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Noah – God’s Covenant with Creation

Noah Lesson 6 – God’s Covenant with Creation

Genesis 8:20-917.

What is a covenant?  It is a binding, legal agreement between two parties, sometimes as the result of a negotiation, but frequently imposed by a stronger power on a weaker state or entity.

Historians like to compare the Biblical covenants with the Hittite Treaties, – but there is a vast difference, in that God created us, he owns us, we are his, and he can do with us as he determines – but in GRACE – out of love and pity for fallen rebellious humanity, he enters into a relationship with us, brings us into his kingdom, and provides us with blessings and benefits.  Like the other covenants, he promises blessings and rewards for obedience and punishment for those who disobey.  The Biblical Covenants are generally divided into two groups:-

  • The Covenant of Works. made with Adam, and characterised by obedience to a law.  Gen 2.
  • The Covenants of Grace (One covenant with different dispensations) characterised by Grace. Covenant with Noah, made with all mankind.  Covenant with Moses, made with Israel. Covenant with David, made with Israel.  The New Covenant.  Made with all God’s people.

In the Covenant with Noah, we see the typical provisions and stipulations of a covenant.   See in it:-

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Noah – Re-Creation

Noah Lesson 5 – Re-Creation

Text: Genesis 8:1-20

Now we come to chapter 8, and there is actually no break in the narrative between the two chapters.

  1. The Connection. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark.

This is the verse that connects ch7 and ch8.   ‘But God.’  The chapter begins in the middle of a sentence!

Note.

  • The Remembering. What does it mean that ‘God remembered Noah?’ Had he forgotten about him?  Had he been so busy flooding the earth that Noah had slipped his mind?  No!  When God REMEMBERS God ACTS!
  • Genesis 19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.
  • Genesis 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

Now here is the point. Noah is no different from any of us. Remember our description of Noah’s character?  He was a sinner, saved by grace through faith. God remembers US just as much as he remembered Noah!  Listen to these wonderful promises from the Scriptures… Psalm 136:23 

There’s a negative aspect to this as well, for see who God did NOT remember.  It does not say here that God remembered all the millions of sinners who had perished in the flood.  Just that He remembered Noah!   

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Noah – Decreation

De-Creation.

Text: Genesis 7

Genesis 7 is a factual account of the flood.  The day of God’s judgment is come, and the probation of mankind upon the earth is at an end. Like a judge sitting on the bench, professionally and precisely weighing up the evidence in his summing up, without emotion he passes sentence and decrees punishment. Judgment must happen and justice will follow and everyone will be able to say they get what they deserve. We could summarise the chapter in four brief statements:-

Noah Believed and Obeyed. V1 & V7

Hebrews reminds us of this.  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

The command that was issued

  • Come into the ark. And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. The invitation was issued by God, but not to be refused. It was a direct command:-
  • Based on Righteousness through faith.
  • Extended to Noah’s family. They were all there on the basis of righteousness.
  • Extended again to include a remnant of every living thing.

What the ark symbolises. Now, to get a proper perspective on this, we must remember the general principle that everything in the OT points us to Christ. The ark, is to be seen in that light, and we are to ask, ‘What does this tell us about Jesus?’  The ark is a ‘type’ of Christ.

The response. Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

  • Obedience! 4 times in tese verses, we read that Noah obeyed. That’s what marked Noah out from the other people.  Noah obeyed God. The others disobeyed God.  
  • Noah went into the Ark. vAnd Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
    • What a challenge that must have been. A huge floating coffin with no light! Full of animals. The work the heat the smell, the darkness.
    • What faith and trust. Seven days they were locked up in that thing. No sign of rain For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. What a test of faith.
    • What a blessing! To be in the Ark with his wife and family. Wouldn’t that be the greatest blessing of all? To know that the family are all gathered in?  To know that come the day of judgment none of our children or their children will be outside of Christ.

Noah has trusted God and has obeyed him. He’s in the ark. He’s safe and so is his family. Now look what happens next.

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Noah – Saintly Perseverence

Noah Lesson 3.

Saintly Perseverance.

Text:  Genesis 6, and 2 Peter 3;9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

There is one more aspect to Noah’s character that we must consider – and it is a huge part of who he was. Let us call it ‘saintly perseverance.’  So see:-

The Duration of Noah’s Ministry.

Let’s go back to that controversial verse in chapter 6. 3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  Now you should know by now that this is not about you, despite the fact that many evangelicals, who have a ‘semi-pelagian’ view of salvation think it is.

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Pelagius was a British monk who lived from 360 to 418 AD.  Pelagius denied the doctrine of original sin, and believed that the fall had not deprived mankind of the will to choose good, and so fulfil the law of God.   He believed in man’s free will to choose, and argued strongly that a sinner could bring himself to God by an act of his own free will.  His beliefs earned him the condemnation of Augustine of Hippo, and at the Council of Carthage in 418 Pelagius was condemned as a heretic.  Pelagius’ doctrine of the Free Will of Man became known as Pelagianism.

‘Semi-Pelagianism’ is rampant in modern evangelicalism.  Also sometimes known as ‘syncretism’ it is the belief that God has gone to great extents to save us, and we must do the rest. Sometimes semi-Pelagian preachers will tell sinners that God has gone 99% of the way to save us, – now WE must do the additional 1%.

