Through the flood we see an example of God’s hatred for sin and the extent He will go in order to destroy it. But we also see his faithfulness. We see that God will always keep His promises, and through His grace He always provides provision for His people to escape the coming wrath. God is patient and gracious with us. May we trust Him like Noah did.
Jonah & The Whale
Daniel & The Lions' Den
David & Goliath
Male: Mariah, it's story time! A long, long time ago in the land far, far away…
[End of video]
Well, this one is certainly the most ironic and quite possibly the most iconic of children's stories, where we would say, "Come here, kids. Gather around. Let me tell you about the time God regretted making us and killed everyone." It's in the Bible, guys. That's the Word of God. I just think that this is something that we have written off as a children's story.
This one in particular teaches us tremendous things about the character of God, and really in spite of the story, we think it's a story of a man named Noah. It's not. It's actually about God's judgment on the world. In spite of the story, we see his incredible love, so I hope to show you that this morning.
Studying this reminded me of one of the single biggest events or biggest occurrences in my childhood growing up. This was the day I was sitting in the living room at my parent's house and, I think, playing Sega Genesis, a little Sonic the Hedgehog. Then my dad busts in the through the door in a panic and says, "Hey, we have to get out of here. We have to get out of here."
I'm like, "What? Why?" I want to tell you, to set the scene. It is a sunny, clear sky day. A pretty, sunny day in south Texas. Dad comes in, "Hey, we have to get out of here. The river is coming up, and we need to get on the other side of the bridge. We don't have much time. Come on!" I'm like, "Dad, what are you talking about? It's not even raining."
So I go and I grab my clothes that are on that bottom bar in my closet. I have no idea why I did this to this day. I set them on my bed. I grabbed my TV, I put it on my bed, and I run out the door. True story. I don't know why. I run out the door. I get in my car and I'm driving down our county road on this beautiful, sunny day.
I get over this bridge. There's a little bridge on our county road. There's a creek under it that's usually dry, and I notice it is running, flooding with water, and I watch a car float by. In that moment, the sobering reality of what was happening hit me as the events would continue in a 500-year flood. That means this type of flood only occurs every 500 years.
To date, it is one of the worst natural disasters that Texas has ever seen. Our house was actually on the Guadalupe River. I did not get to go back home for eight days. When I did, it had been flooded indeed. Everything was destroyed. My dad is a surveyor. While we lived on the river, he built our house at the same elevation as the town so our house would never flood unless the town did.
On that particular day, the town flooded. The whole town where I grew up in, Cuero, Texas, flooded. So did our house. I tell you this because for me, as a child, it was actually fun. It was cool. I got to go live with a friend for a year. How great is that? Who doesn't like sleepovers? I'm getting to hang out with a buddy for a year. We get to camp out a little bit.
I remember we bought this raft, and it had this oar. We were going the down the streets that are now rivers, and we were rescuing dogs and cats out of trees. As the tops of trees kind of poked out of the flooded waters, we would go. There were dogs and animals hanging on for dear life. We thought it was our civic duty to go and help them into safety. We just had a great time.
To my parents though now in hindsight, they lost everything. No one had rising water insurance in my small town, so it meant incredible devastation to them. In the same way, I think we read about this story of this flood and we're like, "Oh, Noah gathered all the animals two-by-two and they marched on the ark and how cute is that? Who doesn't like animals?"
We forget that God killed everyone, that everyone was destroyed. Every living creature that walked on the land, died. This story is not about a man named Noah. It's about God's judgment. See, Noah lost his friends and his neighbors. Their lives came to an end and the reality for us this morning is, "So will ours." We'll lose our friends, family members, and neighbors in destruction. See, the Scripture says there's another judgment coming, and so we really need to understand this story so we can look ahead. God's judgment is real.
This morning, what I'm going to do is I'm going to spend about half my time telling the story and addressing questions. I'm going to appeal to you thinkers for the first half. Then we're going to spend the last half, the second half of the message talking about what it means to trust God's promise, what it means to trust God's provision, and before we leave here this morning what it means to trust God's patience. I'll be in Genesis 6.
