I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth’ Genesis 7:4-5.
“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
In our last lesson we began to look at the fascinating story of the prophet Noah who was born ten generations after Adam.
Noah walked with God
in a corrupt and evil time. We saw how
the LORD was grieved in His heart
because of the sins of Adam’s descendants. The Scriptures say that
“The wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5)
That is why God, in His holy wrath, planned to wipe off the face of the earth (unrepentant) sinners.
However, God’s grace was with Noah, because
Noah loved God and believed His word.
So, one day God said to Noah: I have decided to destroy all mankind because the earth is filled with wickedness. I will bring a great flood upon the earth, to destroy everything which lives under the heavens. As for you, you are to build a large ark (boat) to be a refuge for you and your family.
For around one hundred years, Noah and his family worked to construct that large ark. But Noah did not limit his work merely to building the ark. He also preached to the people around him, saying, “Repent of your sins and return to God! God, the Righteous One, is going to judge the world!”
Did the people of Noah’s time repent of their sins and believe the word which God announced to them through His prophet?
What do you think?
Among the thousands and thousands of children of Adam who were upon the earth, how many of them repented and believed God enough to enter the ark? The Scriptures reply: “Only a few people, eight in all, were saved…” (1 Pet. 3:20)
How many people believed God?
Only eight: Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives. All the others did not believe the word of God. Some simply ignored Noah’s preaching, while
others mocked him.
They thought he was crazy because of the boat he was building in a place where there was no water. The people may have mocked Noah like this: “Hey! Come see this fellow who is building a huge boat out here in the wilderness! Noah must be insane! Floodwaters here in the desert?
Besides, God is good; He wouldn’t destroy the people He has created! You’re crazy, Noah!” However, Noah ignored their insults because he believed what God had said. He continued right on constructing the ark and preaching, saying,
God is going to judge the world in righteousness! Why do you refuse to believe the Word of God? Why do you want to perish?”
Finally the day came
when Noah and his family finished building the ark. In the last verse of the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis we read:
“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” (Gen. 6:22)
The boat was ready. Everything was complete.
Only one thing remained:
Noah and his family needed to enter the ark. We can hear Noah trying to convince the people one more time: “Listen to God! Repent and believe His word! The flood is soon to come! Enter the ark while there is still time! The door is open!
Whoever passes through it will be saved.
But if you refuse to enter, how will you escape the judgment of God?” Thus, Noah earnestly warned the people. But they would not listen.
Therefore, in chapter seven, the Scriptures say: (Gen. 7:1-5) “And the Lord said unto Noah,
Come thou and all thy house into the ark;
for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female; and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls of the air by sevens, the male and the female, to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and
I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights;
and every living thing that I have made will I destroy from the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him”.
Because they saw a cloudy sky? Because they smelled the coming rain? No! A clear sky is all they saw when they entered the ark. Why then did they go in? There is only one reason. They entered because
they believed what God had said.
Perhaps there were those outside who thought: “I also believe God, but I am not going to go inside that ark! I believe in God, but I cannot accept Noah’s preaching!” What can we say about those people? We can say that they did not really believe God, because they did not believe what God testified through His prophet. They refused to repent of their sins and they refused to accept the way of escape which God had provided for them through Noah. They may have honoured God with their lips, but
their hearts were far, far from Him.
So, the Scriptures say:
“And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah … And the Lord shut him in.” (Gen. 7:7-9,16)
Did you hear what God did after Noah and his family entered the ark? The Scriptures say,
“The LORD shut them in!”
The day of God’s great anger had arrived. God had been patient with the people of that generation for a long time, but now His patience had run out!
Only His wrath remained.
God had closed the door; and when God closes the door, no one can open it.
Thus, God brought the flood-waters on the earth just as He had promised. The sky began to darken; the wind began to blow. There were clouds and thunder and lightning and earthquakes.
Now the children of Adam were trembling with fear.
When everything was peaceful, it had been so easy for them to challenge God with insulting words and works. But now that the judgement of God had begun to descend upon them,
their mouths were shut!
The hour for them to face God’s righteous judgment had arrived and there was no longer anywhere to hide!
A heavy rain fell, the deep springs of the earth gushed forth water, the oceans and rivers overflowed,
resulting in a great flood.
Torrents of water surged into every town and village. Those who were not immediately swept away fled in terror, seeking higher ground. Those who had mocked Noah and rejected the word of God, now knew that what God had said through His prophet was the truth.
However, this knowledge was of no benefit to them because
now the opportunity to repent was gone;
the period of salvation was past. Perhaps some were calling to Noah, shouting out, “Noah! Noah! Open the door! Noah, help us! Save us! We believe you Noah! You were right! We believe! We believe!”
But it was too late.
God had closed the door. The day of salvation was past. The day of judgement had come. Praying, weeping, beating on the door, even knowing the truth – nothing could change the mind of God.
So, the Scriptures tell us that for forty days there was a continual downpour of rain and constant flooding until
even the mountains were covered.
But the ark floated on top of the water.
“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man … And Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Gen. 7:21,23)
Did God do what He had promised to do? Of course! Did He judge those sinners who refused to repent?
He surely did!
He judged everyone who was not in the ark, just as He had said He would do.
Dear student, this is where we must stop in the story of Noah. God willing, in our next lesson, we will conclude this story to see what happened to Noah and his family in the ark. However, there is an important lesson God wants to teach us through the story of the judgment of the great flood. It is this:
God has planned another day when He will judge the people of the world.
That coming Day of Judgment will be even more terrible than the judgment which came upon Noah’s generation!
Listen to what one of God’s prophets says concerning that final day of judgement. He writes: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away,
and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the books, according to their works … and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-12,15)
Friend, are you confident as you think of that fearful day of judgment?
Have you passed through the door of salvation which God has opened? The Word of God says:
“Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2)
We saw how God patiently appealed to the people of Noah’s day to repent, believe and be saved, but in the end,
He closed the door of salvation.
Whoever refused to enter through the door of the ark faced God’s fierce judgment.
Concerning that coming Day of Judgment when God will judge the world in righteousness, the Scriptures say: “The day of the Lord will come
as a thief in the night.
Or when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with a child, they shall not escape!” (1 Thes. 5:2,3) No one shall escape in that day, except those who have passed through the door of salvation which God has opened for the children of Adam.
Do you know the way of escape that God has provided for you?
Who escaped the judgment of the flood in Noah’s day? Only those who went through the door of the ark! Similarly, concerning the coming judgment day, the Scriptures clearly show us that
God has provided only one door of salvation for the sinful children of Adam.
Do you know about that door of salvation? Then listen to these sure words spoken by the Saviour whom God sent into the world. He said:
“I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved!”
“Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement!” (John 5:24)
Friend, this is where we must stop, but, in future lessons, we will learn much more about this Saviour whom God sent into the world, the One who said,
“I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved!”
May God bless you and teach you as you think about this important question found in His Word:
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3)
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