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015 Noah and the Faithfulness of God

‘And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark … and the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat’ Gen. 8:1,4

Key Verse:

‘If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself’

(2 Tim. 2:13)

(Genesis 8, 9)

In this lesson we will finish the story of God’s prophet, Noah. First let us review what we have learned in the past two lessons about Noah and the great flood. In chapter six of the book of Genesis, we saw that the wickedness of man was very great in the time of Noah; every desire of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil. This is why God purposed to bring a flood upon the earth to wipe out every sinner who refused to turn from his sin and

turn to the true and living God.

In that crooked and evil generation, only one man pleased God. That man was Noah. Noah trusted God and loved Him. That is why, one day, God spoke to Noah, and commanded him to build a great ark (boat), which would be a refuge for him, his family and many animals so that they could escape the flood. For around one hundred years, Noah, along with his family, was building the ark and exhorting the people to repent and believe the word of God. Yet no one paid attention to the preaching of Noah.

No one really believed what Noah was telling them about the coming flood!

Anyway, a day came when the ark was ready. The hour for God to judge this evil world had arrived. God had been patient with those who laughed for a long time, but now His patience had run out. Thus, the LORD told Noah to enter the ark with his family and take with him seven males and seven females of every kind of clean animal {fit for sacrifice}, and two of each unclean animal, a male and a female. Noah and his family and the animals entered the ark as God had ordered and the Scriptures say:

“Then the LORD shut them in.”

God, who had opened the door of salvation for the children of Adam, was also the One who closed it. The day of God’s mercy was gone;

the day for His fearsome wrath had arrived!

Then came the lightning, thunder and violent shaking of the earth. Heavy rains fell, causing a great flood. Everyone fled, seeking to go up into the mountains, but no one could escape from God’s holy wrath! Those who had mocked Noah and rejected God’s word, now knew the truth but now it was too late! The time of salvation was past.

God had shut the door.

For forty days and nights rain poured down from the sky and springs gushed up from the earth until even the mountains were covered. But

the ark floated on top of the water.

The Scripture says: 

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 every living thing was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the face of the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Gen. 7:21,23)

Thus, the Scripture records that God carried out the punishment just as He had promised. Everyone outside the ark perished.

God is faithful to keep His word.

What happened to those inside the ark? Did God forget Noah and his family? God, who feeds the birds of the air, and not one of them falls to the earth except that He wills it, did not forget them. Let us read what is written in the Scriptures: 

“And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided … And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.” (Gen. 8:1,4)

Thus we see that

God remembered Noah and those who were with him inside the ark.

He sent a wind to blow over the earth so that the waters would retreat. God guided the ark so that it came to rest on a high mountain named Ararat. After Noah and his family had been in the ark for one year and a week, much of the water which had covered the earth had dried up. Thus God said to Noah, 

“Leave the ark, you and your wife, your sons and their wives.” 

So

Noah and his family went out of the ark,

as did all the animals. When he had gone out, he built an altar, took some of the clean animals and birds and offered them to the Lord on the altar as a burnt offering.

Did you hear what Noah first did after he left the ark?

He sacrificed some innocent animals,

burning them on an altar he built. God had not abolished His law which stated: “Without shedding of blood is no remission of sin.” (Heb. 9:22)

While the great flood destroyed most of the sinners from off the face of the earth,

it did not destroy the root of sin

that remained in the hearts of the children of Adam. That is why Noah and his descendants had to continue offering to God sacrifices for sin. As we have seen, such animal sacrifices were

the foundation of the way of salvation

that God had commanded. The sacrifices that our ancestors slaughtered in early times, symbolised {illustrated} the Redeemer who was to come and shed His own blood to pay the debt of sin for Adam’s descendants. That is why, when Noah left the ark, the first thing he did was to shed animal blood, thus showing his children and grandchildren that the laws of God had not changed – that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) and “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” (Heb. 9:22)

Thus, the Scriptures say: “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour . . . And

God blessed Noah and his sons,

and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth … And I, behold, I will establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you … And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, this is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

I do set my bow in the cloud,

and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Gen. 8:21; 9:1,9,11-15).