This story, really you see the lineage of Noah. Genesis 5, it takes us from Adam to Noah. Then in Genesis 6, you see the story of him building the ark. Then in 7, 8, and 9 the Noahic covenant. You see this kind of progression throughout the text. It's really the Scriptures, Genesis 6 through 9. I'll start in Genesis 6, verse 5.
"The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled." Maybe quite possibly the saddest verse in the Scripture.
The Hebrew says, "The Lord repented, that he wanted to turn from what he had done, that his heart was grieved as he watched his children destroy each other and rebel against him, forget who he was." "So the Lord said, 'I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.' But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord."
Now this is important the placement of this text. It says, "…Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." It's the Hebrew word for grace there. Favor. It's chen. It is that the Lord's grace extended to Noah, that God had chosen Noah. See, Noah was just a character in a story that God was writing.
God chose Noah that he found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Now it's going to tell us some things about Noah, but it's important to understand before we read these things because in the children's story, you've read it that, "Noah was a righteous man…" Okay, Noah was a righteous man because God's grace had been extended to him, for there is no righteousness apart from God.
"This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." Righteous men walk faithfully with God. "Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.
God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So 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. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.'"
Then the Bible goes to great detail to tell us the dimensions of the ark and the scope of which Noah was supposed to build it. Then in verse 18, he says, "But 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."
Then he commands Noah to grab two of every kind of animal and then enough food for them. Every kind of food that they need to eat, gather that and put that on the ark. Then in verse 22, we see this theme that is repeated throughout this story. It says this, "Noah did everything just as God commanded him."
What does it mean to walk with the Lord, to obey his commands? "Noah did everything just as God commanded him." Noah trusts God. So who was Noah? It says that he was a man who God had favor on. We understand favor here. We understand favor here. You look around at what God is doing in spite of us. Just this idea of this other campus now. God's influence through us has reached beyond Dallas now into Fort Worth.
Can we just celebrate that this morning? They're going to hear this message. Can we celebrate what God is doing in a way that they can hear this morning? Praise God. Noah was a man who God had chosen to have favor on. What I need you to know, the text says that he stood out as righteous among his people. That Noah stood out as righteous because he walked with God, but what I need you to know is that Noah would've been crazy. Okay?
He would've been seen as a lunatic. This guy is building a boat in the desert, and not just a boat, but a giant boat, when some of those people maybe had never even seen a boat. I don't believe personally that it had rained at this time. I believe this world is very different than the world as we know it. A lot of scientists actually agree with me that in this culture the world was very different than the one we know.
Atmosphere was different. People lived longer during this time. We see they lived about a thousand years. Today we know a hundred is about the max. There are all of these different things going on. Noah is building this giant boat in the middle of the desert. There is no ocean. He is like, "No, you know, it's going to rain."
They're like, "What's rain?" He's like, "Just stay with me, right?" So you can imagine what it would be like to be Shem, Ham, and Japheth, right? I mean, you go to school and everybody makes fun of your name, and then you come home and your dad is building a boat. It's not cool. This is the equivalent of your dad being on the front lawn building a time machine. Like, no, "It's what the Lord told me to do, to build this time machine on the front lawn."
This is what's going on. He would've been seen as crazy. Can you imagine these conversations? "No, no, no, you don't understand. God is going to destroy everything, and this is the only way to live." Those are normal conversations for us, right, as believers? Right? These are conversations we have every day. "No, you don't understand. God is going to destroy everything. This is the way to live. This is the only way to live." This is normative for us. We're crazy Noahs. That's who we are.
"Noah walked with God," it says. Can you imagine at the end of your life your epitaph reads on your tombstone, "This was a man who walked with God" or, "This was a woman who walked with God." Noah got that from his great-grandfather Enoch. In Genesis 5, you see a rhythm. It is a very simple rhythm. It is life's rhythm. You need to know this.
This is what Genesis 5 says over and over. "This man lived. This man had a son. This man died. His son lived. He had a son. He died. He lived. He had a son and he died." We see they died about 900 years old, 950 years old, about 1,000 years old, 800 years old. This was about the lifespan. "He lived, he had a son, and he died."
