Escaping the Wrath of God — Genesis 6:9-22

The backdrop for today’s passage is the understanding that all mankind have sinned and are under the punishment of the wrath of God.  If you only picture God as some type of loving father figure who openly embraces all of mankind without exception and without regard for their character or conduct, you will not be able to identify with this passage.  Here in Genesis 6 we see God about to devastate His creation; to lay waste to all of mankind and all air breathing creatures; to overwhelm the entire world with a catastrophic flood that is inescapable.  And He is justified in doing so because of man’s corruption and violence.  The only exception is that God in His sovereign grace has chosen to spare Noah and his family from His coming wrath.

Is this a picture of God that is consistent with your view of God or have you created your own version of God after your own imagination?  Bernie Sanders – this week interrogating budget office nominee Russell Vought (from Wheaton college) – who wrote: “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”  Do you think that people who are not Christians will be condemned – all Muslims; all Jews – if you say Yes you are against religious pluralism and not fit for public office even though the Constitution says “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  This is a big deal / This would disqualify, according to Sanders, any true believer from ever holding office. [Pence] Not only that … what does every religion say about those who are not adherents to its faith?

The key question is how can anyone escape God’s wrath?  Today’s world bears all of the characteristics of the depravity common in the days of Noah.  We reviewed that last week.  We see corruption all around us.  We see violence all around us.  We understand that all have sinned and are deserving of God’s judgment in hell for all of eternity.

But all is not lost.  The flood was both divine judgment brought against the wickedness of mankind and divine salvation by which the human race was delivered to live on in the world.  Satan was doing everything in his power to have his seed destroy the seed of the woman; but God would be faithful to His promise to provide the Messiah who would come as the seed of the woman to redeem fallen mankind.

We will look today at the universal flood in Noah’s day both from the perspective of the outpouring of God’s wrath and destruction and His gracious provision for salvation and deliverance.

ONLY GOD CAN MAKE PROVISION FOR YOU TO ESCAPE HIS COMING WRATH:

            RIGHTEOUSNESS

            REFUGE

            RELATIONSHIP

(:9a)  PROLOGUE

These are the records of the generations of Noah.

Third instance of toledot – beginning another major section

Flows out of vs. 8   “But Noah found favor [grace] in the eyes of the Lord.”

First instance of word grace in the Scriptures

You need imputed righteousness to escape the wrath of God

I.  (:9b-11) RIGHTEOUSNESS — ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE RIGHTEOUSNESS (SEEN IN GODLY CHARACTER) IN THE MIDST OF A WICKED WORLD

A.  (:9b-10) Godly Character Can Shine in Darkness

This little light of mine … I’m going to let it shine …”

  1. (:9b)  Godly Character of Noah Described

  a.  Righteous

                                    “Noah was a righteous man,

Gift of God’s sovereign grace

There is none righteous, no not one

Difficult to stand alone for God;

To take a stand against ungodliness

To be a preacher of righteousness

To live by faith – Heb. 11:7

  b.  Respected

                                    “blameless in his time;

Cf. the qualifications for a spiritual elder – how is one viewed by his overall community?

Not talking about moral perfection

Genesis 17:1Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.”

Psalm 18:30As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Proverbs 28:18 “He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once.”

Word used of the type of animal to be used for sacrifice = one without blemish

Calvin: The clause, “in his generations,” is emphatical. For he has already often said, and will soon repeat it, that nothing was more corrupt than that age. Therefore, it was a remarkable instance of constancy, that Noah being surrounded on every side with the filth of iniquity, should hence have contracted no contagion. We know how great is the force of custom, so that nothing is more difficult than to live homily among the wicked, and to avoid being led away by their evil examples.

  1.   Restored to Intimate Fellowship with God

Noah walked with God.”  After pattern of Adam and Enoch

It is a privilege to walk with God – because you have God and His favor walking with you

Listen to these verses that were true of Noah:

Matt. 5:16Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

John 8:12I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Acts 26:18to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

Phil. 2:15prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world

  1. (:10)  Godly Character of Noah Rewarded with Gift of Children

                        And Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Important to record the lineage of Noah – these will be the children through whom God will repopulate the world after the Flood

B.  (:11) Wicked World Characterized by Corruption and Violence

  1. Corruption

Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God,

A far cry from God’s evaluation when He created earth and declared it all to be “good

God’s evaluation is what counts

The world can judge itself and deem its conduct to be progressive and evolving …

Only other OT usage:  (sexual context)

Ezekiel 23:11Now her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt in her lust than she, and her harlotries were more than the harlotries of her sister.”

  1. Violence

and the earth was filled with violence.

