Christ, the Ark of God’s Grace (Genesis 6-9)



 

2012-10-07 Christ, the Ark of God’s Grace | Genesis 6-9

 

Saved by grace for a life of obedience

Protected by grace for a life of worship

Preserved by grace for a life of witness

 

In Christ, the believer is called saved by grace, protected by grace and preserved by grace even as Noah in his day

 

Saved by grace for a life of obedience

In a time when the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, and the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.  So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” However, one man was different from the rest humanity. Of one man it was said, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (6.5-8). As a result of God’s grace it was said that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (v9). This does not mean that Noah did anything to earn God’s favor or that he never sinned. It simply means that Noah was given God’s gracious gift of salvation and therefore he believed God even when surrounded by evil on every side. (God caused Noah to be different from those around him.) As the angel later said to Mary who would become the mother of Jesus, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (Luk 1:30 ESV) Mary was not sinless either, but like Noah, God had chosen her from before the foundation of the world to believe in him and to carry out a great mission like Noah, her ancestor before her. Jesus, like his mother Mary and like his ancestor Noah, received God’s favor. At his baptism in the Jordan River, and again at his transfiguration, his heavenly Father’s voice spoke words of favor, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well-pleased.”

 

How do we know this? What is the evidence that Noah had received the gift of salvation?  It was Noah’s response. He obeyed. For one hundred years, whatever God told him to do, he did it. God told him to build an ark more than 400 feet long and 75 feet wide that would displace over 200,000 tons. He was told to gather every kind of animal and bird on earth and to gather food for their extended journey. Verse 22 reports Noah’s response to this monumental task. “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” After hearing the news of the impending world-wide flood and how he should prepare, it is said again, “And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.” (7.5). Not a word is recorded from Noah during this time, simply a response of obedience. Neither did Mary complain about the monumental task that had been given to bear the son of God in her womb. Rather, “she pondered these things in her heart.” Nor did her son Jesus issue complaining words years later when he faced death on a cross. Instead he simply obeyed, saying, “not my will by Thy will be done.” (REF?)

 

 

God was not only preparing the ark through Noah, he was preparing Noah for the ark with a promise

 

-Noah chosen, 7.1. see translations, not “because you are righteous,” not a declarative or causative, but a prospective statement – a forecasting

Gen. 7:1 (ESV) ¶ Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.

(Hamilton) …Go…into the ark, for I have chosen you, a righteous person in this generation.

Cf. 1 Sam. 16:1 (ESV) ¶ The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

-I will establish my covenant with you, 6.18

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Noah was not only saved by grace, he was protected by grace.

Protected by grace for a life of worship

Before God closed the door of the ark and the flood engulfed them, God promised his protection to Noah and his family and the animals by means of a covenant. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you and all the animals. (Gen. 6:18ff) Just as God also clothed Adam and Eve with skins before banishing them from the garden, and just as God put a mark of protection on Cain before sending into the world as a fugitive (Gen. 4:12-16), God made provision for Noah to survive the coming flood by means of the ark.

Yet Noah must have felt very alone when the deed was done, after God had “blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens… Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24  And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.” (vv23-24) He must have wondered when help would come to rescue him from the watery grave that surrounded him. Here we find another “but” which contrasts God’s judgment against evil with his protecting grace toward Noah – “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.” (8.1) One commentator says, “When all appears helpless God intervenes to prevent tragedy.” Likewise, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19.29 we read, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. Likewise, God remembered Israel in Egypt and delivered them through the waters of the Red Sea. As we read earlier in 1 Peter 3.20-21, we are saved “through” the waters of baptism. That is, we symbolically pass through the waters of death into new life. Like Noah’s family that day who entered the ark AFTER the rains began (7.11-13), because of God’s protecting grace, we get soaked, but we don’t drown. Jesus also passed through the waters of death into life because of God’s protecting grace. One day, the fires of judgment will sweep away the sin of this world, but those who trust in Christ, will pass through that fire untouched just as Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. (Dan. 3:23-26)

 

–Noah’s response after deliverance – he worshiped, whole-hearted worship – thanksgiving, etc. what did X do after resurrection?

Delivering grace; Grace to finish: Protected by grace: finding safety in the coming judgment: the consummation; protecting grace

Gen. 8:20-22 (ESV) ¶ Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.  While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

 

God’s cleansing and judgment in the flood. 7.11

 

God’s ark of safety in X,

1 Co. 1:18 (ESV) ¶ For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Jn. 3:16 (ESV) ¶ “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Acts 4:12 (ESV) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Col. 3:3 (ESV) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Preserved by grace for a life of witness

 

God preserves even though still deserving judgment

8.20-22, 9.14, Altho evil continues (in them) I will never again destroy by flood

Gen. 9:14 (ESV) When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,

-sign of rainbow like sign of Passover (Exo 12.13); God backs up his word with acts “to remind himself”

-cursing and blessing (Noah’s first words) of Ham, Shem, Jappeth prophetic announcement of relationship bt Israel and their foes (sons of Adam and sons of serpent; see 3.15; 4.26; preserving of the line of X in spite of continuing sin

Gen. 3:15 (ESV) I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Gen. 4:26 (ESV) To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.

– God announces what is on the verge of doing – 9.9, will do – 9.11, has done – 9.17

–Noah’s response – failure and a prophetic anncmt re the continuing conflict and domination bt sons of Adam and serpent; X victorious

 

Daily grace; Enduring grace; Grace to endure: Preserved by grace: the promise of to the end: finding grace in the daily grind; the continuation; preserving grace;

            Noah’s altar a pleasing aroma (gratitude for salvation) the once for all atoning sacrifice to which it pointed, 8.21\

God’s sign of the covenant, to remind himself?, 9.13-16

Tit. 2:11 (ESV) ¶ For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, \

Eph. 2:7 (ESV) so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

            Noah’s failure and God’s sustaining grace, 9.20ff

 

 

 

Saving grace                       Grace to begin:   Saving grace                       inauguration

Delivering grace                Grace to finish:   Protecting grace                 Finding safety in the coming judgment              Enduring grace                  Grace to endure:                Preserving grace                Finding grace for the daily grind                  The continuation

 

 

 

 

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