In a wicked generation, Noah walked with God. He found grace in the eyes of the Lord and he chose obedience in extraordinary circumstances.
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“A Wicked Generation”
- In a wicked generation, Noah walked with God
- He found grace in the eyes of the Lord
- And he chose obedience in extraordinary circumstances
- The account of his life found in Genesis 6
- Does a lot to encourage us about the possibility for ministry in our era
- And it provides an example of perseverance and commitment that is worthy of emulation
- How does a Godly person live in a wicked generation?
- That is our question and our theme – from Genesis 6:5-22 today
- Noah was not a cartoon character
- He was a real person, with desires and fears and interests much like yours or mine
- His story is a historical record
- One with details of a remarkable worldwide catastrophe
- But one that also gives us insight on God’s relationship with those who trust Him
- It is an account with universal significance
- But also much personal detail
- This is why it is so well known
- And why Christians keep coming back to it for insight today
- Let’s begin our reading in…
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
- It’s difficult to imagine the day in which Noah lived
- The description of man’s wickedness is so all-encompassing, it’s bewildering for us
- Apparently, men were dwelling upon evil every moment of the day
- There were no thoughts in men’s hearts that were wholesome or even neutral
- The wickedness was deep and pervasive
- There was no end to it
- God made very careful note of man’s rebellion
- One commentator said about Him…
“He did not see it as an unconcerned spectator, but as one injured and affronted by it; he saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child…”
- And obviously, God determined that something must be done about it
- He committed to the destruction of mankind, which He created
- Even to the destruction of animals and birds
- And this was the correct decision, because everything which God does is absolutely right
- This is the setting in which we find Noah
- And hear of the unmerited favor which was granted to him by God…
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
- We’ll see evidence of Noah’s relationship with God in the next verse
- Here we read that God has chosen to offer him favor
- When we read of it, we recall the grace God offers to every man today through His son
- Judgment was certain in Noah’s day
- And it is equally certain in ours
- But grace is on offer every day, because of Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf
- This is perhaps why verse 8 stands out to anyone who has experienced grace
- We can identify
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
- A relationship and daily walk with God – concepts we consider every day in our generation
- Our desire is to be just – or righteous
- And we seek after perfection too – that just means soundness, integrity
- As a person knowing and walking with God, Noah was growing in these things
- He was developing character traits as a result of God’s grace
- And his pursuit of God positioned him uniquely in a rebellious and wicked culture
- God provides grace
- He asks us to walk with Him
- And as we do, and demonstrate spiritual growth
- He prepares work for us to do
- This was no doubt the case with Noah…
10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
- God provides an explanation here
- Noah must have been vexed by the violent society he witnessed all around
- And God said “this is going to stop”
- “I am going to execute judgement…”
- But Noah would be given an important role in God’s next steps…
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
- This Godly man, Noah, receives these detailed instructions from the Lord
- He has maintained a walk with God, in what must have been, the most difficult of circumstances
- His faithfulness is not overlooked, God has seen everything
- And He has bigger challenges for Noah
- We know, having read the story, as God knew at the time
- That Noah would again show himself faithful
- I wonder what difficulties are revealing about our character?
- Is hardship bringing to the surface our righteousness, soundness, and integrity?
- Can we be trusted with bigger things – things of historic importance?
- If we have experienced the grace of God, has it changed us deeply, permanently?
- Do we stand out in our culture?
- Are we prepared to have a profound ministry in a wicked generation?
- Well, it’s important that we see what happens next with Noah…
22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
- This is the essence of simple obedience
- God gave complex instructions
- And Noah followed