Genesis 029 – God’s ProvisionGenesis 6:14-22 • Dr. Andy Woods • March 21, 2021 • Genesis
Genesis #029 – Gods Provision –
Dr. Andrew Woods –
Let’s take our Bibles this morning and open them up to the Book of Genesis, Chapter 6:14. The title of our message this morning is God’s Provision. I want to thank Pastor Gabe for teaching last week and before that, Pastor Rokser which kind of sounds like rock star, and I say that because he’s gotten a ton of views on our stats. So instead of Rokser, you can call him rock star for short. But today, you’re stuck with me.
We have been in the book of Genesis. Genesis chapters 1-11 is dealing with the beginning of the human race, and it features four major events, three of which we’ve covered:
- Creation — Genesis 1-2
- The Fall. How God’s original design for man was marred by man. And yet there’s hope, as we have studied, of a coming Messiah revealed very early in the Bible.
- And then as humanity begins to progress, we move into the third major event in Genesis 1-11, which is the Flood. We’ve seen in Genesis 6, God’s grief, God’s grace, and God’s prophesied destruction.
And now we move into the last part of the chapter, Lord willing, I’d love to finish it today. But some of you are laughing, saying that will never happen, which is God’s instruction. In Genesis 6, if you were to step back and take away two major things, these would be the two takeaways:
Number one is the corruption of man in Noah’s Day and Noah’s “perfection.” Satan did everything he could to corrupt the human race, but God preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness. From Noah’s preservation, the Messianic line leading to Jesus will continue. You see all of that in Genesis 6:1-13.
And what we have a description of as we round off Genesis 6 is now the construction of the Ark, the building of the Ark:
- Its structure 6:14-16.
- The reason for the ark 6:17-18.
- There’s a lot of information here about the animals placed on the ark in 6:19-20.
- The food on the Ark. The Bible even comments on that in 6:21.
- And really the whole thrust of this is the obedience of Noah, who did exactly what God told him to do when his senses were probably saying that obeying God is ridiculous at this point in 6:22.
Let’s start with the structure, and notice, if you will, Genesis 6:14 with God speaking to Noah: “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” I’ve often wondered what gopher wood was. Noah had three sons and he probably told one of his sons, ‘Well, go, go get this. Go for this, go for that.’ So, they called it gopher wood. Uh, see, that’s the problem—when I go to conferences, I pick up all these bad jokes that I want to use on somebody.
But what’s very interesting here in 6:15, notice the dimensions of the ark. It says, “And this is how thou shalt make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.” Now, most commentators believe that a cubit generally is the length from the tip of one’s middle finger to the elbow; you can find that measurement in various cultures of the ancient Near East. If that is accurate, we have the dimensions of the ark. The ark was 450 ft long, 75 ft wide and 45 ft high. It was capable of housing or holding 125,000 animals. Keep that number, 125,000, in your mind for a little bit. So, this ark was massive. Now you say, ‘Well, wait a minute, Pastor, I’m looking at your picture there, and I see cars in the parking lot.’ And of course, this is a replica of Noah’s ark put together by Answers in Genesis, where we went and toured. It was an awesome thing to take our youth group through it. And I joined the youth group for that trip because I wanted to go, too. And it’s just an awesome thing walking into that and seeing how it could have conceivably looked and worked.
Now, the reason these dimensions are important is because there are a lot of people today that are teaching a local flood theory. I’ve made reference to this before. They don’t think the flood of Noah’s Day covered the globe. They have different names for it. They call it a regional flood. Or they’ll say, ‘Well, the flood killed everybody because they were all in one part of the world, but it didn’t cover the whole world.’ The reason people move in that direction is largely because they’ve bought into an interpretation of the fossil record. You know, they’ve gone down the Colorado River and have heard the the tour guide in the Grand Canyon saying, “You know, this was formed over billions and billions of years, which is the holy trinity of evolution. Evolution has a holy trinity that they accept by faith, just like we have a Holy Trinity that we accept by faith. In fact, if you don’t have all members of the trinity of evolution, you cannot have evolution. You must have number one, time; number two, randomness, and number three, matter. Because given billions and billions of years, anything could happen. And the problem is that the fossil record can be explained in terms of a sudden catastrophe.
