Title: The Great Recession
Text: Gen 8.1-9.17
The Implications for us:
– What’s the Main point? Is not the flood, but rather on Noah – the man who is saved by faith. Heb 11.7; He is the 1st man declared righteous in Scripture; he believed; God made him righteous; he lived a blameless life and walked with God; 4 x’s in Ch. 6-7; for over 100 years.
Transition: a person who believes God, is credited righteous and lives a life of obedience to what he believes – because he believes it! He knows it to be true.
Two halves: 150 days each – destruction (picture) then, a picture of new creation:
The Chiastic Structure of the flood by Gordon Wenham as quoted by R Kent Hughes:
a. 7 days of waiting for the flood (7.4)
b. 7 days of waiting for the flood (7.10)
c. 40 days of rain and flood (7.12; 17a)
d. 150 days of water triumphing (7.24)
d. 150 days of water waning (8.3)
c. 40 days of waiting (8.4, 6)
b. 7 days of waiting (8.10)
a. 7 days of waiting (8.12)
What does this mean for us? Wow! How powerful a message this must be for us for the writer to spend so much thought in constructing a storyline with such a pattern. We looked at the 1st half last week; let’s look at the 2nd half this week; rd 8.1
1. God Remembers Noah (8.1-20)
exp.: 1a is my 1st point; Did God get busy and forget about Noah and his family and the animals? No. When God remembers, it simply indicates that he is acting in his creation. Gen Abraham – 19.29 and delivers Lott; Rachel – 30.22 and she conceives; Israel – Exodus 2.24; Numbers 10.9; It isn’t always good. Sometimes, God remembers people for their evil and he acts against them; Samson – Judges 16.28; Nehemiah 5.19; 6.14; Rev 16.9; 18.5 – remembering Babylon; rd v 1and then comes the action v1b; wind or spirit to blow; has a parallel meaning when you consider Gen 1 where the spirit hovers over the waters; and he records the abatement of the waters – note his careful record of the days; Noah has been in the ark for 150 days – 5 months!
Have you ever been in a storm where you were locked in your home for a few days, week, maybe? Maybe some folks up north would understand; That’s 3-5 days, maybe? Maybe some of you have had to be locked in w/ youth for 12 hours! Man! Noah has been locked up for 150 days with his family! I wonder if he ever took the time to build a dingy and asked to be put in it and drug behind the boat for a few hours!
Now, the wind caused the abatement of the waters and sometime during that 2nd 150 days, the Ark ran aground on the top of Mt. Ararat. Rd v 3-4; modern day Armenia; there it sat for 2 more months, read v 5; two more months before they even saw the tops of the other peaks around! That’s a long time to be locked up together!
So, here’s another characteristic of Noah we see: His Patience. So, now, after these two months, he waits another 40 days. Rd v 6-12; so he sends out this raven, but the raven doesn’t return. I’m not sure what this means: it went to and fro. But we get the idea that it doesn’t return. Then, he takes a dove which takes three journeys, interspersed with 7 days between them – a total of two weeks. It goes out and comes back, it goes out and comes back with a
So, Noah is patient, he’s obedient, he displays a tremendous faith as he waits for God’s deliverance. There is no record of God’s voice during the voyage. Wow! What patient obedience.
App.: it reminds me of a principle I heard a preacher once pound home to me.Keep doing the last thing God told you to do until you’re told to do the next thing! The boat stopped moving, but Noah’s work wasn’t done. The boat stop moving, but they couldn’t open up the door! Keep doing the last thing God told you to do until you’re told to do the next thing!
app.: so, we see that God is about to act!
a. The End of the Sailing Adventure; it began back in 7.1 (review)
i. It rained for 40 days (7.11: in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.)
ii. It resided on the earth for 110 more days (total 150 days); 7.24; rd 8.1
Transition: So, 1st we have the End of the Sailing Adventure, 2nd we have the…
b. The Exit of the Sailing Ark
i. Faith is seen in the releasing of the dove; It receded for 150 days until it was gone; 8.3; the dove affirmed that the water had receded and the plant life was coming back. I don’t know how high Mt. Ararat is, but for a dove to fly back up the mountain is pretty cool.
Now, there is some beautiful imagery going on here. A raven, an unclean animal is released. It’s expendable. Next, a dove, the symbol of beauty and peace is sent out. It’s a clean animal, it can be eaten, it can be used in sacrificial ceremonies. The going out and the coming back is a beautiful picture. And so we come to the end in v 13-14; so, 1 year and 10 days later, God dried up the earth. Then God speaks. Rd v 15-19; we see Noah and the animals exiting the Ark. Noah, like a 2nd Adam. If I were a movie director, I’d film the flood in B&W and then when the doors to the Ark, I’d switch to ‘living color’! Much like the Wizard of Oz! There are animals of all colors; plants, trees and such with vivid, beautiful colors. It was glorious, much like what Adam must have experienced in the garden.
app.: Now, here we see another characteristic of Noah – His passion; because the 1st thought of Noah after he exits the Ark is Godward! Rd v 20; after theend of the sailing adventure and the Exit of the Sailing Ark, Noah erects a Sacrificial Altar.
c. The Erecting of a Sacrificial Altar
i. Sacrifices offered to God; he took some of every clean animal and offered them to Yahweh. Why? Up to this time, every thought of every person and every inclination was always evil. Noah offers a sacrifice to the LORD and even though humans are still evil, God makes a Covenant with Noah:
And this is the 2nd part of our study tonight…
2. God Responds to Noah (8.21-9.17)
exp.: in this passage, we see God’s beauty through his grace and goodness, his blessing and his covenant; rd 8.21-22; So, 1st we see his Grace displayed through a promise
a. Grace and Mercy: never again! Even though you and I are sinners and we see the world around us imploding with sin, God stays his hand to you and me because of his promise. That’s Grace. Getting what we don’t deserve; Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. 2nd, we see God’s Blessing
b. Blessing: rd 9.1; be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth; Children are a blessing of God! Now, note the change between Adam; rd v 2-4;
i. Fear came after the fall; but now, meat is normal part of the human diet; except, we can’t eat meat 4b; I think what is being communicated is that we’re different than the animals; have you ever seen animals attack another animal and then feed on that animal? People are to be different; WE find this commandment carried through even to Acts 15; v 20; v 28, 29; the reason is simply respect for life and even more, respect to the giver of life.
ii. Furthermore, blood would be required as atonement for sacrifice. Therefore, it would take on value and importance.
iii. Added to this was the picture of what took place after Adam and Eve left the garden. Do you remember Cain and Abel? We saw evil progress throughout the next couple of chapters as men came to a place where they had no concern for life. Murder was rampant. It wasn’t to be that way anymore. Rd v 5-7; That is poetic; we will give account for the shedding of human blood. Even if animals kill humans, that animal shall be put to death. The Hebrew communicates this with force. From what I understand, killing another human, is like killing your brother – so the Hebrew communicates. Homicide, become fratricide. That is how serious it is to God. Grace & Mercy; Blessing; and now…
c. Covenant: rd v So God sets his bow in the sky as a sign of this precious promise; the covenant is in v 11; The sign of the covenant is in v 12-13;
Conclusion: Rainbows are so beautiful. When do they appear?
– This covenant is for all people and all animals
– This Covenant is for all time.
This Covenant can never be broken, because God is the one who makes it.