Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Saturday, October 17, 2009

God's Grace Extended to Noah

HBS Genesis 6:1-22 (Continued)

Lesson 18


Some of you may be wondering why I continue to teach from the book of Genesis.
After all, we are living in the age of grace. Why spend valuable time studying about "the old stuff" when we could be learning about "the new stuff?" My answer is this, "Every Christian needs to hear and they need to understand all of Scripture and not just pieces of it taken from here and there."

YOU MUST LEARN TO SEE THE BIBLE AS A WHOLE.

There are many who ignore teaching the Old Testament all together today.
They say, "The O.T. has nothing to do with the Church Age," so they cast it aside.
Of course, there are quite a few today who ignore certain parts of the New Testament.
I ought to mention them in order to be fair to both sides of the argument.
One particular denomination rejects the book of Revelation for example. They don't include it in their Bible.
They don't believe it, therefore, they don't teach it.

Scripture does not support their views. Please turn to II Timothy.
This is Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, writing around 67-68 AD.

II Timothy 3

16: All (Both the O.T. and the N.T.) Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

17: so that the man
(And the woman) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Please turn to the book of Romans. Again, this is the apostle Paul writing to the believes in Rome.

Romans 15

4: For whatever was written in earlier times
(Paul is speaking of the O.T. writings) was written for (What?) our instruction (Or learning. And here is why.) so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

I don't wish to rush through Bible study and in particular the book of Genesis because we stand to gain so much from the time spent here. For instance, in our last lesson, I showed you the parallel which exists between those days leading up to the Flood and our present day. The people living back then were ungodly and rushing headlong towards judgment, despite the warning signs, and so is our world today. We've come full circle.

Today I want to spend some time speaking about the construction of the Ark, the materials that were used, and why these materials were selected by God. In doing so, I will point out to you the similarities which exist between the Ark of Safety and the Lord Jesus Christ. There may not be time to cover this subject in detail; so I will follow up on this teaching at our next session.

One of my goals is to get you to THINK while you are reading Scripture.
This is where Bible study really begins.
Before you begin to read a portion of the Bible always ask yourself:
1) Who is writing - or speaking?
2) Who are they speaking to?
3) What are the circumstances - it's good to know your history. This helps with your Bible study.

I want you to consider these two questions as we go through our lesson:

a) Why did God elect Noah to be the recipient of His grace?
b) Why didn't God do away with everyone on the planet earth and just start over from scratch?

Let's begin.

Genesis 6

13: Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me;
(God is the only Righteous Judge.) for the earth is filled with violence because of them: and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth."

I've been exposed to more than one teaching as to what the meaning of "with the earth" means.
Some believe this is saying that God intends to use the very thing this wicked generation loved the most to destroy them. These people were certainly materialistic; so why not use the thing they loved more than God to undo them? This sound logical.

The other teaching says God planned to not only destroy all flesh but also the planet itself.
The destruction unleashed upon this planet by God would certainly be enough to take out every creature that breathed air but this act would also eliminate every created thing.
There is scientific evidence to support this theory. We'll look at this evidence in a future lesson.

I may upset some by saying this, but I believe both of these theories are true. I think they are both right.
There is Scriptural evidence to support both of these theories as well. More on this later.

Besides the wickedness and the violence perpetrated by man, what displeased God more than these was their UNBELIEF. There was a time when certain men "called upon the name of the LORD," but no more.
Mankind has forgotten God...except for Noah.

"...I am about to destroy them with the earth."

The forces of nature are subject to God. There is not one thing outside of God's control.
Please turn to the book of Matthew.

Matthew 8

23: When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.

24: And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.

25: And they came to Him and woke Him saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!"