Mount Saint Helens erupted, what was it, 1980, and fossilization and things like this happened immediately on the rocks. And we know that that it formed instantaneously. And yet the folks sent those into the labs, and the lab said, ‘Oh, yeah, this took a billion years to happen or a million years. Well, we know it happened within a few days. There’s a way to interpret the fossil record in such a way that you don’t have to buy into billions or millions of years. And yet many people have bought into that, and then they get saved. I was one such person, and I started reading the Book of Genesis and said, ‘I have a problem here because the flood covered the whole earth, and the fossil record perhaps accumulated very, very quickly.’ And so, there’s an easy way around that if you still want to hold to the tenets of evolution and the Bible at the same time. I tried to walk this line for many, many years as a young Christian. You just take the flood and shrink it. So that way I can have the fossil record of billions of years, and I can still believe in a flood. The problem with that is the more you walk down that line, and it’s a very difficult line to walk because essentially, you’re mixing the philosophies of man with the Bible, and they will separate just like water and oil do.
Eventually, I came to a point in my walk with the Lord that I said, ‘Well, I have to believe one or the other by faith. I’m either going to take the word of the evolutionists who weren’t there, by the way, even Carl Sagan wasn’t there—by faith, or I can accept the Bible. As much as I tried to mix the philosophies together, they would separate. Furthermore, the Bible does not teach a local flood, nor does it teach a regional flood. It doesn’t even teach a universal flood. It teaches a worldwide flood, a global flood.
Now, as we progress in the book of Genesis, I’ll be sharing with you more information on why that is so, but not the least of which is the size of the ark. Think about how large this ark is. Why would you build an ark of this magnitude for a bathtub overflowing in Mesopotamia? You would build an ark of this size and stature because it must be able to endure tremendous tumult. If, by the way, the flood was only local and not global, then why would Noah put the animals on the ark? I mean, God could have just had the animals relocate to a different mountain range or area to spare them from a local flood. Why would you put birds on the ark? There are birds on the ark. It doesn’t make any sense to put birds on the ark if the flood, in fact, was merely local.
One of the biggest progenitors of the local flood theory today in evangelical Christianity is Dr. Hugh Ross of the Reasons to Believe Ministry, author of The Genesis Question. And he is one of these individuals that we would call a progressive creationist because he doesn’t take the the six days of creation as 24-hour days. He believes in death before Adam. He even believes in a pre-Adamic race of people. He believes in death, before sin and all of these things that really aren’t found in the Bible. And one of the things that he espouses is this local flood theory. He claims that he is reaching all of these people for Christ through this teaching called progressive creationism. The reality of it is that he is confirming unbelievers in their false presuppositions because he’s come up with an interpretation of the Bible that will not tear down their evolutionary presuppositions, but in actual fact, will reinforce their evolutionary presuppositions.
Here at Sugar Land Bible Church, we do not teach progressive creationism. We teach literal biblical creationism where the world of so-called science is held hostage to the Bible. Not science, and there is something called a false science. We understand that, right? In 1 Timothy 6:20, in the good old King James Version, it talks about science falsely called. There are many things today that masquerade as science that are not science but are philosophy, but people think that they’re scientific fact, and those are imposed on the Bible. That is not our trajectory here at Sugar Land Bible Church; we want to interpret the Bible as written, as God communicated it. If that happens to contradict something I learned in my public schooling about the age of the earth, then maybe I need to readjust my conclusions that I heard from my professor rather than rewriting the Bible.
So, Hugh Ross has a burden that he has to demonstrate, ‘Well, if the flood was local, why in the world would you make an ark this size?’ So he comes up with an explanation. He says, “First, when God pours out judgment, He gives ample warning ahead of time. He sends a spokesperson, a prophet, and gives that prophet a kind of platform from which to be heard. For the antediluvians, Noah was that prophet and the scaffolding around the ark was his platform.” Hugh Ross is arguing that this ark wasn’t even designed to float; that it was designed as a way to catch the attention of the crowd; to give Noah a platform to preach from. Now I give him an “A” for creativity. I mean, that’s a very creative answer, but that’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says Noah was specifically told by God to build an ark of those dimensions because it was going to be needed since the Earth was about to be deluged in water.
One of the other things that’s very interesting regarding the subject of Noah’s ark is that we are not the only people on planet earth with a flood story. There are, in fact, 300 pagan flood accounts that we know of. As you read through them, they sure look similar to our story here in Genesis. One of the most famous ones is the Babylonian flood account called the Gilgamesh Epic. In our story, God planned the flood; in their story a council of gods, little “g” planned the flood. So, they are are polytheistic. Our story is monotheistic. The hero in our story is God who warned Noah. They’ve got a guy, and I don’t know if I can pronounce his name—Utnapishtim. Say that five times fast. Their god is Ea. In our story, God sent the flood because of sin. In their story, the gods sent the flood because the human beings were too noisy. Kind of like your kids acting up, you know? ‘Hey, hold it down in there. I’m trying to take a nap’ kind of thing. Our story involves ethics. Theirs doesn’t. Our story has a salvation Hero. Our story has eight people saved. Their story has representatives of all living things saved. The dimensions of our boat are completely different than the dimensions of their boat, which I’ll explain in just a second.