Then there's a break in that rhythm when you get to Noah's great-grandfather Enoch. It says this in verse 23. "Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years." So about half of the life that everybody else was living. "Enoch walked faithfully with God…" That's a new detail. "…then he was no more, because God took him away."
Here's what you need to know. This is important. If you live a life of 30 or 40 years walking with God, that is much better than living a life of 80 or 100 years not walking with God. See, all of those other people? They have no legacy. They lived and they died. Their son lived and then he died. Then you get to Enoch. Enoch lived, not that long, but he walked with God. That's what you want your tombstone to say.
"This was a man [This was a woman] who walked with God." I personally believe that there was a tremendous climate change post-flood, that our atmosphere was changed through that event or because of that event. There are a lot of people who actually align with me. This brings up all sorts of questions. Dinosaurs on the ark? I don't know. I wasn't there, but I will tell you that every land animal was on the ark and every bird that flew.
That's what the Scripture says. That's what I believe. Were there dinosaurs? Then they were on the ark. Here are some interesting things about that. Did you know that reptiles grow their entire lives? Reptiles, unlike mammals, have the ability to grow their entire lives. It's why they shed their skin.
So the first dinosaur they found, they said (this was actually a quote) they said, "It looks like a 30-foot iguana." Well, in an ironic event, if an iguana lived a thousand years, it quite possibly would be 30 feet long. There are all of these interesting things. Probably the dinosaurs on the ark were baby and they didn't need every kind of dinosaur.
They didn't need the Brontosaurus, which ironically doesn't exist. There is no Brontosaurus. We know that now. We know very little about dinosaurs. That's what you need to know. The Tyrannosaurus rex… It needed a kind of dinosaur. That's what the Scripture says. It didn't need every kind of dog. It didn't need the Golden Retriever and a Beagle. It needed two dogs.
This is what we know now. I don't know what dinosaurs were on the ark, but they were probably small and quite possibly babies. Here are some other interesting things. The chromosomal evidence today that we have found actually shows that there is a huge bottleneck in recent human history about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.
Here's what that means. About 10 generations of people became a small family, about eight people, about three reproductive couples. See also Shem, Ham, and Japheth. That happened about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. There is chromosomal evidence for this that all of humanity, as we know it, was then condensed to a small family and basically restarted. See also Noah's flood.
I'm not going to go into a lot on that, but if you want some more resources there is carm.org, answersingenesis.org. I'll actually tweet some of those resources out later today if that's interesting to you. Okay, let's talk about the ark for a minute. The ark would've been 427 feet long, 95 feet wide, 75 feet high. I have a photo of a life-size replica.
There are actually several life-size replicas today as people have rebuilt the ark. One is being built in Kentucky as we speak. It has been said that on the high side, there would have been needed 50,000 animals. That is on the high side. Most experts believe about 16,000. That's a huge discrepancy. I'm going to run with the high side just to overcome some of the skeptics in the room. A need for 50,000 animals.
So if that's what it needs for animals to continue, let's talk about that for a minute. The average size of the animal on the ark would've been a small sheep. Ninety-percent of animals in the animal kingdom are actually smaller than a sheep. Ninety-percent. The average size on the ark would've been a small sheep. A railroad livestock car today fits 240 sheep. So today, you see sheep being hauled by a train, 240 sheep fit on a railroad livestock car.
At that rate, it would've taken 208 railroad cars to haul all these animals. The ark built to spec was the equivalent of 549 railcars. It would've taken 208. The ark was built big enough for 549, three stories, according to the Scripture, what it says, requiring only 36 percent of the ark, less than half to move 50,000 animals when most experts believe it was more like 16,000. Very, very possible.
Assuming 52 weeks a year, working six days a week, experts calculate that Noah needed 81 years to complete the ark. We know from the Bible, he had about 100 to 120 years to complete the ark. He had plenty of time. Evidence of the flood now. This is very interesting because ABC has recently done a special revealing now new discoveries showing a lot of evidence for a flood.
So all over the world, there are evidences of this cataclysmic flood. We see this, the Grand Canyon being one. Many people for a long time thought the Grand Canyon was created because of the Colorado River, slow erosion. We know today that not to be true. It is the event of some sort of cataclysmic flooding or quickly melting of ice. That is what formed the Grand Canyon.
