Genesis 7:6-12, 17-24; 8:1-5, 13-19
1. Biblical truth in a sanitised world (v6-10)
This is not a kid story; it’s a brutal story. Something in us, each of us, just doesn’t want to deal with death. The Bible is the most honest and the only perfect book ever written, and at those moments of human frailty and depravity and sickness, rather than panning away, it focuses in with a close-up shot, and it forces us to see things as they truly are. And it’s doing so not to mortify us and also not just for some sort of sick pleasure, but it does so to sober us so that we’ll deal rightly with God.
2. All creation obeys God (v11-24)
The animals obey God. Noah and his family obey God. The only thing in the story that doesn’t obey God is the people. People don’t obey God. That was the problem in the beginning; it’s the problem right up to the bitter end. Forty days and forty nights, the rain comes. The water rises slowly….. This is the point when you all want me to change the topic. This is the point when you want me to tell you happy things. This is why we don’t show beheadings on television. This is why we don’t like carnage on our nightly news. That’s why in our nation, we live in a fairy tale Disneyland where no one gets sick and no one dies and no one suffers, and nothing bad ever happens. Paul in Romans 1 says that we indeed suppress the truth and the unrighteousness of our deeds. We just don’t want to be caught. We just want to keep sinning.
The point is that we feel offended, but it was God who felt offended first. That we are broken-hearted, but it is God who was broken-hearted first. God is not capricious. God is not bad. God is not like us. You and I will all die. All God did is he set the day of death as the same day, so that we would make note of it. That we wouldn’t pan away at that moment of trauma. That we would see that death is the destiny of every man. That as Hebrews says, “It is appointed once for us each to die.”
3. Worship is our first response to God’s saving grace (8.1-19)
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing can take us from the hand of God. Even when we are faithless, God is faithful, if you are a child of God. If you belong to God, God is good and God is faithful. And God is good to Noah. He remembers his promise. The principle is simply this: Destruction comes quickly. Restoration, redemption and renewal takes time. The first thing Noah does when he gets off the boat, he worships God. His first priority, his highest value, his most urgent and pressing need is to worship God.
Jesus picks up the story of Noah in Matthew 24 and what he says is, “Just as in the days of Noah, so it will be when I come again.” The Bible says that no one knows the hour or the day of his second great coming. Genesis isn’t just about what happened. It’s about what always happens. We’re here today to worship, not to lay down an animal but to do what Romans 12:1 says, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God, as a spiritual act of worship. We give ourselves.