Living in the Light of God’s Great Acts Genesis 6-9

Genesis 6-9

I imagine we all know who Corrie Ten Boom is

  • “The Hiding Place” in Nazi Occupied Holland
  • Christian family hiding and transporting Jews
  • The dutch survivor of Ravensbruck
  • Imprisoned for 10 months

We think of testimonies like this and rightly appreciate the heroics of a Christian keeping her faith through it

  • But the miracle of faithfulness isn’t so much in the great big events
  • It’s in the everyday, one step at a time, mundane faithfulness
    • Like Corrie Ten Boom’s time in the Ravensbruck would have been just trying to stay alive, our daily faith can sometimes feel like we’re just trying to keep our faith alive
  • It’s important to remember that none of our faithfulness comes from us—it’s all God’s work through us and for us to be strong in God’s work, so what we need is as close to constant communion with God as we can manage and that’s a daily task
  • We stay ready for the big events through our everyday faithful communion with God in worship, waiting on God, and working

Today we see it in the flood—Genesis 6-9

  • We’re studying the big redemptive moments of Bible so we see how God has worked throughout history for his glory which includes the good of his people
  • Doing this Helps us see how the whole Bible works together to tell one unified story
  • In the one story of the Bible, we see some themes that recur throughout God’s redemptive plan

Three of those themes in the  Flood:

  1. The effects of the fall:  6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
    1. This verse is the key to understanding vv. 1-4
    1. When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
    1. Here’s the correct view:  sons of God—line of Seth;  daughters of men—line of Cain
    1. Like Eve in the garden was tempted by a beautiful fruit, so too were the godly sons of Seth were tempted with the physical beauty of the daughters of Cain
    1. The world had had its effect on God’s people and corruption reigned
    1. But Noah was a righteous man—he’s one of the OT Saints who were called “blameless” (Job and God’s command to Abraham in Gen. 17 “walk before me and be blameless)
      1. Doesn’t mean sinless
      1. John Currid comments, “To be blameless does not mean that a person is sinless. It really signifies one who has integrity and honour, one with an upright heart that attempts to follow the ways of [God].
      1. The point being: 
        1. Noah would have seen the wickedness of the world like God did
        1. And like God he hated it
        1. So when God came asking him to build an ark his daily life of faith prepared him for this big moment
  2. Judgment and salvation go hand in hand
    1. God’s judgment came in the form of a flood which at once condemned the wicked and saved the righteous
    1. It saved the righteous by being the means the ark was lifted up
      1. 1 Peter 3:20-21 “because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
    1. Christ’s death condemns the unregenerate while it saves his people
  3. Covenant:  this goes hand in hand with judgment and salvation
    1. The word covenant first used in this story:  6:18, 9:11
    1. The covenant of works is still in operation—as sin grows, God’s judgment looms larger
    1. Those who God is gracious to are saved from judgment through his appointed way—Covenant of Grace
      1. In this way the ark is a picture of Jesus and the church as Jesus’ vessel
    1. Covenant as a theme is important for understanding the Bible, beyond just salvation
      1. It makes up the framework of the Bible’s Story
        1. Each successive covenant reveals more about God’s grace ultimately revealed in Jesus
      1. God establishes the covenant, his grace makes this relationship possible
        1. 6:18  “And I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark with your family”
        1. It’s always called God’s covenant—not ours, indicates:
          1. God’s Grace in giving it
          1. God’s Sovereignty in administering it
          1. And within God’s administration we receive guidance, comfort, and correction
    1. This Covenant came with a sign—9:12-13 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
      1. War Bow—pointing up at God, he pledges to take the ultimate curse in Jesus’ death

These themes:  the danger of sinfulness, judgment/salvation, and Covenant are integral to understanding the Bible and God’s redemptive work, but what do they say about our day to day life?