26: He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

27: The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

If you live in Florida, you'll have a healthier respect for hurricanes than most.
Some of you may have even experienced one of these terrible storms in your lifetime.
I have and while at sea. The destroyer I was serving on was three days steaming time from the island of Bermuda when we encountered a category three hurricane. Our warship was tossed around like some child's toy boat in a bathtub. It was downright scary. I understand what Jesus' disciples felt in the midst of this storm at sea. You are utterly helpless while in it.
The power of nature is an awesome thing, but not nearly as awesome as the power of the Creator God.

The violence the LORD GOD unleashed upon this planet in the days of Noah (around 1600 BC) would make a hurricane look like a spring shower in comparison.

Next, we have the LORD GOD giving explicit instructions to Noah on how to construct the Ark.
God leaves nothing to chance.

Some of you may not be aware of this, it was covered in a previous lesson, so it bears repeating.
God is going to destroy the planet with water from above and "from the fountains of the deep."
You need to know that up until this time it has never rained. No one has ever seen rain on the earth.

Please turn to Genesis chapter two.

Genesis 2

5: Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD GOD had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.

6: But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.

N0ah had never seen rain. No one had.
Let's look at another companion verse on this subject. Go to Hebrews chapter eleven.

Hebrews 11

7: By faith, Noah, being warned by God about
(Here it comes) things not yet seen (I believe this is referring to not only the flood waters but also the rain falling from above) in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household; by which He condemned the world, and became an heir of righteousness which is according to faith.

The next item I need to mention is Noah did not live near a seaport. Noah lived on the plains.
Noah was surrounded by dry land. He was told to construct the Ark on dry land.
Can you imagine the verbal abuse he and his family endured while they labored on this project?
It must have been cruel and relentless.

But what did Noah do? Did he argue with God? No!
Noah believed God and went to work building the Ark. Noah put his faith into ACTION!

Genesis 6

14: "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood...;"

When you hear the word ark, what picture comes to mind?
Do you see a cute boat, with a shed-like structure in the middle of the deck, there's a white-haired old man waving, and there's a giraffe peeking out one of the windows near the top of the structure? I bet you do.

That is the typical Sunday School picture that hung on every classroom wall in the children's ministry area. I know. I've put quite a few of them up in my day. But that is not what the ark looked like.

The Ark of Safety - that's what you would call it - was a rectangular box. It looked more like a coffin than it did a boat. The word "Ark" comes from the Latin word "Arca" which means box or chest.
In the trail from Greek to Latin to English we find Noah's Ark and the Ark of the Covenant sharing the same term. Another example would be the basket which was built for the baby Moses before he was placed in the Nile River.

The Ark was built with gopher wood. We know this as cypress wood today.
Cypress wood has the characteristics of being both sturdy and water resistant.
That's why God chose this wood.
God is going to have Noah build the Ark so that it can withstand the tremendous forces of nature.

Know this too, the Ark was not powered because it wasn't going anywhere.
There were no sails, and no rudder for steerage. There were no oars.
The Ark was built to survive. That's all.

God's precise instructions continue.

Genesis 6

14b: you shall make the ark with rooms,

The Ark would have to accommodate Noah, his family, two of every living creature, and their food stores. You may not be aware of this fact, but Noah and his family would be eating the same food the animals ate.
Surprised? (See Genesis 9: 1-3).

The measurements of the Ark were based on the cubit.
There is a short cubit and a long cubit. A cubit is the measurement from a man's forearm to the tip of his middle finger. If we use the short cubit, and the Ark is to be 300 cubits long, then our rectangle would be 450 ft. long and 75 ft. wide. The Ark was to be 45 feet high from top to bottom.

That equals the height of a three story building with 15 ft. ceilings.
Now that's a pretty big box. In order to put this into perspective, a football field is 300 ft. long from goal post to goal post. The Ark was all of that plus 150 ft. more.

Timbers of tremendous size must have been used in the construction of the Ark.
If that is so, Noah and his three sons, even if they worked diligently around the clock, could not have accomplished this enormous task without help.

Evidently, Noah had to hire a lot of this work out to the surrounding communities.
Think. Perhaps part of God's plan was to involve outsiders in the building processes and thereby educating them about the coming judgment. The Bible does not say, but it is conceivable.

