Thus did Noah – Genesis 6:14-22

You can never go wrong when obeying God. Obedience is the key to God’s blessing and approval. When we live a life of obedience we are assured of God’s blessing, however, disobedience can bring dire consequences. The reason Noah obeyed God was not necessarily out of fear, rather, it came from a knowledge of who God is. If you are going to obey someone, you are going to want that person to be one who has earned your respect. It is difficult to obey someone that you do not believe in and you do not trust. Noah believed God and He had respect for God, therefore, He obeyed God. In this passage, we find several things about God that should inevitably produce our obedience.

God is a rescuing God (v. 14 & 18). God follows his announcement of judgment with a plan for rescue.[1] Every time judgement is in order, God always has a way of escape. In Noah’s day, the way of escape was the ark. For you and I, the way of escape is the cross. Look with me at 1 Peter 3:18-22. Peter uses Noah’s ark as a picture of the cross and also of God’s longsuffering toward us. Jesus died in order to reconcile us to God. This was the same salvation plan seen in the Old Testament. It is God’s desire that men be reconciled unto Him. While Noah was building the ark, the pre-incarnate Christ spoke through Noah preaching a message of repentance to the people. The ‘spirits’ mentioned in 1 Peter 3:19 is in reference to those souls who rejected the offer of salvation and perished in the flood. In 1 Peter 3:20 Peter mentions that God was patient with the people, giving them ample opportunity to repent. While Noah was building the ark, the Gospel was being preached. It is interesting the parallel we see in scripture with salvation and water. Peter mentions that water baptism is symbolic of God rescuing us from the penalty of sin. This symbol of water in reference to salvation is seen elsewhere in scripture. The New American Commentary says, “The vessel is identified as an “ark” (tēbâ; v. 14); it occurs five times in these three verses and is their focus. Outside of chaps. 6–9, this term is found only in Exodus 2:3–5, where it describes the “basket” (tēbâ) in which the baby Moses was placed. There are remarkable similarities between Noah’s deliverance and that of Moses as recounted in Exodus 1–2. The accounts of how the ark/basket are constructed are parallel. Moreover, both tell of a removal of people by water (cf. Exod 1:22), but Noah and Moses are delivered from the waters by the grace of God to introduce a new era in the Lord’s work among his people. This linkage is also suggested by the floodwaters of the Red Sea that swallow up the Egyptians and enable the preservation of Moses’ people (Exod 14–15). Moses, like Noah, receives detailed instructions in the building of the tabernacle that are revealed exclusively to Moses. Moses, then, is another Noah whose career inaugurates a new epoch.”[2] The point here is that God is a God of mercy and grace. He is also just and righteous. Sin must be dealt with. Wickedness must be judged and punished. Yet, God always gives ample opportunity for people to repent and turn to Him. God is indeed a rescuing God.

God is a precise God (v. 15-16 & 19-21). God gives Noah very precise instructions on building the ark and even on what to bring into the ark. God pays attention to every detail. There is nothing that goes unnoticed. God has a precise plan for your life down to the very last detail. If we live a life of obedience and submission to that plan than we will experience the joy and blessing and satisfaction of serving Him. However, when we disobey that plan and we do not submit to God it brings great heartache and discontent. Kurt Strassner writes, “Yes, as detailed as was God’s plan for Noah’s ark—the wood, the pitch, the dimensions, the windows and doors (6:14–21)—he laid down the plans for the thirty-three-year life of his Son with much more care! In his premeditated mercy, God planned out every detail of the life of Jesus so as to provide us with a perfect Savior, with an ark that will not sink! And “whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed” (Rom. 10:11)!”[3] God’s love for you is also precise. He loves you with a unique and special kind of love. I am convinced that if you were the only person on the face of this earth He still would have come and died just for you. He loves you and cares for you that much!

God is a covenant God (v. 18). In verse 18, God establishes a covenant with Noah. A covenant is a binding promise that cannot be broken. The cultural concept of a covenant is: An agreement between two parties that specifies requirements for at least one party, and includes blessing and curses for obedience or failure.[4] When God makes a covenant He does not fail. God made a binding promise with Noah that if he obeyed and went into the ark then he would be saved from the flood. Through the cross of Jesus, God has made a covenant with the entire world. The promise is this: All who come to the cross and believe on the Lord Jesus will have eternal life. This covenant promise is available to all. Those who obey and accept this covenant will be blessed with eternal abundant life. Those who refuse and reject this covenant will be cursed with eternal death.

God is a commanding God (v. 22). God commanded Noah to do specific things. God is strong and decisive. He is everything you would want in a great leader. No one wants to follow a weak leader. No one respects a weak leader. God is a very strong leader. His entire demeaner demands respect. He is a commanding God. As a commanding God, He expects obedience. If we disobey, it will bring great disappointment. However, if we obey like Noah did, it will bring great blessing.

Noah obeyed God because of who God is. What about you? Will you obey God?

 

[1] Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, p. 363). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, p. 363). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Strassner, K. (2009). Opening up Genesis (p. 47). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[4] Witthoff, D. (Ed.). (2014). The Lexham Cultural Ontology Glossary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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