In our story, the flood goes for 40 days and 40 nights; in their story, the flood goes for six days and six nights. In our story, the ark lands on the mountains, not singular, but plural, of Ararat. So, if anybody tells you they know exactly where Noah’s ark is because they found the mountain, remember that the Bible doesn’t say the “mountain.” It says the “mountains.” Ararat, most believe, is modern-day Turkey. Their story has their ark settling at another place called Mount Nisir. Our story has birds in it since Noah sends them out—a raven and a dove, I believe, three times. Their story has a dove, a swallow, and a raven.
Our story has Noah worshiping God with a sacrifice following the flood. Their story has a similar sacrifice by their flood hero, satisfying or appeasing their gods. Our story has a blessing that follows it, a covenant which I’ll be explaining today, Lord willing, the Noahic covenant. Their story has a blessing after it where the salvation hero is given divinity. Now that would make sense because they’re polytheistic. So why not just add another god to the Pantheon who is granted immortality at that point? So, it becomes very, very interesting how their story looks an awful lot like ours. But there are a few things changed here and there.
By the way, the same thing happens with the Babylonian creation account called Enuma Elish. It’s the same kind of thing where it sure looks an awful lot like our story of creation in Genesis, but with some things changed.
I’ve already made reference to the Sumerian King List of people who lived very, very long periods of time. A list of kings with a total of 241,200 years and an average of 24,000 years per king. Ten Kings. And then the flood comes. This is what is called the Ancient King List, an ancient list from Sumer, and then the flood came. So that sounds a lot like Genesis 5, doesn’t it with people living long ages of time. We spent some time in Genesis 5 on those pre-flood patriarchs and how the flood came in Genesis 6 and interrupted that lineage.
So, it is very interesting that as you tour around culture, you’ll find stories out there that sound an awful lot like the Bible’s, but they are different. So how to explain this? Well, one view is that the pagan accounts borrowed from the Bible. We could say that Enuma Elish, the Gilgamesh Epic, the Sumerian King Lists, are just copies of the Bible, but as my Professor, Dr. Toussaint used to say, ‘That dog won’t hunt.’ Why? Because the Bible was written after those pagan accounts were written. A lot of those pagan accounts are dated in the 1800s, and the Bible was not written until the time of Moses, roughly 1446 B.C.
Thus, this idea that those entities out there from paganism must have borrowed from the Bible, doesn’t work because they existed before Moses penned the Book of Genesis.
Another possibility is that the Bible borrowed from the pagan accounts. Poor Moses didn’t have an original thought in his mind, and so he had to put some kind of story together, so he went and read Gilgamesh and Enuma and the Ancient King List, and said, ‘That sounds really great, and let’s let’s come up with the Bible that is just a copy of what paganism already says.’ When you watch A&E, Mysteries of the Bible, the History Channel, and National Geographic, that’s what they’ll tell you. In fact, your kids and grandkids are being taught that repeatedly in their secular education. They’re being taught that Moses just copied all of these pagan accounts.
But I’m here to tell you that there’s a totally different possibility. And I want to make you aware of this because your children and grandchildren are being hit with this over and over again: the Common Source view. The idea is that the flood and the King List that we read about in Genesis 5, really happened. They just weren’t written down yet in the way Moses would compile all of the information; a knowledge of those events spread out into the whole world because it was passed down through oral tradition. In Genesis 11, God confounded the language and so everyone went into their own separate people group. Thus, a knowledge of these historical events the Bible speaks of actually transpired in real time and in real history.
But the problem is, as it spread into these people groups, the pagans changed the story. They kept certain parts of the story intact, but they changed the story to harmonize with their existing worldview. Notice in the pagan accounts that they’re moving away from monotheism into polytheism—same sort of story, but with many gods rather than just One. Notice in the pagan accounts that they conveniently remove sin. I mean, the gods, [plural] didn’t send the flood because of sin; they sent it because they were upset that their nap was being interrupted.
So, the whole concept of sin was just removed from the story. See what paganism has done and note that this is how the pagan mind always works. It takes the truth of God’s Word, holds it down and suppresses it in unrighteousness. It’s an active process that the Apostle Paul describes in great detail in Romans 1:18-32. Paganism is not neutral. In fact, neutrality is very much a myth because everyone has a worldview. And as these stories spread into unbelieving communities and unbelieving ethnicities and unbelieving nations, the pagans knew that the story happened, but they changed the facts to accommodate their worldview.