Two things:  1.  Reliability of God;  2.  Reality of Faith

  1. God is absolutely reliable—it’s the story of genesis and the whole Bible
    1. He is faithful even when we’re not
      1. Sin in the garden—sacrifice and covering
      1. Sin the world—salvation through God’s means, the ark
    1. This is important considering who this was written for
      1. Israel on their way into Canaan
      1. They grumble their way through the wilderness—God continues to be faithful…
      1. As they enter the promised land full of fortified city-states and standing armies this rag-tag bunch of slave children can rest in God’s active providence as they look forward to the rest promised in Canaan
        1. This theme of rest is alluded to in Noah, whose name means rest, through the flood, through Noah’s faithfulness God’s people are given rest from sin
        1. Through the conquest of Canaan, Israel will be given the same rest
        1. It  won’t be complete until Solomon, but at each stage it will get better
    1. God is always doing exactly what we need him to do—he never fails, we know that, but knowing in your head doesn’t always translate to believing in your heart.
    1. Remembering these historical events in your past helps you to believe in God’s faithfulness.
      1. As we stumble and fall we remember God is more than our God, he’s our father who chastens and rebukes, but he also restores
        1. Security in the relationship
        1. Security because he is reliable
  2. The Reality of Faith—what I mean by that is that our daily life of faith isn’t made up the big redemptive moments
    1. Let’s consider Noah’s story:  He had the direct revelation of God—6:13 “God said to Noah”
      1. But not at every turn
        1. First he had to build the ark—yes God told him how, but God didn’t drive him to Lowes or hire someone to do it for him.  We aren’t told how long it took, but we can imagine it took a long time…
        1. Then in the ark, there wasn’t much left to do, right?  Well not in terms of Big Redemptive Events, but there was a lot to do in terms of feeding the animals and cleaning up after them.
        1. And when the rain finally stopped, it took 150 days for the water to “abate” enough for the ark to rest on land.  Another 2 months for other Mountaintops to be seen, 54 more days to finally exit the ark.  (assuming a 28 day month @260 days)
      1. Here’s my point:  after the amazing grace of salvation in the ark, there was a lot of time spent living in the ark which would have been less than amazing, no matter how much you like camping.
    1. So, We’ll have plenty of other times in our lives that are like Noah’s life, like the 260 days in the ark==what should we do?
      1. Blameless and righteous—the daily life of seeking God’s will
      1. How do we do this?  Only by practicing our faith on a regular basis (practice because you’re not perfect at it yet)
        1. Daily, mundane, faithfulness is required—part and parcel with your role in God’s salvation of all his people.
          1. Wisdom:  Acting within the boundaries of God’s will without his explicit direction
          1. Walk by faith and not by sight 2 Cor. 5:7
          1. Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.  Isaiah 50:10-11
          1. God gives direction in his covenant requirements, and his presence through his covenant blessings— but, sometimes walking by faith feels like darkness. 
            1. Family, Remember that God’s darkness is better than our own sinful light
            1. Prov. 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
            1. That doesn’t mean we leave our understanding behind, it means we lean on God’s revealed word that often  contradicts what our old sinful nature says to us—and in that way our understanding is reshaped into Christ’s image
      1. All of us are called to daily, mundane faithfulness, to commune with God as our sole basis for life and to encourage each other in the same.  The Christian life is a supernatural life lived by the power of the Holy Spirit, but it’s not always gonna feel like that way, give thanks to God when the communion is sweet and continue to seek him when it’s not.  Living in God’s darkness requires you to put your spiritual pants on one leg at a time, put one foot in front of the other, and just always do what you know you should to build your relationship with him.
      1. So what you do?  What do learn from Noah’s year-long ark adventure?
        1. Worship God using the means of Grace—Noah built an altar and gave thanks to God
        1. Wait on God—Noah couldn’t do anything until God dried up the ground
        1. Work for God—the daily maintenance inside the ark is similar tour daily maintenance inside the church—Nurture the body of Christ.  It begins the home, but doesn’t stay there, work for your church family’s spiritual health.