The problem?  Once we add anything to Christ’s finished work on the cross to save us, we add our own works, and thus negate what Christ has done for us.  The Reformed position is the opposite to Pelagianism, and is known as ‘Monergism’ – God in Christ has done everything needed for the salvation of man, who is passive in salvation.  Christ saves us, we do not choose him, or contribute anything to our salvation.

The semi-Pelagian position is both theologically and contextually incorrect.  We know that God is not capricious, or acting on a whim. God does not elect his people to salvation and then decide to unelect them!  It is about all mankind. It is telling us that his probation on this earth is limited, in that he has 120 years in which to repent before the final day of judgement comes.   So

  • Man is ‘life limited’ – our sinful condition on this earth is terminal and one day we will die and the opportunity to repent is over.
  • There will be a sudden and unexpected day when Christ shall come, and those who are outside his kingdom will be lost forever. Like in the days of Noah, they shall be marrying and giving in marriage, working and taking their leisure, and eating and drinking and laughing and singing and crying – life will be going on as usual, when without warning suddenly God will pour out his terrible wrath upon sin.  For mankind, history on this earth has ended.  No more Gospel preaching, no more believers to bring on the radio and make a mockery of, no more ‘pride’ marches…  No more time to repent. 2 Peter 3:10
  • In the context of the flood, there’s a 120 year probation. Now many commentators will say that this is the length of Noah’s ministry. Noah preached for 120 years!  Think what that must have been like, given the dreadful immorality and godlessness of those times.

Why did God allow Noah to preach for so long?  2 Peter 3:9  

Why would God commission a preacher to proclaim the Gospel to people who won’t listen? TO DEMONSTRATE HIS PATIENCE!  But we must not abuse this divine longsuffering or take it for granted. God’s patience is very great, but it does come to an end. Judgement will come. 1 Peter 3:3 

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Noah – Who was Noah?

Noah – Lesson 2.

Who was Noah?

Text:  Genesis 6:9ff

Learn about:-

Noah’s WalkGenesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah:

This story is not just about the flood or even about judgement. It’s about how God saves a man out of a lost world. The message of Noah is the message of salvation.   So, what about Noah the man?

  • Justified by faith. Noah was a just man. Now, remember what we have learned over and over again. There is no-one in this world who is JUST.  To be just is to be right in the eyes of the law – but in the light of God’s law, we all are unjust, and we all stand condemned.  The only way to be just in the sight of God was to be made just, by grace, through faith.
  • Blameless. and perfect in his generations,   He had a living testimony. Not sinless, but then not part of the culture of the time either.
  • He was in fellowship with God. and Noah walked with God.   Just like Enoch, who also walked with God.
  • He was a family man. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
  • A Gospel preacher 2 Peter 2:5

Now all of this points to the fact that Noah was a man of impeccable character. A godly man, with a testimony. But contrast Noah with his neighbour’s. He lived in an age which was totally inhospitable to him. Read more…

Noah – The Days of Noah.

Noah – Lesson 1.

Discerning the Times
Text: Genesis 6:1-8
Introduction: The story of Noah begins with a description of the times. There was much disobedience, much sinfulness, much rebellion against God. Why is it important for us to understand these times?  Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

We too are to be discerners of the times, for we too live in a wicked age, when abject ungodliness is the norm. It is in such times that the Son of Man will unexpectedly return. So what was it like in the days of Noah? Read more…

Doubtful Matters

Doubtful Matters and A Christian Example.

Text .  Romans 14:13-23

Paul has been teaching us about the correct way to use our Christian liberty.  He has told us that we are not to disagree on non-essential issues, issues that are secondary to the Christian faith, that when a ‘weaker brother’ come into our fellowship we have to receive him in a particular way – in such a way that we will not simply argue with him and thus destroy his faith! V1.  Now that leaves us with two dilemmas.

  • Who is ‘the weaker brother?’ In Romans, most likely the weaker brother was the Jewish Christians who had returned after exile) But what of today?  My own humble opinion on the matter, is that none of us are strong in the faith, outside of Christ, who grants us the gift of faith in the first place, and without the help of the holy spirit who sustains us.  But what then on my second dilemma?
  • Where do we draw the line in ETHICAL matters? In ethics, practical obedience, what is an essential issue and what is not?  Paul’s two ‘doubtful matters’ of food and feasts could be expanded many times today. It can be straightforward enough when theological or doctrinal issues are in question, to find a place to draw the line – that’s helped and guided by 1st Corinthians 15.  But what of modern ethical issues?  How do we apply the ‘nonessential’ rule in those cases, – how far do we let the ‘weaker brother’ stray before we are forced to say – you are wrong?  Where do you draw the line?  Obviously, if something is clearly condemned in the scripture, surely we must take that line also – but many modern ethical problems are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible.

This whole section has at its heart the basic principle of Christian liberty and freedom, and the restraints that we must exercise upon ourselves, for the sake of the Lord, other believers and the witness of the Gospel. Its principles are fundamental for Christian ethical behaviour.  1 Cor. 8:9  For the Christian there is…

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