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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

May 27, 2015

Genesis 7:1-24

  1. Recap. In 6:22, Moses records this very important statement: “Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.” In chapter 7, he then repeats this phrase three more times (7:5, 9, 16). This informs us that God must be obeyed in all His instructions if His people expect to enjoy the fruit of life and blessing (e.g., Deut. 26:16-19; 28:1-14). Noah remained obedient, doing exactly what God said for 25, 50, 75, 100 years…until the ark lay like a huge coffin on the land. What a powerful reminder that God sometimes calls His servants to obey Him even when it seems nonsensical. In these situations, all that we can do is trust in the promises of God’s Word. This section also reminds us that it is possible to be right with God, even amidst a sinful society. God is the same today as He was to Noah, and if only we are willing to fulfill the conditions we too shall walk with God and please Him as well in this sinful world.

  2. Verses 1-5. Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him.” How many animals went into the ark? The truth is that there is no inherent incompatibility between the two texts as they presently stand. Genesis 7:2-3 is just more precise than 6:19-20 on the question of the types and numbers of animals and birds that would board the ark. Noah’s first instruction was to admit pairs of all kinds of creatures on the ark to preserve their lives (6:19-20). That was the basic formula. Then he was given more specific instructions about admitting seven pairs of each of the clean animals and seven pairs of each kind of bird. The purpose of this measure was to become clear only after the flood. Birds would be needed to scout out the earth (8:7-12), and the clean animals and birds would be offered in sacrifice to the Lord (8:20). If Noah had taken only one pair of each and then offered each of these pairs in sacrifice, these species would have become completely extinct. God tells Noah that the destruction is coming. God is still a holy God. He still hates sin. He still is slow to judge. He watches the sin of man and warns that it will not be allowed to go on and on forever. God tells that world what He will do. Our world will also come to an end one day (2 Pet 3:1-13). We have prior notice that the judgment of God is on its way. In His grace, God warns His people. He tells us in advance that sinful men do not deserve to live on God’s earth. This is the basic message of the Genesis flood. We all have to enter the Ark of Safety, which is Jesus Christ, to escape the coming judgment. God had been warning that evil world for almost 1,000 years. Enoch preached against the ungodliness of his day. He named his son Methuselah, which means, “when he is dead, it [judgment] will come.” As a testimony of God’s grace and patience, Methuselah lived 969 years, longer than any other human being. Finally he died in the year of the flood. But God’s warnings were ignored. Noah’s ark was finally finished after 120 years. People watched as the animals migrated toward the ark, two by two. Can’t you hear the people hooting, “Hey, everyone, Noah’s finally getting ready to sail!” Remember, there wasn’t a drop of rain yet. The ark sat there on dry ground. The day of the flood dawned just as every other day had. Then God closed the door of the ark, the rain began, and the earth quaked as the deeps were opened. Judgment came suddenly, but not without warning. The flood is to be a reminder to us of the reality of final judgment (Matt 24:38-39; Luke 17:27; 2 Pet 2:5; 3:5-6).40 God holds the world accountable for its behavior. It tells us that God is grieved over our sin and the harm it does to others. He will not put up with it forever.

  3. In 7:6-18, we are told that Noah was 600 years old when the flood came. He and his family entered the ark along with the animals. After seven days the floods came. Then the waters fell from the sky and came up from the earth. The text says that the Lord shut them in. This is an important reminder that it was the Lord who sent the flood and the Lord who saved Noah and his family. Verses 11 and 12 say that the source of the flood was not only 40 days and nights of rain, but also the breaking up of the great deep. This points to massive changes in the oceans and subterranean vaults of the earth, and describes much more water than that of a local flood.

  4. Verses 19-24. Verses 19 and 20 say that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered to a depth of 15 cubits (about 23 feet, perhaps the draft of the loaded ark). Mt. Ararat, on which the ark came to rest, is over 17,000 feet in altitude, and the waters were over twenty feet higher than all the mountains .Then there is the time which it took for the flood waters to abate. The water prevailed upon the earth for 150 days (7:24). This means that it took 110 days after the rain stopped for the water to recede enough for the ark to touch down on Mount Ararat (8:3, 4). It took another ten weeks for the water level to go down enough for the tops of other mountains to become visible (8:5). All told, it was just over a year before it was safe for Noah and those on the ark to disembark (8:14-15). This was a universal worldwide flood. No local flood would require that much time to subside.

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