That’s why, when examining these stories, they look so identical to our stories that we read about in the Bible, but some of the facts are obviously changed. That’s how you can explain the existence of these 300 flood legends and these pagan Babylonian accounts, creation accounts, many of many of which spread all over the world. That’s how to explain them. They’re explaining a story that really happened but repackaged for a pagan audience.
Now, the only thing Moses did in 1446 BC is that he didn’t copy from those stories. He republished the event as it actually happened. He is probably looking at these pagan stories and saying, ‘Ha ha, ha, that’s how they think it happened. Let me tell you how it really happened.’ So, you’ll notice that Moses is borrowing from historical events that actually took place. The pagans are borrowing from historical events that actually took place. There is no need to say that Moses copied the pagan accounts. But that Common Source view that I’ve been trying to explain is not something you’ll ever hear on National Geographic, Mysteries of the Bible, or the History Channel. They just give you one view time and again, and they want you to believe that Moses took all of his information from paganism because paganism was here first, it wrote first. And I’m here to tell you that there’s a completely different and very logical way of explaining these similarities without buying into the explanation that you find proffered or offered by the History Channel, National Geographic, etc.
The bottom line to the whole thing is these things happened. There was an ancient patriarchal account of people living very, very long lives that were interrupted by the flood. Creation happened. The flood happened. Paganism is just giving you their version of their remembrance of the event. Moses is giving you a republished account with all of the gory details included, including sin and monotheism and everything else as it actually transpired. Hopefully you found that interesting.
Notice in the biblical account, the dimensions of our ark 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits with three levels is very different than the Gilgamesh account. The Gilgamesh account is 120 cubits by 120 cubits by 120 cubits with seven levels. Now, engineers have looked at these different stories, and here’s their conclusion: Our boat will float. Yeah, that’s pretty deep, right? Pardon the pun there. Our boat floats. Our boat works. With our dimensions, you can see a boat floating and able to sustain a great tumult. Their boat would not float. It’s like a bottle in water that keeps capsizing over and over. That’s what you would get. As engineers, one of them is on faculty at Chafer Theological Seminary, Dr. Ray Mondragon. Another one, Dr. Charles Clough, graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; very smart people and others that have looked into this from an engineering standpoint, simply said the dimensions of the Gilgamesh ark wouldn’t work. But isn’t it interesting how the biblical account would work perfectly? So, I find that to be very, very interesting.
Take a look at Genesis 6:16 (NASB), as we continue to move here, “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door [You should underline door. By the way, does it say, ‘doors’ or ‘door?’ My version says ‘door’] of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.” Notice here that there is a singular door.
Now, 1 Peter 3 talks about how the ark, in a certain sense, is a type of the Cross of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus said in John 20:30-31, or rather, John says of Jesus, “Therefore, many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” John writes to show who Jesus is. He’s the Son of God, and he writes that information to inculcate faith on the part of the unsaved. That’s why John’s gospel was written. It had an evangelistic purpose.
That’s why, in your workplace or family where unbelievers are around you, they might ask you whether you’re a Christian and if you can recommend a part of the Bible to read in order to understand Christianity, you should always direct them to John’s gospel, because John’s gospel is designed to convert the unbeliever. You would not send them to the Book of Leviticus or the Book of Numbers. Now, can people get saved through Leviticus and Numbers? God can save people through any part of His Word, but John’s gospel is special in the sense that it is showcasing Jesus, proving who He was so that people might believe in Him; it’s evangelistic, and Jesus proved who He was through seven signs and also through seven “I am” statements.
- “I am the bread of life.”.
- “I am the Light of the world.”
- “I am the Gate for the sheep.”
- “I am the Good Shepherd.”
- “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
- I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
- “I am the True Vine.”
Notice here on my chart where it says, “I am the Gate.” But John 10:7-9 talks about Jesus as the Door. John 10:7-9 says, So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the Door of the sheep. All who come before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the Door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
It’s very interesting that there is a single door in the ark, God’s provision for Noah and his family. Well, what if they wanted to come in another way? ‘I want to come in through the roof. I want a trap door in the roof.’ ‘Sorry you can’t come in.’ ’Well, I want to tunnel up from under.’ ‘Well, sorry. You can’t come in.’ You’ve got to come in through the door. And since that is, in many respects, 1 Peter 3:20-21, a type, if you will, of Jesus Christ, it would fit very nicely that Jesus Christ, to show the world who He is as recorded in John’s gospel, would call Himself the Door, singular.
