Below is a portion of the lesson I taught my Life Group this week:
In Genesis 6:6 we see that God was sorry He had made man. It says His heart was grieved. Now don’t think for a moment that God was taken by surprise by any of this. He knew He would have to send Jesus. But the fact that Scripture tells us that God’s heart was grieved should grieve our hearts. God is not an unfeeling God. Even though He knew man would make the wrong choice, the fact remains that we have a loving God and a God that has feelings.
BUT then in verse 8 we read these words, “But Noah“. God found one man and his family and He was pleased with them. Noah found grace in the eyes of God. Verse 9 tells us that Noah was a righteous man. This makes me put our names in these verses. Could God say of us that we are righteous, that we are blameless in His sight? Could God say that about our families? Could God find a remnant in us? Ladies, don’t ever forget that God ALWAYS has a remnant.
The fact that God was so grieved that He had to wipe out everything on the Earth, made me ask why did God just flood the Earth? I had the overwhelming realization that God could have destroyed the entire Earth. I don’t mean just flood it and kill everything on it, I mean TOTAL destruction. He certainly had been given every reason to do so. I think we forget that the Earth is just one planet in a solar system of many. God made all the planets, all the stars and galaxies. There are things in and about space we can’t wrap our heads around. Yet, God chose to make the planet Earth, He chose to make a habitable place. Do we really grasp that He could have chosen to go back to the way things were before the Earth was formed? Remember “in the beginning God”? Well, God was here, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were with Him. There was no sin, no corruption. Everything was perfect and there was peace. BUT God wanted to make the Earth, He wanted to make us in His image. He wanted to “dwell” with us! He wanted us!!! So, that, THAT is the reason why He didn’t wipe the Earth out completely. We are why He did it all over again. We are why He chose a remnant named Noah. We are why He sent Jesus. This should cause your gratitude to go up several notches. This should cause you to never doubt your worth to God ever again. This should cause you to be thankful to be alive.
Now as we move on we see that God told Noah to build the Ark. He said, “make yourself” in verse 14. The ark was a God assigned project for Noah. God could have done it without Noah but He chose to include Noah in His perfect will. God didn’t need Noah, but Noah needed God. God gives us assignments today. He isn’t going to do our assignments for us.
God didn’t tell Noah why He wanted to build the Ark, He just told Noah to build it. The God of the Universe takes Noah into His counsel. He tells Noah He is going to destroy everything. Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret of the Lord is with those that fear Him.”
God gave Noah alot of specifics about building the Ark, but He didn’t do it for Him. So often, I think this is a problem for us. We know God doesn’t really need us for anything so I think we place expectations or tasks on Him that He has called us to carry out. When He calls us, we must go. When He tells us to do something we must obey. We can’t just hit the panic button and expect God to do everything for us. Instead we should see it as such a privilege to get to be on mission with God, to get to get up every day with a “to do” list from God. We need to do a little soul searching and see what our God given assignments are. Remember these can change from time to time and don’t ever forget that the enemy will do everything possible to get us off track. He never wants us to complete our lists. “But with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Consider also that God is the maker of the Covenant. He knows we can’t keep covenant so it would be foolish to let us initiate one. God always makes good on His Covenants. His Covenants are everlasting. He is not capable of breaking a Covenant, it would go completely against His nature. God is NOT a man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19)
Matthew Henry’s commentary brings up another fascinating point……”God could have secured Noah and his family by using His ministering angels”. Noah could have avoided all the care, pain, trouble and persecution, but GOD CHOSE to employ Noah in making the very thing that would be his salvation from the storm and rising flood waters. God did this to test Noah’s faith and obedience to Him. This is such a foreshadowing of Christ and the salvation He offers us. We can’t save ourselves but God WILL NOT force salvation upon us. Noah could have refused and he would have drown with everyone else. God chose Noah, and Noah chose God. Noah accepted the invitation to be saved and to work alongside God for the remainder of his life. Was it easy? No! Did Noah get tired? I am sure he did! Did he get laughed at, ridiculed, mocked and shamed? Yes, he did. And so did Jesus.
The same is true for us. Will we cooperate with God in our salvation? Will we say yes and then “build the Ark?” Will we keep building until our work is done? Will we get up every day and put the hammer in one hand and the nail in the other? Will we keep at it when we have no idea when it will be finished? Will we keep at it when we don’t have a clue as to how the whole thing will work out? Will we keep at it when the advice of all the people around us is to throw in the towel and quit?
Jesus Christ is our Ark. He is the safe place we run into. He is our shelter and our hiding place. He is the Savior of the world to all who will come in. He is our refuge and our fortress. He is our Deliverer. He keeps us afloat and gets us to the other side. He stands at the door of our heart and knocks. He would like to be invited in. The most amazing thing happens when we say yes to Jesus. GOD shuts the door (Genesis 7:16), and we are saved.