See also Devils Tower in Wyoming, Monument Valley in Utah, and Bryce Canyon in Utah. We have found oceanic fossils on the tops of mountains. How do fish fossils, saltwater fish fossils get on the tops of mountains when there is no ocean around? It must've been some sort of flood. They've found many of these.
There are over 150 global flood stories from ancient cultures. Ancient cultures have over 150 stories that have been retold about a worldwide global flood. That's not all. All of these 150 stories talk about one man and his family being preserved by way of boat. A hundred and fifty different stories out there in ancient cultures.
There are actually over 200, but 150 contain the preservation of one man, a favored man being preserved. His life being preserved by way of boat. There is much evidence. See, here is why I tell you that real quick. There is much evidence that point to the what. The how? I don't know. I don't know how it happened. There's a ton of evidence that points to the what. The how? God.
Okay, it's not dissimilar to this. People struggle with that. "Well, how could the flood?" How could God bring someone back to life? The resurrection. There's lots of evidence to point to the fact that the resurrection occurred, like mainly all of these eyewitness stories. The resurrection, it happened. There is evidence to point to it happened. How did it happen? I have no idea how God did that, but I bet it was a really simple task for the one who spoke everything into existence with his words.
I don't know how the flood happened, but there is tons of evidence to point to the fact that it did happen. We must see it, not through the lens of which we know the world as today. I'm telling you modern science tells us that this was a very different world that they lived in then. I say all that to tell you this: We can trust our God. We can trust his Word, that what his Word said happened, that his promises are real.
So let's talk for a minute about trusting God's promises. This is what I want you to know as we dive further into this text: God always keeps his promises. God always keeps his promises. Last week, we talked about the fall and the garden with Adam and Eve. People ask me. They're like, "Well, wait a minute, man. How come God had to destroy everything? How come he had to kill Adam and Eve? I don't understand. Why would he do that?"
Because he said he would! Because he said he would! Don't you remember? He pulls Adam aside. He loves Adam. "Adam, come here, man. You're my boy. Listen, have fun with all of this stuff. You need to know this tree right here? You eat from this fruit; you're going to absolutely, positively die. Don't do it."
Adam takes that command. He adds to it, makes it even stricter, and then he breaks it. That's what we do. We take God's command. We make it even harsher. Then we break it. That's what happened. Why did God do what he did to Adam when the fall happened? God said that it would, and God keeps his promises.
When my dad came in and my dad said, "Hey guys, we have to get out of here." I trusted my dad. It didn't make sense to me what was going on. I looked around and I was like, "Dad, it's not even raining." He's like, "We have to get out of here." I know my dad loves me. I know he wants what's best for me. I said, "Okay, Dad. I'm just going to do what you say."
This is what it means to walk with God. Do you want to be a man who walks with God? You do what God says regardless of what Dallas says, regardless of what your coworker says, regardless of what your partner says, regardless of what your company says, regardless of what your friend's parents say or your children's friend's parents say or whatever, your school says. You trust God. That's what it means to walk with the Lord.
See, culture is influencing you toward different things and so God's people respond to God's commands with obedience. When he says things like, "Do not get drunk on wine…""Don't lust after things that don't belong to you. Care for the poor around us." That's 1 John 3:17. "Don't desire riches." That's 1 Timothy 6:9.
"Use words to build up and not tear down." That's Ephesians 4:29. "Don't worry. Don't be marked by anxiety, but instead trust God." That's Matthew 6 and Philippians. This is what God's people do, but here's what I want you to know. You don't have to focus on the working for God. You focus on walking with God and all of that what is going to take care of itself.
See, some of us, we don't want to walk with God. We want to work for God. When the reality of it is, it's we walk with God, God works through us. That's the truth. It's Ephesians 2:8-9. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." But now, listen. "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
The Greek there literally is, "…that God has prepared for us to walk in." For God has prepared for us to walk through. When you walk with God, God does good works through you. So be a man, be a woman who walks with God and trusts his promise like Noah did. God tells Noah to build an ark because he is going to destroy the world. Noah obeys and others mock his obedience.
