December 2-4, 2017
Pastor Timothy J. Spaude
Text: Genesis 6:9-22 (NIV 1984)
1. God saves.
2. God’s people obey.
Genesis 6:9-22 (NIV 1984) “This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. 11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
It started out just like any other worship day for Noah and his family. Worship together with the family was the highlight. What a joy it was to gather around the altar to worship and praise God for His goodness and to offer the thankofferings. Of course the all together family meal afterwards was a great tradition Noah was glad he had started. He and his wife had been careful to steer the boys to pick godly wives, wives who would help them stay close to the Lord. Noah didn’t understand what had happened with so many of the families of believers. They didn’t seem to mind that their boys were marrying unbelieving women. Didn’t they understand the power of a wife for better or for worse? Too much of the worse had happened. So many of the believing children had given up their faith, never stopping to gather around the family altar any more. Not bothering to call on the name of the Lord. It really should not have surprised anyone at what was going on. When people stop loving God they stop loving each other and it shows.
Anyway time for the family meal. It was good to hear the boys needling each other. Eventually the conversation turned the way it always seemed to lately. Ham started it. “Happened again last night, dad. Three more wagon jackings. There is no respect for people’s property. Two of the wagons they just drove over a cliff and crashed them.” Japheth added his voice to the discussion. He lived too close to Tubal Cain’s Tavern. “Was bad by us too. Lot of yelling and screaming. People getting drunk. Too much blood on the ground for someone not to have died.” Shem shook his head. “Did you hear what happened to Mishal and his family? They were attacked last week. Mishal is dead. The women and children taken. Who’s next?” “What is this world coming to!” the wives exclaimed almost in unison. Noah just shook his head. The thought came again. When people stop loving God, they stop loving each other and it shows. But no more. It was time to tell them.
“God spoke to me.” You could hear a pin drop. “He’s had enough. He’s going to put an end to all of this wickedness. He is going to kill everyone and start over. But to keep the promise of the Savior he is going to save the 8 of us.” Relief flooded over their faces. “When? How?” were the natural questions. “God hasn’t said,” Noah told them. “He is patient. He wants everyone to have a chance to repent before they die. And we have work to do. We are to build an ark, a large boat so big it can fit all of us and enough of each kind of animal to preserve all the species.”
I hope you enjoyed listening in on my version of Noah’s dinner table. We aren’t told that happened but the facts that led up to it. How the believers in Noah’s time stopped valuing what God said was important. They adapted to the unbelievers when they married them instead of the other way around. People got more and more wicked. They stopped loving God and stopped loving each other and it showed. Wickedness increased so much God said, “Enough!”
Now what can we learn from this. First God saves! Always. The Bible is a vocal testimony to that truth that in His own right time and His own right way God comes to save His people. The most magnificent example of that we are getting ready to celebrate. When the time had fully come. How many thousands of years from promise to fulfillment? The virgin was with child. Who would come up with the solution of the God man as substitute to pay for sins in full? God. Only God could and God did. He comes to save His people. Always. They just need to wait. The same thing was true in Noah’s day when it got so bad God said I’m going to wipe the face of the earth clean and start over with just 8 people. Until then they needed to wait. God would come and save His people. He always does. Now, my friends, do you really think this this big all powerful loving God who provided salvation for the world’s biggest problem, the problem of sin, through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ, do you really think He is not big enough to save you with the problems you have today? Do you really think that the God of law and justice who saw the wickedness of mankind at the time of Noah and dealt with it, do you really think He is unaware and unconcerned with the evil we live among? Of course He is. He will take care of it. God saves. It’s going to be on God’s time and in God’s way. But God saves.
What do you do in the mean time? Wait. Wait for God to do what only He can do. And then obey. Our text ended with a passage that has been burning in my heart since I started wrestling with this text. It stays there because it is good and noble and admirable. It shows me an example of how I want to respond to God’s grace, to the one true God who saves always. It’s verse 22. “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Read that along with me please. “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Everything. Every detail. The ark built with the exact dimensions. All the preparations made. He obeyed. Why? Because of God’s kindness. God established a covenant with Noah. A covenant to save Him. And in response Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Brothers and sisters God made a covenant to save with us too. While we wait let us obey. Noah obeyed while he waited for the Flood. Old Testament believers obeyed while the waited for the fulfillment of the promise to send the Savior. Now it is our turn. We wait for the final coming of Christ. While we wait. We obey. We obey the Lord Jesus who told us we get to make more disciples that our purpose on earth whether male or female, young or old, pastor or pew sitters is the same. Be my witnesses. We obey as we carefully seek to show love to others but as we do that remember when people no longer love God they no longer love each other and it shows. The opposite is true. When people love God they love each other and it shows. Someday may the angels in heaven read our story, the story of believers in Christ who waited patiently for Christ to come. And may our last line read, “And the people at St. Jacobi did everything just as God commanded them.” Amen.