Sunday, January 8, 2017

Yes and Noah

For our passage, let’s look at Genesis 6:22:

Noah did everything just as God commanded him

Things to think about:
  • Let’s look at a few other passages where Noah is called by name:
    • Genesis 6:9  - “...Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
    • Genesis 7:5 - "And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.”
    • Genesis 7:9 - “...male and female came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah”
    • Genesis 7:16 - “The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah”
    • Our focus verse in 6:22 is preceded by the instructions to build the ark and fill it with the animals, his family, and food.
      • Bonus question: do you know how long it took to build the ark?
  • You don’t have to be a Big Data expert to see the pattern here!
    • Noah followed God’s commands to the letter, consistently, over time
    • We don’t see that he questioned, argued, negotiated or anything else.  He "did everything just as God commanded him."
  • I believe there are three factors at work here that we can all learn from
    • Faith
    • Obedience
    • Character
  • Faith
    • This is the Why
    • In Hebrews 11:1 it says that “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for, the assurance of things not seen.”
    • In Hebrews 11:7, Noah is commended for his faith, "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”
    • Noah spent 120 years building an ark in a desert because he believed in God and His righteousness.
    • What social pressures do you think Noah might have been facing?
      • When do you feel like an ark out of water in our culture?
  • Obedience
    • This is the What
    • The crux of the issue here is to apply what we say we know and believe.   We do not suffer from a lack of information. 
      • Mark Twain is famously quoted as having said, "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”"
    • We saw above how many times it says Noah did as God commanded. 
    • As a counterpoint to Noah’s obedience, see King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22
      • But Samuel replied (to King Saul): “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
      • Sometimes our “sacrifices" are really works trying to mask disobedience
    • Why do you think obedience is more valued than sacrifice?
  • Character
    • This is the Who
    • Who we REALLY are is the sum total of our actions. Character is built over time. It’s not what you say or even portray (sorry, social media), it’s about what you do consistently over time.  
      • Romans 5:4 says that perseverance produces character
    • Why does character development take time?
    • Who do you know that you would say personifies Godly character?
  • Payoff
    • We read in Genesis 9:1 that after this crazy ordeal with 120 years of preparation and over a year on the ark, “Then God blessed Noah and his sons…”
    • We saw in Hebrews that "he became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith."
    • Going back to Romans 5, in verse 5 the dividend of Character is Hope
      • "And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
  • How does Noah’s story inspire you?  Challenge you?

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