This is what you need to know. God hates sin. God hates sin so much that he'll destroy you to destroy sin. Children's stories. Let me say it again. God hates sin so much he'll destroy you to destroy sin. That's sobering. The flood is evidence. It's proof that that's true. So those who don't trust God's blessings of good, they also are not concerned with his judgment, usually.
Let me say it again. Most of the time, we don't trust God is good. We don't trust his blessings. We're also not that much concerned about his judgment, but God promises both blessings and judgment. God tells Noah to get on the ark and that it's going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. God shuts the door and he tells him, "In seven days, it's going to start to rain for 40 days and 40 nights."
Now I think that this was the hardest part of the 120 years, the seven days. So Noah builds this gigantic boat, he gets his… "Hey guys, let's go inside now with all the animals. That's right. All of them. Let's get inside." And the door shuts. God shuts the door and guess what happened? Nothing. For seven days.
You know his wife is like, "Honey, are you sure that's what God said? Are you sure he didn't say, 'Build a park' or 'Buy some art'? Are you sure he said a big boat? So how many more days until it rains, honey?" Now you know these are the conversations. Noah is like, "Oh, we can trust him." Noah walked with God. Noah walked with God and did all the Lord commanded him.
We see this again in Genesis 7:5. It's repeated. Noah walked with God. "And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him." Noah trusted God's promise. Do you know that when it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, then Noah and his family and all of those animals were on that ark for about a year? That's a long time to be on a boat in close quarters with family. Amen?
Genesis 9. God makes another promise now. Okay, so they're on that boat for a year. It rains 40 days and 40 nights. Been on the boat for a year. They find land. Now the waters are receding. God says this. Verse 11: "'I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.'
And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.'"
The rainbow. Now we have a sign. It is more than just prisms of water which reflect light into different colors. A rainbow is a God-ordained… It is a sign from God. It is the evidence of the Noahic covenant that happened thousands of years ago so we would see it and we would remember these events. It is more than being painted on nursery walls. This is more than just something we would paint on nursery walls.
This is the evidence of what God did, a reminder of what God did. Even more, a reminder of what is to come. The Hebrew word is qesheth, and this is what I want you to know about it. In the Hebrew, it is the word for bow and arrow, a war bow. God says, "I'm going to hang up my weapon of mass destruction. I'm not pointing it at the earth like a U. I'm pointing it up into heaven. It is to serve to you as a sign that I will never destroy the world by flood again."
See, I meant to say this earlier, and I'll say it now. We picture Noah's flood and we paint it on nursery walls like this right here, but I'll tell you that I researched art to show to you today, and I couldn't show you real art that reflects the flood because it was too graphic. There's one French artist, Gustave Doré, who paints this picture called The Deluge.
It is based on Noah's flood. It is a man with his arms outreached as he boosts his child onto a rock as he stands in the flooded waters. With his other arm, he holds his wife, who has apparently already drowned, and his other children are already up on the rock as they're surrounded by a sea of rapids. On that rock over his children is a giant tiger. In the sky, are exasperated vultures who have feasted on the death around them.
That is the flood. That is the flood that God said, "I will never again do it by water." Guys, this is the sobering reality. It's going to happen again by fire. That's what the Scripture says. I'm going to show it to you in a minute. Let me cover the Noahic covenant. I want you to see that this promise is so important.
See, if God didn't give us the rainbow, what do you think would happen? Every time that it would rain… See I have a 4-year-old who wakes up in the middle of the night scared sometimes, particularly if it's thundering and lightning. She runs in our bedroom. Every time that it would've rained, humanity as we know it would've responded like my 4-year-old.
They would've climbed the tallest tree they could, find the highest ground. That's not how my 4-year-old responds, but you get what I'm saying. They would've built a boat. They would've said, "Hey, whatever we have to do. God is going to destroy the world again." No, he's like, "I want to remind you that I won't by flood. When it rains, you don't need to be afraid."
