A waitress is sloppy and inattentive and she feels your wrath. A driver fails to signal and literal curses are brought upon his head. But the when the world is filled with corruption and violence because of our sins, we shift the immorality to God, as though he's somehow wrong to separate unholiness from His Holiness, from purity, for a corruption from purity, death and decay from life. So you see, God is not wrong. God is perfectly just, and he always is. That brings us to our second point, God's commitment to judgment. The second thing about judgment that we see here in Genesis six is that God is committed to it, and it is certain. We see that this is partly true because of his nature, as I've just been mentioning, God is just. It is his nature. He would be evil if he were to look on sin and decay and corruption and look the other way. That's injustice, isn't it? When a governor or a King or a police force or someone in control, someone who has authority in the law, sees corruption and looks the other way? Not so with God. He is righteous. If we can't whisk away the thought of judgment from our minds by thinking of God as immoral or incapable of doing justice, then sometimes we try to whisk it by a way by thinking it won't happen or that it won't happen to us. But God tells us that his judgment is sure, partly because of his nature. Psalm one and thirty three says if you owe Jehovah, should mark iniquities. Oh Lord, who could stand a back one hundred and thirteen, says you, who are of pure eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong or psalm five, verse four and and four through six. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness. Evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before you. You hate all evil doers. You destroy those who speak lies. Jehovah abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. So just as water repels oil by its nature, so God repels sin. If you sin, you will be judged. It's as simple as that. Well, we also know the judgment is certain because of the Declaration of God. God never lies. And he says I have determined to make an end to...

...all flesh. He says I will destroy, I will destroy and that which is on the earth. I will destroy all flesh and which is the breath of life of Heaven, everything that is on the Earth shall die. One of the biggest problems is I was mentioning earlier, that exists between God and man, is that man is always trying to impute to God the corruption of his own flesh. So, for example, because we judge unfairly, we say that God will the same is also true for delay and judgment. Because We delay and forget judgment when we ought to, we think that God is also delaying or forgetting or giving up on his intentions or purposes. We change our minds because we're not entirely always certain about them. Even in some of the most certain cases, we change our minds and move another direction. This is not the case with God, however. He sees the beginning from the end. He never executes judgment in a way that is unfair or or not taking in all the facts. And God keeps his word in a way we do not. When he says he determines to make an all, an end to all flesh, those who ignore him do so at their own peril. The certainty of God's promise judgment is proved, of course, by the history of God's judgment. As those who are born in that sinful flesh that you inherit it from Adam, you must wake up to this. You must wake up to the certainty of God's judgment. Here, for example, the words of God's Apostle, Apostle Peter, when he tells us that just as God did not spare the world, here, at the time of Noah. So No, he will not spare it again when the sun comes. In fact, the judgment to come will be even greater, for it will be final. It will be a judgment that's not simply temporary and on the earth, but a judgment that is eternal. I want you to hear God's own words of these last days of the judgment, to come and see for yourself if it is not more frightening than a flood into the world. One example from revelation six. When he opened the sixth seal, I looked and behold, there was a great earthquake and the Sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood and the stars of the sky fell from the earth as a fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The Sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful and everyone slave and free, hid themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks fall on US and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand? When we think about the judgment to come as it is described in scripture, and surely our imaginations don't quite reach the point at which they ought to go. But these descriptions that were being given here, of the sky being rolled back like a scroll, of the heavenly bodies being darkened and turning to blood, of the stars falling from the sky as figs being shaken from a fig tree,...

...and this is just the judgment at that moment. Scripture describes eternal judgment going on from there is terrifying, the fires and torments of Hell. The point is this. If you ignore the coming a judgment, as the people did in Noah's Day, you're even a greater fool than they were. For Noah's Day they had the promise of judgment. You have the promise of the judgment, plus the terrifying confirmation that God makes good on his promises, plus a history of God working these kinds of judgments again and again, plus these terrifying pictures of the end God's judgment. Is sure he is committed to it and he must be committed to it by his very nature. So we cannot simply think about other things. We can't simply push those things out of our minds and say, well, I don't know, judgment comes, justice comes. The Apostle Paul says to us you judge all the time and if you know how to judge, certainly do you think you will escape the judge who judges in Heaven? We, like those in Noah's Day, are also sinners. We can't exempt ourselves from the judgment of God and think that somehow we will get a pass simply because we're in a different century or because we have nice clothes, or because we've got good plans or a nice job, or whatever excuse you want to make. God is holy and righteous and he will not fail to execute his judgment on sin. The last thing to consider from this passage is God's salvation from judgment. In addition to the promise of Judgment for Sin and judgment on the Earth, God also promised in Genesis six and throughout the pages of scripture and in particular in the Cross of Jesus Christ, he promises salvation from that judgment to those who seek him. In faith and in repentance. This is an amazing thing, isn't it? It's an amazing thing in itself. God would be perfectly fair, as we have seen, perfectly holy in leaving us to the consequences of our own sin and misery, to be thrown out into the garbage, to be thrown out out of his dwelling place and his house, to leave us to the consequences of our own sin and misery. But he doesn't do that. Instead, he opens up the hope, a hope for us of salvation in the ancient world. He did that with Noah. God didn't owe this to Noah, but, as we read last week in verse eight, Noah Found Favor in the eyes of Jehovah. Jehovah is Israel's Covenant God, Israel's Saving God, redeem or. God looks at Noah and gives him his favor, His grace. It's undeserved. Noah's born into sin, has the corruption of the flesh. But God wants, out of his great love and inestimable grace, to keep the promise that he made to Adam and Eve that a seed would be born who would save...