Now, when we were at the Answers in Genesis ark exhibit with our youth group, they took us to that door, and it was an eerie feeling seeing that door shut. And here we were on the inside, and the only door that we could come in by was closed. It is a picture of the exclusivity of Christ. This ark being made from gopher wood, the Cross of Christ being made from wood, and that is the single provision necessary for a person to be regenerated and made right with God. There are not a lot of options on the table other than those or that one.
Jesus, in John 14:6 said, “I am the way” [Definite article], “and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one Mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Well, this is certainly a narrow perspective that you have here. First of all, it’s not my perspective, it is what the Bible says. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The fact of the matter is, if a person could be saved or justified before God through something other than Christ, then, according to Galatians 2:21, ‘Christ died needlessly.’ Do we understand that? There is no reason for the sacrificial death of Christ, which was horrific, if salvation as the Oprah Winfrey Network teaches, and as Oprah is on air talking about that there are many ways to God. I like Oprah Winfrey. She’s a very talented person, but her theology is pluralistic. It’s not Christian. The Bible never teaches this idea that there are many paths or many ways to God. There is only one path to God the Father, through God the Son. And if a person will not come that route, they will not come. Now, I didn’t make the rules up. These are God’s rules. And these rules are just as real as was the single door in the ark. If Noah and his family had decided they wanted to come in a different way, they would have been swept away in judgment. And that’s what I think about when I see this word, ‘door,’ and actually having stood in that construction and seeing the door. It’s quite eerie when you think about it, and how the door at some point is closed. If the door is closed, people can’t come anymore. And it reminds you of what the Bible says. It says, “today is the day of salvation.”
We move away from the structure of the ark and into the reason for the ark. Look at Genesis 6:17. “And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon this earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall die.” There is no room here for a local flood. Everything is about to die. ‘Well, come on, Pastor. What about seaweed and grass? And aren’t those living things too?’ No, they’re not. Not the way the Hebrew uses the word, ‘nephesh,’ which is used to describe humans and animals. Certainly, you can make a biological case that seaweed and grass and things like that are alive, but it’s ‘nephesh’ that’s going to be wiped out. The animals are going to be wiped out. The human race, which was probably, as we’ve talked about, close to 7 billion people or more, is all about to be wiped out, except for the eight.
Thus, with the judgment of God coming, a provision is needed. And 6:17 is the reason for the provision. The provision is given in 6:14-16. The reason for the provision is given in 6:17-18.
And it’s the same principle for us because judgment is coming to this world. And God, in His grace, has provided a way out. The provision. The Door of Jesus Christ, which can only be entered into by faith alone through Christ alone.
Notice 6:18. “But I will establish my covenant. [That’s an important word. That’s the first time we’ve even read the word, ‘covenant,’ in the Genesis story. It’s the Hebrew word ‘berith’]. But I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” Now, what is this covenant? It’s the first reference to the covenant that God made with Noah, which is going to be fleshed out after the flood as well.
The human agent is Noah. The primary scripture for it is Genesis 8-9. You see the Hebrew word ‘covenant’ here and in Genesis 9:9, and the parties in the covenant are God and the world. These are promises that God has made to the whole world. It’s a covenant that existed before the nation of Israel was ever formed. It’s a pre-Israel covenant. It’s unconditional, and it promises no more flood judgments, the enduring of the earth; that the earth is going to go through cycles such as heating and cooling. ‘You mean we don’t have to be all up in arms about climate change and how my SUV is causing climate change?’ No, God said the earth is going to go through natural cycles, one of which is heating and cooling. Global warming existed in the time of the Vikings. That was long before I got my SUV, by the way.
And the institution of human government will come into existence with the power that God gave government the right to execute murderers via capital punishment to restrain the world from the evil that it was experiencing when violence swept the earth before the flood.
The sign of the covenant was the rainbow. Its purpose was to restrain and preserve the human race. Is it binding today? Yes, it is. All of the principles of the Noahic covenant that God made with Noah are binding today. It’s a very different covenant than the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15 and the Mosaic Covenant in the Book of Exodus later which deal with Israel and are not restraining covenants but redemptive covenants.
God is going to work through the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants to redeem people. But that’s not what the Noahic covenant is about. The Noahic covenant is for the whole world to restrain evil. The principles of the Noahic covenant are just as much alive today as they were in Genesis chapters 6,8, and 9 when God introduced those provisions. So, we have to keep our covenants straight here. We don’t have an Abrahamic covenant yet. We don’t have a Mosaic covenant yet. What we have an allusion to for the first time through this Hebrew word ‘Berith’ is the Noahic covenant. More on that later.