That's not what's happening. A loving God gives us that sign. The Noahic covenant has several elements to it. I'm going to go down them quickly. I want to point out to you that a covenant is a non-conditional contract. There's no performance agreement. A contract has a performance agreement. What's the difference between a covenant and a contract? This is the difference.
A contract has a performance agreement. "If you do, then I will. If you do, then I will." A covenant has no performance condition. "I will, regardless of what you do." See also what we call a marriage covenant. "For better or worse, sickness or health, till death do us part." "Regardless of what you do, I will." This is the covenant God makes with us.
He says, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." So have lots of babies. He said, "The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth…" This is interesting. Up until this point, God brings the animals to Noah. We believe, the Bible actually points out that animal and humans had a very different relationship.
Today, animals are instinctively afraid of us. Even big animals. I always wondered this growing up on a farm. Like, I would notice our dog would run throughout the cows, but if I walked up to a cow, it ran off. I couldn't even get close to them unless they were conditioned to be close to me. I remember also being afraid of the coyotes. I'd hear them in the distance, particularly if we were camping.
My parents would say, "Hey, they're more afraid of you than you are of them." Turns out that's actually true. That God has given animals the fear of men. Humans can even cause an elephant stampede because of the way animals are afraid of us. God has given animals the fear of man. "Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you."
God says, "Up until this point, I've given you the plants to eat. Now you can eat the animals." So if you're vegan or vegetarian, you can be so on principle, but not by religion because God says, "Hey, I've given you the animals. I've given you filet mignons to eat." I'm hungry. Anyone who murders a human will be brought to justice.
God says that humans are made in his image and their life is precious. He incorporates a justice system if anyone takes a life purposefully. God says, "I will not destroy the world by flood again, and to show it to you, I am going to hang up my weapon of mass destruction. I am hanging up my war bow in the sky so that when you see it, remember this." The second thing I want to tell you about from the text is that God makes provision for his people.
The first thing is God always keeps his promises. The second thing is God makes provision for his people. God provided a way to save his chosen in the form of an ark. God chose Noah. Noah is just a man who God chose. He says, "Hey, you're going to preserve humanity. Your family is the way that the human race is going to continue past this cataclysmic flood. So build an ark."
This is what you need to know about an ark. What's the difference between an ark and a boat? Have you ever wondered why the Scripture doesn't just say boat or ship? It says ark. What's the difference between an ark and a ship? An ark has no motor. An ark has no rudder. An ark has no steering wheel.
In an ark, it is simply a vessel that floats. In an ark, you are at the mercy of the currents. You go where the currents take you. Our lives…yours and mine, the one who has trusted in Christ…are arks. We are at the mercy of the currents of God's will. We need not worry. We need not control. We trust God is in control. We go where God takes us, and we exist there for his purpose.
Our lives are arks, moving through to and fro about the currents of the will of God. This is an ark. God says, "Hey, build an ark. You're going to have to trust me every step of the way, even in the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, even in the year of you being on the ark with your family, you're going to have to trust me every step of the way."
As a child, I remember touring this church with my class. I was in grade school and our class went and visited a church. Then I remember the tour guide pointing us up, looking at the ceiling and said, "Don't you see? It's built like Noah's ark." So many churches today, they actually model their ceilings like Noah's ark. Not us. We modeled ours after Home Depot, evidently. So Noah's ark.
Actually true story, in the chapel, the ceiling is modeled like Noah's ark. If you haven't been in the chapel, you should. It's beautiful. You see what's happening here? You see in here, in these walls, we are safe from the current of culture pulling us this way and that, saying, "This is important. This is what you should do. This is how you should live. This is how you should date. This is what your marriage should look like or how you should parent. This is how you should make money."
We come in here and we return to truth. This is what the Lord says. In here, we are in the safe haven of the teachings from the Scripture that inform our hearts and inform our lives where and how we should go and be about. This is an ark. It's our role as we go out there, "Hey, come. Get on the ark with me. Come and get on the ark with me."
See, our role is to be like Noah, to accept God's grace, to walk with the Lord in obedience to him, and to call people to the Lord's provision, to call others to the Lord's provision. Guys, don't you get what's happening? Genesis 6, you see God's wrath is coming down on the world? He chooses someone to build a structure out of wood. Whoever trusts in that structure out of wood will not perish, but be saved. As his wrath comes down, you will be lifted up.