Dr. Rehwinkel, a professor of theology at Concordia University in St. Louis, wrote a book titled, "The Flood" and he offers an illustration that ought to make people sit up and take notice.
He said, day in and day out people labored with the sweat of their brow to help build the Ark.
But when the flood came, they were not inside the Ark so they were lost. He goes on to say, today, how many church members are busy working in the church, performing whatever duty they believe they are called to do, such as singing in the choir, working in the kitchen, helping in the parking lot, etc, yet they have never ENTERED into a salvation experience, so when the the day of judgment is upon them, they are not going to be IN the Ark, they are going to be caught OUTSIDE.

So, for Noah and his family the Ark would be their place of refuge.
To escape the flood waters of judgment, it was necessary for them to be inside the Ark.
To experience salvation today, a person must ENTER into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
You do that by believing in His death, burial, and resurrection. (See I Corinthians 15:1-4).

Genesis 6:14c

...and shall cover it inside and out with pitch...

The word pitch in Hebrew = kaw-far. This word means to "cover over" such as a lid and is the word for the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. This word is translated as "pitch" which was spread over the ark inside and outside in order to make it water tight.

This same word "pitch" is also translated as ATONEMENT.
The word atonement is an abstract. In order to understand the true Hebrew meaning of a word; we must look to the concrete meaning. If an offense has been made, the one that has been offended can act as though the offense is "covered over" and therefore unseen. We express this idea through the word of forgiveness today.
Atonement is an outward action that covers over the offense.

The "pitch" of Noah's Ark is a significant type or picture of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Because pitch was tar, it was something that would seal out the water protecting all those inside the Ark.
The flood waters became the waters of judgment. But for those inside the Ark, it was a place of safety.
That pitch or tar kept the flood waters out; so the family inside was kept perfectly safe.

IT WAS NECESSARY FOR NOAH AND HIS FAMILY TO ENTER INTO THE ARK OF SAFETY BACK THEN FOR SALVATION AND IT IS NECESSARY TO ENTER INTO A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR SALVATION TODAY.

Just as Noah and his family were saved from the waters of judgment by being inside the Ark all those who are in Christ Jesus are saved today. How save are we?

Romans 8

38: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

39 nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

At the beginning of this lesson, there were two questions I wanted you to think about.
Why did God elect Noah?
Why didn't God destroy every living thing and start over?

From our lesson two weeks ago, the Bible informs us that "Noah walked with God."
This bit of information tells us much if you are willing to dig a little deeper.

Noah lived in a generation in which it seemed that everything had gone downhill (sound familiar?) and it had.
Violence had increased to the point that it filled the earth. It wasn't safe to walk the roads alone.
Sexual promiscuity was rampant. But Noah did not allow the wickedness of those around him to distract him from serving God. He was not a follower of God in name only. Rather, Noah walked with God and God walked with Noah. They had a relationship that was so important to God that He refused to destroy the whole earth without giving Noah a chance to save his family by building an Ark. Noah's obedience did save not only his life and the lives of his family members, but also the hope of future generations.

And that last sentence answers question number two for us.

Why didn't God do away with everyone and just start over?
Because God promised to redeem His lost creation.

Back in our study of Genesis chapter three we have the first prophetic statement from God. Let's review it.

Genesis 3

15: And I
(God) will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He (The Redeemer) shall bruise your head (Speaks of a mortal wound) And you (The devil) shall bruise Him on the heel (Speaks of non-lethal wound).

God said from the seed of the woman My Redeemer will come.
In Him alone, is the hope of salvation for all mankind.
However, for this to happen, Adam and Eve's bloodline had to continue.
If God ended all life, then His word would be worth nothing.
Throughout Scripture we find God retaining a remnant of believers who have been set apart from the unbelieving world around them for His purpose.

Let's look at one example.