Notice that only eight people are in the ark. ‘But I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark [You, that’s Noah], thou, and thy son, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” [How many sons did he have—three—in Genesis 5:32, and in Genesis 6:10: Noah, his three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth. Now, fortunately for the wives, they get involved with this. Smart ladies, ‘you, your sons and your wives.’ So, we have Noah and Mrs. Noah. ‘And your sons and your wives with you.’
Of all of the people on planet Earth, eight people are saved. In 1 Peter 3 he tells us that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. When you factor in some of the things that we’ve studied early on in Genesis 6, you learn that he preached that message for 120 years. And amongst an audience of 7,000,000, he had only eight converts who consisted of his family members. ‘Well, we’ve got to listen to him. It’s just dad kind of thing.’ And that’s a very important point because what we’re told today is that for a ministry to be of God, it has to be successful. Success determines truth. That’s a doctrine called pragmatism. If it works, it must be of God. And yet I’m here to tell you that the doctrine of pragmatism quickly collapses when you understand how little fruit, from a human perspective, Noah actually saw after 120 years of ministry.
What is God going to say to us at the Bema Seat Judgment? He is not going to say, ‘Well done, thy good and successful servant.’ Rather, he’s going to say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’ To God, faithfulness is everything. Effectiveness, success, all of these things that we as human beings focus on, I don’t think those things are wrong. I think those things can be of God, but God doesn’t value them the way we do. God is looking for faithfulness. He’s looking for consistency in our ministries.
So, you might be toiling away on some ministry that’s just bearing such little fruit, and you might see yourself as somehow outside the will of God. But the fact of the matter is, God says, ‘Are you faithful with what I gave you to do?’
That’s what Noah was. That’s why Noah is going to show up in the Hall of Faith.
Only eight people are going to survive this flood. It’s sort of similar to the Gilgamesh Epic where the representatives of all the living survive. So, a smaller group survives in their flood account. But in the biblical story, only eight survive. By the way, you’ll find the eight mentioned in 1 Peter 3:20, eight persons. And in 2 Peter 2:5, where Peter says, ‘Noah with seven others.’
You know, it’s interesting. Peter talks more about the flood than any other biblical writer. Now, why would that be? Think of his vocation. He’s a fisherman. And he likes water. So, he talks about the flood.
Only Matthew records the story where Jesus and Peter go fishing and find a coin in the fish’s mouth. And Jesus says, ‘use that to pay your taxes.’ Why does only Matthew talk about that? Think about his vocation. He’s a tax gatherer.
Luke is the only one who talks about the prenatal activities of Jesus and John the Baptist. Why? Think about his vocation. He’s a physician.
In fact, Luke, in the Book of Acts, talks about Judas’ suicide. And he says that his body fell down a ravine and as he fell the stones tore open his body and his intestines gushed out. I read that and say, ‘That’s TMI; too much information. I don’t need to know about his intestines.’ Well, if you’re a physician, intestines are important.
This is how God used these people to write His Word. He didn’t just override their personalities. He certainly guided and directed the process to pen his truth, but he respected their gifts and temperaments as they wrote God’s Word.
So, we believe in the authorship of Scripture’s divine Author, but we also believe in the authorship of Scripture human author, as God used these people. Why bring this up? Because God created you with special gifts and talents, temperament and life experiences. He wants to use you as you are—everything that you have: education, abilities, or lack thereof. I mean, why is it that so-and-so has more abilities than I do in this area? Well, God designed it that way. And I bring this up because so much of our lives are spent trying to be like other people. Well, if two people are exactly the same, then one person is unnecessary, right? Whatever God has given you, however He’s made you, whatever interests, temperament, life experiences you have, God wants to use those as they are to advance His purposes. So rather than despairing of the fact that you’re different than somebody else, rejoice in it. Peter was different than Matthew. Matthew was different than Luke. That’s why their books read so differently.
So, eight people are going to survive this flood. And what do you have on the ark? You have eight sin natures. Because the world is going to be cleansed, but the human race is going to be perpetuated through Noah and his wives, and the sin nature is going to get passed down into the post-flood world because in the post-flood world, it says that “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” per Genesis 8:21. So the flood fixed the outer, but the inner problem remains; that’s why this promise of Genesis 3:15 is going to continue. This is the first Messianic prophecy in the Bible where God said all the way back in Eden, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” There’s coming One from the seed of the woman who will be your Messiah.”
Why is that necessary? Didn’t the flood fix the problem? No. Because in the ark there were eight people, but there were also eight sin natures. The flood cleansed the outer world. It cleansed the world of the Nephilim. But the corrupted heart of man continues right to the present day. And that’s why, more than anything else, people need to be changed from the inside out through the new birth and regeneration, being born again. No amount of external fixing of the environment can correct that problem. Thus, this promise continues into the post-flood world.