In the verses we have just read, there is a word which God repeated five times to Noah. Did you hear it? The word is

covenant.”

In the Word of God, a covenant is a special promise made by God to man.

God is the Keeper of covenants.

God is faithful, and He wants to show His faithfulness to the sons of Adam! That is why, in His goodness, He established a covenant with Noah and those who descended from Him saying, “the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” That is what God promised. He did not limit His promise to mere words, but

He confirmed it by putting His rainbow in the clouds.

Did you know that the beautiful rainbow that we see sometimes in the clouds after it has rained is a sign which declares

the faithfulness of God?

Every time we see a rainbow in the clouds, God wants to remind us of His faithfulness that endures from generation to generation. God put the rainbow in the clouds

to confirm His covenant

in which He promised that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy all life. Truly, God is the Keeper of covenants!

He is faithful!

Concerning the rest of Noah’s life, there are other events of which we could speak, but we do not have the time. You can read them for yourselves, however, in the book of Genesis, chapter nine.

You will see that after the flood,

Noah lived another 350 years,

and when he was very old he went to be with the Lord on high.

In summary, perhaps we can conclude our study about God’s prophet, Noah, with a question or two. What was the difference between Noah and the people of his time? What did Noah do to please God? He did simply one thing.

Noah believed the word of God.

That is why Noah did not perish with the people of his generation. Listen to what God Himself has testified about Noah: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of all things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith”. But “without faith it is impossible to please him (God).” (Heb 11:7,6)

Before we finish, there are two thoughts which we must keep in our minds. We have just considered the first of these two thoughts. What made Noah pleasing to God?

His faith.

Noah believed God;

he believed what God said.

Noah had confidence in the LORD and obeyed His word even when all others around him rejected it. It was Noah’s faith that caused God to deliver him from the evil generation in which he lived. You who are studying this lesson,

Do you truly believe what God has said?

God’s will for each of us is that

we believe His Word as Noah did.

The second thing we must remember from the story of Noah is even more important than Noah’s faith. Do you know what it is? It is

God’s faithfulness.

Why is God’s faithfulness more important than Noah’s faith? Because

if God was not faithful to keep His covenants and promises,

the faith that Noah had in Him would be of no benefit.

We all know what happens when we put our trust in someone who does not keep his promise. Suppose you have a friend who promises you: “Tomorrow I will bring you a sack of rice.” You believe him;

you have faith in him.

What happens if he does not bring it? You will be disappointed (and perhaps hungry)! The faith that you had in your friend was worthless.

Why?

Because your friend did not do what he had promised. You trusted someone who was unfaithful.

It is not like that with God.

The Scriptures say: 

“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13) 

“For all flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man like the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and its flower falleth away, but the word of the Lord endureth forever … and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (1 Pet. 1:24,25; 2:6)

Yes, “God is faithful!” (1 Cor. 1:9)

He will do what He has promised!

In the story of Noah we clearly see how

God did everything that He promised.

We read how God saved everyone who was inside the ark and judged everyone who was outside, just as He had promised. We also saw how God forgave Noah his sins because he offered up the blood of an animal as a sacrifice,

just as God had told him to do.

We also learned how God placed His rainbow in the clouds so that Noah and all people would not forget that

“God is faithful!”

Oh, dear student, you may forget some of the points we have considered in this lesson, but will you please not forget this:

God is Faithful!

He cannot go back on His Word. He does what He promises, even if it seems He is slow in doing so. 

“God is faithful. . . . … and he that believeth on him shall not be disappointed.” (1 Cor. 1:9; 1 Pet. 2:6)

Let us then believe Him and accept His Word with humility.

And may we benefit from the story of the prophet Noah and the great flood—by doing like Noah who believed the Word of God when everyone around him refused to believe it and were destroyed.

This is where we must stop. In our next lesson, God willing, we will see what became of Noah’s descendants and learn where the many languages of the world come from.

God bless you as you remember this truth from His Word: “God is faithful … and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” (1 Cor. 1:9; 1 Pet. 2:6)

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