I Kings 19

13: When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

14: Then he said, "I have been zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenants, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Elijah thought he was the last believer in all of Israel. All the others were dead and he is next. Skip down to verse eighteen.

18: (This is the LORD speaking) "Yet I will leave (How many?) 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."

It is estimated at this time in history there were approximately 7,000,000 Jews living in Israel.
7,000 of these Jews were still faithful to God.
Now that is not very many considering, but there never has been a great multitude following God at any time in history. Believes have always been in the minority.
So keep this in mind. When it comes to matters of faith, the majority don't get it.

So, that answers the two questions introduced earlier in this lesson.

Genesis 6

15: "This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits."

16: "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks."

17: "Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything of life, that is on the earth shall perish."

18: "But I will establish My covenant with you."

We will discuss covenants later on in our Bible study, but please know this.
A covenant is something God makes with man. It is not something man makes with God.
Therefore, once God establishes a covenant, it is unbreakable.

There are many covenants in Scripture.
God's covenant with Noah is called the Noahic Covenant.

God promised Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood.
A rainbow was placed in the sky to remind man of this promise from God.

Genesis 6

18: "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife, and your son's wives with you."

19: "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female."

20: "Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will (Now watch this) come to you to keep them alive."

I've heard many people teach that Noah and his sons had to go out and "fetch these animals" in order to save them. That's not what this verse is saying. Look again at the text.

...two of every kind WILL COME TO YOU...

Noah didn't have to go out and trap these animals. The animals came to him. Every living thing, after its kind, came to the place where the Ark of Safety was being built. They came to Noah.
Hard to believe? Let's check Scripture.

Back in Genesis chapter two there is a similar event recorded for us.
God brought every living creature to Adam so he could give them a name.

Genesis 2

19: Out of the ground the LORD GOD formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky,
(Now read carefully) and brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

This doesn't say that Adam had to go searching for these creatures in order to name them.
No. God brought the creatures to Adam. All right then, the situation is the same with Noah.
Noah didn't go out and trap these animals in order to get them into the ark.
God brought every living creature, after its kind, to Noah.

That being the case, this was one more warning sign to the inhabitants of the world.
Think. People are going about their business, ignoring God, and sinning in abundance, when all of a sudden they look up and see two elephants coming up the road being followed by two rhinos.
The stop and stare at the spectacle until the animals are out of sight. But they notice more and more of these strange animals arriving day and night by twos; and they are all headed for the same place. Noah's! HELLO!

Genesis 6

21: "As for you, take for yourself some of the food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them."

22: Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Twice in this last verse we see that Noah put his faith into action.
Faith is simply taking God at His word.

If we are right with God, there is a way out of every problem that we encounter.
Our Ark of Safety is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And this Ark of Safety saved Noah and his family, Jesus Christ will save us and our families.

One thing that really concerns me today is that we are not "building" and ark as God commanded Noah to do. Some are being saved, but very few are shoring up the sides and thoroughly preparing for the day of trouble. Noah was not saved from the flood, he was saved in it. Today we have a Brill Cream Religion - a little dab will do you. What do I mean by that?

God gets about an hour on Sunday of half-hear ted worship and then most of the Christian world is done for the week. They return to the world and their lives until next Sunday where the process begins again. Noah had an attribute that many could take a lesson from today. He listened to God and he took instruction well.

So many of us will not SLOW DOWN enough to hear God speak, and even they do, they seldom listen. This is a generation that does not like to be instructed by God.
My how sinful patterns repeat.

Our hearing apparatus in the heart is coated over with cares and concerns of this world.
How many people even bother to read God's word - it is one form of fellowship you know?

People we must get into God's word.
I hear people say, "I don't understand the Bible."
I'm offering to help. But it takes a bit of effort.

PLEASE KNOW THE BEST TREASURES ARE NOT ALWAYS FOUND ON THE SURFACE.
MOST OFTEN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE TIME TO "DIG A LITTLE DEEPER."












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