...the world. And so he elects Noah and his family in him to be saved, that the promised seed might endure, that that his promise of grace might continue on. Noah finds favor in the eyes of the Lord, and this favor is what makes him a righteous man and a blameless man. It's Noah's faith and trust in the grace of God that makes him and walk in the path that he walks, that makes him act like he acts, that makes him withstand the persecutions and idolatry and violence in the world to do the thing that God called him to do. We see God's supremacy not only in judgment in Genesis chapter six, but his supremacy and sovereignty and salvation as well. God makes a covenant with Noah. God takes the first steps, he initiates the action, he initiates the salvation. He goes to Noah and he says, I'm making a covenant with you. I am going to destroy all the world, but I'm saving you and with you your wife, your children, their wives and their children. We see here one of the first instances in the Bible where God is pleased to make covenant with people and to bring in with them their families I'm into the visible church. Noah and his family are saved from this wrath and judgment of God here on the Earth. God makes him this great promise, he establishes this covenant of Grace and he continues on the Covenant of Grace. I'm through Noah. And so what we see in this is that in the same way that the judgment of the world points to the greater judgment of the world, the salvation of the world will also point us to a greater salvation. God continues to offer that hope of salvation to us. He offers that hope by sending to us his son, one who was righteous and blameless, not only before the eyes of man and in a general sense, in the world, but perfect in every way, a son who would carry not just a handful of people in an arc, but a multitude of people and would usher into existence the new heavens and the new earth themselves. This greater noah, this son of God, this promised seed, our Savior, Jesus Christ, would come and has come and has brought this hope of salvation. But I want to point out, as we conclude, that this, this hope of salvation, is not a hope that comes apart from justice. I said earlier, and I meant what I said, that judgment comes to us all. Every single one of us must be judged for our sins. Our Hope, however, is that judgment for us has already passed. As Christians, we don't hope that we won't be judged, that will somehow escape the judgment, but the judgment has already occurred, and it's occurred for us in Jesus Christ, that we don't need to fear the judgment at the end of the world, because the judgment and that the end of the world has already happened for us in Jesus. How do we know that? Because the wrath and flood waters of God were poured down on Jesus...

Christ. We are told that he was baptized, that he endured these kinds of things in his life, that he underwent the judgment of God for all the sins of those whom he was saving. And when we are baptized, we are baptized into him. We go through those floodwaters and come out on the other side having passed through judgment, having received new life and regeneration in such a way that those judgment waters don't merely kill us, but they cleanse us, they bring us to life in Jesus. This is the salvation we have. But if you're listening to me, you must hear me right. There is a particular time, in a particular day that the Lord will come, just as there was a particular time, a particular hour, when God came and brought judgment on the earth. This hope of salvation is not one that will last forever. We do not know the hour of the judgment of God. Scripture tells us it will come like a thief in the night, in that sense in which you're not prepared, you're not expecting him, you don't know when it will happen. Judgment comes and we must be ready. Being ready means turning to Jesus, looking to him as the great arc of our salvation, to carry us through that and to get on board now and not wait until it's too late. I said at the beginning that Genesis six, as is true of all of the history in the Bible, the God tells us these stories from the past as a way to teach us about the future and change our actiontions in the present. God tells us the story about coming about the judgments and salvation and Noah's day to tell us about the coming judgment and salvation that we have now, so that our present actions might changed, so that we might not ignore God's judgments, think of our sins in a light way, think of God and wrong ways, but instead recognized us, recognize ourselves for who we are and turn to God and say, I deserve this, but I'm going to lean on your salvation and lean on your righteousness and lean on Jesus Christ, that great arc that will bring us through the waters. This is how we should be changed in the here and now. May God grant this to us. Let us pray.

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