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Noah and the Genesis 6-9 Story

The Voice completely changed Noah’s life. One moment he’s heading to market the next God is telling him that everything is about to die.

The {{Genesis 6}} story tells us of the Sons of God marrying the daughters of men—but what did Noah know of all that? Did he wonder if Sethites were supposed to marry Cainites or if a line of demon-possessed Kings had multiple wives or if angels took human form and had relations with humans? None of that mattered since it didn’t play much in Noah’s story at all. The issue was that the earth was filled with violence and God had had enough.Noah wasn’t in the halls of heaven when God looked down and saw the wickedness of men and the intents of men’s hearts—he was down here with the rest of us; working, eating, drinking and raising a family. Noah didn’t hear God feeling sorry for creating man—all he knew was the voice and the pronouncement.

“Why tell me?” he might think. “What’s the point—there’ll be no witnesses after we’re all destroyed!”

But God hadn’t finished speaking. “Make yourself an ark of these dimensions that I’m going to give you because when I raise the flood waters on the earth I will kill all living things on it. Then, I will establish my covenant with you, your sons, your wife and your daughter in laws and two of every kind of animal: male and female to keep them alive. Pack food. You’ll need it.”

“This is the kind of God who metes out punishment and also shows mercy.” thought Noah “The kind of God who protects those that trust in Him.”

With updated shopping list in hand he continued on to the market.

I doubt any of the questions playing in Noah’s head had to do with the Nephalim’s identity or the greatness of the epic heroes. His questions were more along the line of “When is this going to happen?” since he didn’t have a clue when this flood would hit and he didn’t have a text in front of him to argue if 120 years meant lifespan or time to floodwaters nor did he have a stopwatch to know when God made the pronouncement in heaven (20, 15, 5 years before his sons were born?). All he knew is that he had to get cracking; judgment was imminent.

And that cracking consisted of: “How many nails does someone need to build something that is 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high with 3 decks inside? That’s roughly thirty three thousand square feet per deck; basically the square footage of nearly 2 football fields. Okay, we’ll need lots of nails…and lots of wood too. Need to get the Boys involved in this…”

Frantic Noah
Spying neighbors would catch fleeting glances of crazy Old Noah, fretting to and fro with pieces of gopher wood and buckets of pitch. The old man’s house started to sound like a farm as Old Noah would be seen chasing down a puppy or climbing up trees to acquire baby doves. Little did his neighbors know that he had to make sure that he got all the animals that God asked him to get even though he didn’t have a clue how he would do it. Worst, thought the Neighbors, was whenever he would walk by with wild eyes telling people that “Judgment is coming! Judgment is coming!” Crazy talk all that—who needs to hear of judgment when dinner needs cooking and work has got to be done!

The second time the Voice spoke, it still made him jump but this time it was with the impending feeling that the time had come. Clean animals, seven of each, male and female; unclean animals, two of each, male and female…in SEVEN DAYS!

Talk about deadlines. Seven days to gather together all the clean animals by sevens (that he would even know what that is before the Law is striking) but there he goes listening to every word and making sure he follows it just right. God already said he would save him—and he knew it—but he had a duty to do what God told him to do!

With his clean animal babies entering into the ark and scratching his head on how he was going to get the rest of the animals inside, Noah saw a long string of animals going off into the distant horizon—were they babies as well?—walking by pairs toward the finished ark..

“How did they know?” Noah thought “Ah, this is a God who plans things out and gets personally involved in them.”

The Rain Falls
Then, on the seventh day, that first ominous drop of rain came careening down from heaven and plopped on the nose of his upturned face. “Odd,” he thought “How something so monumental can happen with so little people caring.”

His neighbors were going to a wedding. Down the road there was some riot or another. There was talk of new job opportunities and even a battle or two out East. Noah went inside the ark.

As he turned and looked out of the open door two things struck him: One) It’s really going to happen, this is it and Two) how do we close the door? The rain was starting to come down harder now and probably some people were laughing it up outside thinking how great it is to have a good rainfall but each drop was a missed beat of Noah’s heart.

Then the door shut. He didn’t do it. His boys didn’t do it. In that dark ark, their bald eyes staring at the miraculous sealing the thought echoed in his head “God is personally involved in judging and saving!”

It rained. The floodgates opened wide and the waters raised the ark high over the mountains. The animals all about were either screaming in fear or asleep, hibernating through this rough storm as Noah and family wondered how they would get through this all alive. They heard nothing but the judgment torrentially pouring down for forty days. Then silence on the seas for 150 days.

“Will God forget that he planned to save us? Will God continue with his judgment?” Noah might have asked himself but God remembered of His own accord. His word stands. The waters began to recede.

Leaving The Ark
Noah went upstairs and opened the window and sent out a raven but it never came back. It had plenty to eat—flying from here to there and eating anything that floats. Then he got one of his doves, the valley dwelling bird, and sent that out but she came back because she had no place to Land. The second time he sent the dove out she came back with some leaves so he knew the waters were low but still no place for the dove to call home. The last time he sent her out she didn’t come back all—she found a place to live.

This was a sure sign that it was safe to go outside. A sure sign that the waters had receded far enough to walk on dry land!

But there was no way he was leaving the ark until God gave him the go-ahead. So far he’s learned that what God says will happen, that God judges and shows mercy, that God gets personally involved in ensuring salvation—no reason to not bank on him now when He’s brought him thus far. He wasn’t so foolish to think that he trusted on God for his salvation that now he doesn’t need Him for his daily living.

But God told him to come out and Noah was grateful, honored and immensely thankful. He quickly took some of the clean animals and offered up a sacrifice to the God who saved him, who was merciful to a lump of clay.

His salvation had nothing to do with how perfect his trust was or how well he managed to build the ark. In the end, God was the one who secured everything—he got the animals, he locked the door, he made the water fall and he made it recede and he made promises that Noah could bank on because God has proved Himself utterly reliable. Under that sort of God, the righteous—those that God says are righteous—shall survive when they trust Him!

The rest of the Genesis series.

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