A far cry from the reign of peace and righteousness which will be ushered in by the rule of the Messiah

Hughes: The Nephilim, violent warriors, were the “men of renown” (v. 4).  It was a bloody culture in the grasp of demonic aliens.

Proverbs 3:31Do not envy a man of violence, And do not choose any of his ways.

Proverbs 10:11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Proverbs 13:2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good, But the desire of the treacherous is violence.

Proverbs 16:29A man of violence entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good.

Isaiah 53:9His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

II.  (:12-17) REFUGE — ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE SAFE REFUGE FROM HIS WRATH – THE ARK PICTURING JESUS

A.  (:12-13) Refuge Needed – Destruction Promised

  1. (:12-13a)  Reason for God’s Wrath

And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt;

               for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

Then God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me;

               for the earth is filled with violence because of them;

  1. (:13b)  Promise of Impending Destruction

                        and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.’

Barnes: There is retribution here, for the words “corrupt” and “destroy” are the same in the original.

This lesson of impending destruction is what we need to take away from the story of Noah’s Ark – not just the message of deliverance … what the world is denying is that there is a sovereign God out there who will execute such retribution … who will deliver on the promise of condemnation and destruction; who will consign men and women to an eternity in hell; that is the battleground

Here God makes plain his intention and in chap. 7 we will see him carry out that promise

B.  (:14-16) Refuge Provided – the Ark = Picture of Being in Jesus Christ

Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 “And this is how you shall make it: the length of the   ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of  the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

1 Pet. 3:18-22

Barnes: the erection of this ark was a daily warning to a wicked race, a deepening lesson of reliance on God to Noah and his household, and a most salutary occupation for the progenitors of the future race of mankind.

Henry Alford – quoting Kalisch:  The word gopher occurs in this passage only; its root seems to signify to cover: it is evidently a tree which yields a resinous, pitch-like substance, as the lime, fir, and cedar . . . it signifies here most likely the cypress, which was in some parts of Asia exclusively used as the material of ships; in Athens for coffins; and in Egypt for the mummy-cases, for which purpose it was peculiarly adapted, on account of its great durability and hardness.

Constable: [same as MacArthur’s note] The ark was about 450 feet long (1 ½ American football fields), 75 feet wide (7 standard parking spaces), and 45 feet high (a typical four-story building). It had three decks and over 100,000 square feet of deck space. There were over 1 million cubic feet of space in it. This is the capacity of approximately 860 railroad boxcars. It had a capacity of almost 14 ,000 gross tons. [Note: See “Noah”s Flood: Washing Away Millions of Years” DVD featuring Dr. Terry Mortenson.]

The ark probably looked more like a rectangular box than a ship. After all, its purpose was to stay afloat, not travel from one destination to another. This design used space very efficiently. The ark would have been very stable in the water. Modern ocean-going tankers and aircraft carriers have a similar scale of dimensions.

C.  (:17) Refuge Needed – Destruction Promised

And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.

Adam Clarke:  mabbul ; a word used only to designate the general deluge, being never applied to signify any other kind of inundation; and does not the Holy Spirit intend to show by this that no other flood was ever like this, and that it should continue to be the sole one of the kind?

III.   (:18-21)  RELATIONSHIP — ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE THE COVENANT RELATIONSHIP OF PROTECTION AND PROVISION

A.  (:18) Covenant Relationship Established with Noah and His Family

But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark– you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

Details come in chap. 9

Adam Clarke: Almost all nations, in forming alliances, etc., made their covenants or contracts in the same way. A sacrifice was provided, its throat was cut, and its blood poured out before God; then the whole carcass was divided through the spinal marrow from the head to the rump; so as to make exactly two equal parts; these were placed opposite to each other, and the contracting parties passed between them, or entering at opposite ends met in the center, and there took the covenant oath.

B.  (:19-20) Protection and Deliverance

And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.  Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive.

C.  (:21) Provision of Food

And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible,

        and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.

Speaking of herbs and fruits

(:22)  EPILOGUE – TOTAL OBEDIENCE

Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

This summary evaluation (refrain of obedience) repeated a number of times: 7:5, 9, 16

Hughes: The righteous person rests everything on the bare word of God and obeys it.

Constable: What a splendid figure this man makes, a picture of solitary goodness! He was the one saint of that day. It is possible, therefore, to be good even though we have to stand alone. It is possible to be right with God even amidst surrounding iniquity. 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.

CONCLUSION:

Where will you find Righteousness, Refuge and a Covenant Relationship with a Holy God so that you can escape the wrath that is to come?

Only in Jesus Christ

Only 1 door to the Ark through which the

Noah and his family and the animals entered

Not by works; not by religion; not by sincerity …

Jesus said “I am the Door of the sheep.  All who came before Me are thieves and robbers” –

John 10:7-8