Okay, in the same way that he sends Christ onto this wooden structure and says, "Whoever trusts in it will not perish, but have eternal life…" Noah, okay? Everyone is mocking Noah. "You're telling me that big old boat is the only way to salvation? You're telling me I'm supposed to trust in some dead guy and a cross and an empty tomb?" Yes.
As God's wrath came down in the form of a flood, the very wrath that came down was that which lifted up to safety God's chosen people to continue the human race. In the same way as God's wrath comes down on Christ, as the cross is lifted up, the wooden structure, those who trust in it are kept safe. No. Noah preserved humanity in the most selfish way I know possible. According to God's command, Noah and his loved ones were on a boat.
Noah builds a boat for himself and his loved ones. They're kept safe, and everyone else is killed. Christ goes to a cross as God's wrath comes down on him and he is killed and everyone else is saved. Everyone else who trusts in him is saved. His wrath comes down. Christ is an amazing Savior. Noah, a miserable savior. Christ, an incredible Savior, has given us eternal life. So what's our role? How do we respond? Second Peter, chapter 3, verse 3:
"Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this "coming" he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.' But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with…" Who? He is patient with "…you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
God is going to destroy the world again, and today he is waiting. Waiting on what? Waiting on you. For salvation? Maybe, if you have it, to use you for the salvation of others. "Get on the ark! Guys, come on! Get on the ark!" Right? God is patient with you. God is patient with you. "Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
Perishing is the result of rejecting God. We see in Ezekiel 33, verse 11, that God takes "…no pleasure in the death of the wicked…" God does not delight in the death of the evil ones. God does not delight in that. He is "…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
So you and I, we, humanity, we were made to be in existence, to exist in relationship with God and to call others to a relationship with God. Noah couldn't. Noah couldn't go grab everyone and say, "Hey, get on the ark." You can. You can. You can. I can. We can go and say, "Come on! Get on the ark! Don't you understand? Jesus Christ died for your sins and God raised him from the dead, and if you trust in that, you will not perish but have eternal life. Come and get on the ark with me."
If you won't, then tell them to come to this place. We will tell them. "Hey, just come to this place with me on Sunday and hear this crazy guy who screams a lot tell you about Jesus dying for your sins so you will not perish but have eternal life with him." God is patiently waiting on you. As someone who walks with God, you call others to him.
There was judgment in the garden. You know that? There was judgment in the garden. In the fallen world, man has rejected God. Man went toward evil. They rejected God. They mocked God. They fled from God. All that God did in the destruction… I'll say this. There was judgment by the flood then. God's judgment came down in the flood.
All that God did in the flood was expedite the inevitable. People had turned from him. The only thing preventing those people from hell was more years of them destroying each other. God said, "I can't take it anymore." People say, "How could God destroy the world?" I say, "How could he not today?" That's what's confusing to me.
Not that God destroyed the world then. That he doesn't today because it says that he was grieved to his heart like a loving parent who is watching their children hurt each other every day, day in and day out. Every passing day, their children wake up and hurt each other. How does he stand it? I don't know. There was judgment in the flood.
Those guys may have served as an example for us. You've heard it. "Someone is going to make an example out of you." What if they served as your example? Someone drowned in the flood waters so that you don't. So that you, like Noah, would walk with God. It says our suffering causes him much grief. That's Genesis 6:6. Then there was judgment on the cross. God's wrath comes down on Jesus, and Jesus makes a way for people into heaven.
Then judgment will come again. After the scoffing, it says that they're going to make fun of us. "What are you doing building a big boat? What are you doing trusting in Jesus? You trust Jesus as the only way? How can you trust Jesus? There are so many religions out there. You trust Jesus as the only way?" It says they're going to scoff at you. Not if you don't tell them, they won't scoff at you. Matthew 24, verse 36. These are Jesus' words. So did I believe in a flood? Jesus believed in a flood, evidently.
"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."
