fbpx

013 The Prophet Noah: God’s Patience and Wrath

‘And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth … And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth … for it repenteth me that I have made them’   Genesis 6:5-7

Key Verse:

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:8,9)

(Genesis 6)

In our studies in the Holy Scriptures, we have already seen that, in the beginning, when God created the world,

everything was good.

However, when our ancestor Adam disobeyed God,

evil entered the world

through him and spread to all men. Truly,

“an epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!”

In our last lesson, we learned about the two families which descended from Adam, the family of Cain and the family of Seth.

Cain’s family did not believe God.

However, among the descendants of Seth, there were those who believed God’s Word, and, as a result,

God forgave them of their sins.

One who came from Seth, was named Enoch. Although most who lived in the time of Enoch followed Satan in lives of impurity,

Enoch walked with God in holiness.

Today we will begin to learn about another man who walked with God in a crooked and evil time. This person is

the prophet Noah,

the great grandson of Enoch. We have already learned that, in early times, people lived to be older than we do today. Do you know who lived to be the oldest man in the world? It was

Methuselah, the son of Enoch.

He lived until he was 969 years old. Methuselah was the father of Lamech who was the father of Noah. This Lamech,

Noah’s father,

is a different man from Lamech, the descendant of Cain about whom we learned in the last lesson. Noah belonged to the tenth generation after Adam. When Noah was five hundred years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

They were farmers.

What we plan to study concerning Noah will be of great value to us, because the days of Noah were similar to the times in which we live today. In the time of Noah,

the world was filled with sin.

The Scriptures say that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart were evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Just like Mark 7:21,22 says, the hearts of the children of Adam were filled with evil thoughts, greed, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, strife, fighting, adultery, theft, murder, and folly.

Men were ruining the world which God had created for them.

Many had religion, but it was merely for show. Fleshly pleasure was their god, and

their sins just kept piling up!

Read what the Scripture says in Genesis 6:3-7 Then the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. And God saw that

the wickedness of man was great in the earth,

and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart were evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and the beast, and the creeping thing, and all the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them”. Thus we see how God purposed to wipe out the descendants of Adam from the earth

because of their wickedness.

However, we also see how God, in His mercy, intended to be patient with sinners for another 120 years

to give them time to repent,

so that they might not perish. However, when the time arrived, God would judge everyone who refused to repent and accept His way of righteousness.

There is something we can learn about the character of God, from that limit of 120 years. It is this: God is very patient, but

His patience has a limit!

He will speak and strive with man so that he might repent, but not forever. That is why in the time of Noah, God said, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” So we see how God planned to be patient with sinners for a time and then judge them if they refused to repent. In this, we can see two things about God:

His patience and His wrath.

God is good and can be very patient; but He is also righteous and can get very angry!

Some think of God as one who hovers over them with a big stick, as though God is quick to anger and takes pleasure in hitting and hurting people. But

God is not like that.

Others think that God is never angry and will merely forgive and forget the sins of people. “God is good! God is good!” is all they know. But

God is not like that either.

The Holy Scriptures tell us the truth concerning the character of God.

God is good and righteous!

He can be patient and angry. His goodness and His mercy are why He is patient with sinners, but His righteousness and His holiness are why He is also angry with their sins.

God is a Saviour and a Judge.

The prophets wrote a great deal about the patience and wrath of God. Let us read some of their words.

The Scriptures say: “But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,

not willing that any should perish,

but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (2 Pet. 3:8-10) The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh . . . for our God is a consuming fire!” (Heb. 10:30,31; 12:25,29)

In the Psalms we read: 

“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked everyday if he turn not.” (Psa. 7:11,12)

In the Gospel it is written: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; who hold the truth in unrighteousness … the judgement of God is according to truth … and thinkest thou … that thou shalt escape the judgement of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds.” (Rom. 1:18; 2:2-6)

The wrath of God is not like the wrath of man.

Man can become very angry, but his anger will diminish little by little until he may even forget what made him angry in the first place.

The anger of God is not like that!

The passing of time does not cause God’s anger to diminish. God is a righteous Judge and He does not forget anything! His anger does not diminish toward those who refuse to repent; instead,

it increases!

This is what we just finished reading in the Scriptures: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds.” The people of Noah’s time were

“storing up” for themselves the wrath of God!

However, there remained one man at that time who loved God with all his heart, and believed God’s word. That man was Noah. Thus the Scriptures say: 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:8,9)

Why did God show Noah His grace?

Did Noah deserve the grace of God? No! Grace which is deserved is no longer grace. Grace means “undeserved favour.” Why did God offer His grace to Noah and not to the others? What does the Scripture say about that? It tells us that Noah believed God, while the others did not believe Him.

Noah believed the word of God.

He believed what God promised concerning the Redeemer who was to come into the world to save sinners. Like all of Adam’s descendants, Noah had sin in him, but God counted Noah as a righteous person because

he believed God

and offered Him the blood of a sacrifice for his sin, as God had commanded. Thus, the Scriptures say “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.”

One day God said to Noah: (Gen. 6:13-19,21) 

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.

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 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. 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. 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 everything that is in the earth shall die. 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. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee … 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”.

So God told Noah how He planned to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy everyone who refused to repent and believe the truth.

God told Noah to build a large ark (boat) to escape the flood.

The length of the ark had to be 150 meters; the length of one and a half football fields.

It would be a refuge for Noah and his family

and many animals and anyone else who would believe God’s Word. God ordered Noah to make

many rooms

in the inside of the ark, but only

one door

on the outside of the ark. Thus, God’s message for the people of Noah’s time was this: Anyone who wishes to escape the judgement of the flood must pass through

the one door of the ark.

Every person who passes through the door will be

saved.

Those who do not pass through the door will

perish!

So Noah started to build the ark. It was a huge task. Noah and his three sons had to chop down hundreds and hundreds of large trees, cut them into planks, shape and nail them, and coat them with tar inside and out. Noah’s wife and his son’s wives also helped them in that hard work. For around one hundred years, day after day, Noah and his family worked on building the ark. But Noah did not limit his activity to merely building.

He also preached to the people of his day.

Perhaps he said something like this: “Listen! The LORD has told me to warn you of His wrath! God’s anger boils because of your sin. He has decided to bring a flood on the earth to destroy everyone who refuses to repent. However, I make known to you good news! God, in His mercy, has ordered me to build an ark

to be a refuge

for anyone who repents from their sin and believes the word of God!” Thus Noah warned the people with many words, and urged them to turn from the evil ways of their corrupt generation.

What do you think?

Did the people of Noah’s era believe the word which God announced to them through His prophet? We do not have time to answer that question fully. In the next lesson, however, in the will of the Lord, we will continue with the story of the prophet Noah and see how God preserved everyone who believed His word, and how

He judged those who did not believe His word,

drowning them in the waters of a great flood.

God bless you as you think about what we read in the Scriptures: 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” (2 Pet. 3:9,10)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any other questions that you might have