Notice the animals on the ark. Genesis 6:19-20 says, “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.” ‘Kind,’ is an important word.
Now one of the big arguments that people use against the biblical account is how Noah fit all of the animals onto the ark? And they try to discredit Christianity because we all know that all of the animals couldn’t have fit on the ark. And sadly, we Christians haven’t helped ourselves much because we have all of these images (see animated slide of the ark with animals). There are the giraffes sticking their heads out; the orangutan hanging on for his life. And actually, when I came to this church, there was a big picture like this on the wall. Fortunately, we got rid of that because the whole thing is biblically wrong. I mean, this situation is ludicrous. It’s not even how the Bible describes it.
If you want to know the truth of the matter, read a study by John Woodmorappe, an engineer: Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study. When reading through that study, it is quickly evident that it was a very easy thing for God to put the animals on the ark. This was not a problem. First of all, from the description in Genesis, there seem to be no sea creatures nor insects on the ark because it talks about things being put on the ark that breathe through their nostrils. Plants were most likely not on the ark. There’s a debate in Genesis 7:2, whether it’s seven pairs or just sevens, which shrinks the number. Only animals that are called clean animals, which is a smaller category, are put on the ark. Also, God didn’t have to put on the ark every single dog. ‘Hey, let’s get a poodle and put them on. Oh, we forgot the Chihuahua. Let’s put the Chihuahua on here. We forgot the boxer. Let’s put them on here. What about the German Shepherd? Has anybody seen a German shepherd? Let’s get a German Shepherd on the ark.’ He doesn’t have to put every single species of a dog on the ark. He just has to put Mr. and Mrs. Dog together on the ark. And we must have two, because they have to reproduce. That’s why it keeps saying “kind, kind, kind, kind.”
And people remark about how there are so many extinct animals. That’s not what Woodmorappe says. He says that number has been greatly exaggerated because of evolutionary assumptions. There could have animals on the ark that are not fully grown, that are in a state of hibernation. Now, Woodmorappe spends 200 pages, single spaced, explaining all of this. He says that there is an ark 450 ft long, 75 ft wide, 45 ft high, capable of holding 125,000 animals; Woodmorappe says there were likely 16,000 animals on the ark. So, 16,000 animals on an ark capable of housing 125,000 animals. There was no problem when looking at the details of fitting the animals on the ark. ‘Well, come on, Preacher. You mean to say that the earth and the animal world were destroyed, and God, with just eight people and this small number of animals, reproduced the entire animal kingdom that we see today?’ Yes, because as you can see from this chart, an ark dog can create different species of dogs. Some of these names I can’t even pronounce. But you get the idea. Same with bears. There doesn’t have to have every single kind of bear on the ark. ‘Hey, let’s get a polar bear, etc. Mr. and Mrs. Bear are all that is needed. From Mr. and Mrs. Bear, all of these species could come into existence because Mr. and Mrs. Bear have the genetic information inside of them to create various species of bears.
So, the idea of how all the animals fit on the ark is really not a problem at all. It’s not even an argument. Well, how did all of these species of animals that we have today come into existence through just a few animals on the ark? That really isn’t a problem either, as the scientists tell me. So, you don’t need a Doberman pinscher on the ark; a boxer; a poodle; a Chihuahua. You just need Mr. and Mrs. Dog. And eventually they have the genetic information inside of them whereby the human race could be repopulated in the animal kingdom with all of the varieties that we see today.
Now, there was food on the ark. Look at Genesis 6:21. “And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.” God looked out for every single area of potential need that Noah and his family would have right down to food. There was food in the Garden of Eden. Then God said [in the Garden of Eden], per Genesis 1:29-30, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so.”
Notice that our forebears were vegetarian, herbivorous because this was the world in Eden where there was no death yet. Man does not become carnivorous until post-flood. So, when you go to the Longhorn Steakhouse, don’t feel bad about it because you get your steak in Genesis 9. This is Texas, right?
We find God looking out for the physical needs of people. By the way, when the children of Israel were wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, did you know that the manna fell consistently? The miraculous provision of God, 40 years in the midst of total disobedience while they’re building the golden calf and other things, and the manna kept coming like clockwork. Until they entered Canaan, where the land was capable of sustaining its inhabitants, then the manna stopped as it was no longer needed.
Paul the Apostle was provided for in miraculous ways, even in a shipwreck that landed him on the little island, Malta. It says in Acts 28:10, “They also [that’s the natives] honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail [in other words, go to Rome], they supplied us with all we needed.” Even in the midst of a storm and shipwreck, the physical needs of the Apostle Paul were completely provided for.