There's going to be judgment by fire and God is patiently waiting on you to go about this place and say, "Come and get on the ark with me. Come and get on the ark. You don't have to die. You don't have perish. It doesn't have to be that way. You can come and get on the ark with me. Come on and get on the ark with me. It's okay if you think I'm crazy."
It says in the Scriptures that the cross will be foolishness to those who will be destroyed. It says it will be foolishness. Come and get on the ark with me. Call others to the ark. Noah couldn't, but we can. So we trust in God's promises that God will come to judge again. We trust in God's provision that he has built an ark of salvation for us in Christ and an ark to preserve his people and culture.
That's his body, the church. We trust in his patience. As we call people into safety, the safety of Christ's body, the church after placing trust in him for salvation and forgiveness of their sins. Let me give you this to reflect on. How grateful was Noah that he obeyed God? Like, when everything happened just as God said, when the waters came down and the floods came and Noah's family is safely on a giant boat, like a hundred years, all of a sudden they make all the sense in the world.
There's like, "Oh, oh this is why you were having me put these pieces of wood together. You actually love me. You are actually going to save me." How grateful was Noah that he obeyed God's command? Don't you understand that there's going to be a moment? That moment is going to happen for you where you're there with God and you see the reality that is everything God has said it was, and it's like, "Oh, I'm so grateful Lord Jesus that I walked with you.
I am so glad that your favor has been extended to me, your grace has reached me, and now I've walked with you and I've given my life to you. I'm so grateful I did that. Now I see that everything you said was going to be true was true indeed. I'm grateful." How grateful will your friends and your family be that you trusted in God enough to tell them about God, enough to share his truth with them?
My dad came in and he said, "Hey, we have to get out of here!" It's like nothing in me is like, "What? What do you mean we have to get out of here?" My dad had information that I didn't have. He knew that the river was coming up. Someone had told him. Someone had knew where he lived and said, "Hey, you need to get out of your house. The floodgates in San Antonio have been opened and the water is coming down as a silent rising water. There is no rain, but the water is going to come up and swallow your house."
Now how sick would my dad have to have been, how delusional would he have to have been to not tell us about that, to keep that to himself and to not tell us that the waters are going to come and destroy our home, the very home of which we're in? How crazy would he have to have been not to have told me? The only thing that he needed was to believe that it was true and to love us.
We know it's coming. We know it's coming. It tells us plain as day. It tells us plain as day. What do we do about it? The reason I listened to my dad, even against my senses, is because I knew he loved me. I knew he loved me. I knew that when he came in and said, "We have to get out," I needed to respond in obedience to what he said, because I knew he cared about me.
So let me ask you a very specific question. It's not rhetorical. I want you to answer. Not out loud, but to yourself or write it down. It's this. "Who knows that you love them enough that they would sit down and listen to you share the life-saving gospel with them? Who would sit down with you? Who would have lunch with you, breakfast with you, and sit down with you and listen to you tell them, 'Hey, it's going to end and there's this ark in the form of Jesus Christ. If you trust in him, you won't perish, but you will have eternal life."
Let me ask like this. Who would listen to you if you said, "Hey, I just want you to come." You leverage their relationship with them and you say, "Hey, I want you to come with me on Sunday." You go to your neighbor and you say, "Hey, I want you to come with me. I want you to come and visit this ark, this safe haven."
Who have you loved enough to where they would say, "Hey, I know how you loved me. I'll listen to you. I'll do it." Literally, I know that not everyone will, but I'm asking you to. I literally want you to make a list. No one has to see it but you. I want you to make a list of the people who you think who you have loved well enough that they would listen to you.
They would say, "Hey, I'm in on that. You tell me it's coming, I believe you. Why wouldn't I believe you based on the way that you walk with God?" God is patient. This isn't the end. Praise God it's not the end. He has given us at least one more day, at least one more day. So how will we steward it? Let me pray.
God, we do praise you that it is not the end because these names come to my mind of people I haven't told about you and your wonders and your mercies and your grace and your goodness. Father, burden our hearts for them. Father, burden our hearts for them with their names and help us to walk courageously with you, not working for you but walking with you so you would work through us. Lord, we praise you that we've been given one more day to walk in obedience with you. Help us to do that. In the name of Jesus, amen.