In Psalm 37:25, David says, “I have been young and now I’m old, Yet I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.”
Jot down Matthew 6:25-34–Christ’s whole point. ‘What are you worried about clothing for? And food. I mean, God takes care of the animals and the plants, doesn’t He? Why wouldn’t he take care of you? Oh, ye of little faith.’
In Philippians 4:19, Paul says, ‘And my God shall supply all your greeds.’ Whoops, he didn’t say that; he said, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
The nice thing about being a Christian is we don’t have to worry about provision anymore. Jesus says that the pagans seek after these things. The pagans are always nervous about the stock market, the jobs report, the layoff notices. As a Christian, we don’t have to worry about that. Of course, God provides for us through labor. But the provision of God is something we need not give a thought about because of the promises of God. If we live life that way, it alleviates a lot of anxiety, doesn’t it?
The physical needs were provided for on the ark. In fact, one of His names is Jehovah Jireh, and the name itself means, “The Lord will provide.” ‘Well, I’m worried, Pastor. I’m getting old, and I’m not working anymore, and Social Security is going belly up; gas prices and interest rates are rising, this and that are happening. We’ve got unemployment, and now we’ve got inflation, and we’ve got this and that problem. And I’m really worried about that.’ Well, go ahead and be worried all you want. But as my mother taught me, worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It’s an activity that consumes energy. At the end of the day, where does it get you? Does it move you anywhere? So, you can sit there and stress all you want and lose the joy of the Lord and be miserable. Or you can just live according to the promises of God, and see how God physically provided for everything in Noah’s Ark.
The last thing is Genesis 6:22. And this to me, might even be the most important verse that we’ve covered this morning. See Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah… [According to some, whoops, doesn’t say that]; “Thus did Noah; according to all that God had commanded him, so did he.” Understand how absurd the directions from God seemed to him. The whole idea of a coming flood, a coming deluge. It is completely and totally likely that Noah did not even understand the concept of rain because Genesis 2:5-6 tell us that the Lord God had not yet sent rain, but a mist used to arise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. It’s likely that Noah might not even had a concept of what a flood or rain was. ‘And, God, you’re telling me to build this massive ark?’ I mean, could you imagine how silly he looked with that thing in his driveway for 120 years preaching of a global flood? But Noah put aside human reasoning and human logic, and the way things normally work. He just did exactly what God told him to do. He had a total trust in God and not in his five senses. Had he been trusting his five senses, there would have never been salvation from the flood the way it is described here.
This is why Noah is in the Hall of Faith, which lists the heroes who trusted God through great odds. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” This is an amazing verse about the obedience of Noah.
And here’s the bottom line. This is not just for Noah. It is for you, too, and for me because God has asked us to believe in things that we can’t see. He’s asked us to believe in a horrific judgment that is coming. And He’s also asked us, dare I say, commanded us, to believe in His provision from wood that He gave us, which is the only Door in, Jesus Christ.
When a person trusts in the finished work of Jesus Christ, it’s not a situation where they’re trusting their five senses anymore. They’re trusting direct revelation from God, which really doesn’t make sense from the standpoint of the natural world. That’s why Paul will write that ‘to the natural man the things of the Spirit seem foolishness to him.’ Yet God has asked us to believe everything He has said.
Our question for you today is, have you entered the Door? Have you set aside human logic, human philosophy, the normal human way of doing things, and instead received a direct word from God and trusted in it? That’s what Noah did, and that’s why he was saved, and the world wasn’t. And that’s why that in the end time you will be saved, and the rest of the world won’t be.
All of this points to the gospel, the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ who died in our place 2000 years ago, bodily rose from the grave. As we trust in Him and Him alone, we enter the Door and are spared, or protected from the wrath to come.
Being a Christian or becoming a Christian is not a 12-step process. It’s a single-step process where the Spirit places a human being under conviction, and that human being responds in his heart through trust—this is what is called faith in Jesus Christ. No longer trusting in themselves, their religion or their good works, only trusting in what Christ did for them. You can do that right now. Even as I am speaking, people listening or reading online can do it right now, as I’m speaking. People listening to or reading this five years from now, perhaps in the events of the tribulation period, can listen to or read and heed this and be saved. It’s what we call the Gospel.
If it’s something you need more explanation on, I’m available to talk. Shall we pray?
Father, we’re grateful for this ancient account of what happened. And yet, it speaks into our lives and into our world. We thank you for the salvation that you provided for Noah. We thank you for the even greater salvation that you have provided for us. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said, AMEN!