The Biblical Account of The Story of Noah
Having studied the reasons for the flood in part 1, now we’re ready to move into the Flood story. And the story begins with a man, Noah.
Genesis 6:8-12 (NKJV)
8 But Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah Pleases God
9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a righteous (just) man, blameless (godly) in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
We remember that the earth has filled with sinful men, each left to his own conscience to choose right from wrong. And our conscience fails us every time, for the world has now been filled with violence and wickedness. And therefore, having left it to man’s conscience to guide themselves it has led to the complete depravity of the world. Even the demon realm has crossed a line. And in doing so, it has caused the need for God to act. And God is regretful that His work of creation has come to this. So as He contemplates the world’s condition and how to respond, we’re told that one man gains God’s approval. Noah finds favor in the eyes of the Lord. Remember the name Noah means “rest” and it is interesting that when you spell his name backwards in Hebrew it means “grace.” In verse 8, the word for favor is “chen” which is simply “grace” in Hebrew. Everywhere that word “chen” is used in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word for “grace.” Noah receives God’s grace. Noah is also from the line of Seth, and so he is the seed line continuing from Adam. The seed line is the line through which God will fulfill His promise, and this line will be men who know and follow the Lord. And it is shown now through Noah who is following the Lord. Knowing and following the Lord is something that only God can make possible through His grace. Here we see God taking that step again. He has intervened in the normal course of a man’s life, a sinful man and has brought faith into the man’s heart so that he might receive God’s grace.
Once God’s grace has rested on Noah, we see what follows in the next verse. There is an interesting progression here from verses 8-9. It is purposeful, it is orderly and you have to understand it properly or you might miss the point. Noah is called a righteous man in verse 9. And Noah is said to be blameless in his time or generation. The Hebrew word for blameless means without blemish, with integrity and upright. We’re not talking about a perfect person, blameless does not mean perfect, but a godly person. For Noah was a sinful man like the patriarchs before him. All men are born into sin because of Adams fall in the Garden. And he walks with God. A man who knows and follows the living God. Look at the progression now. Make sure you notice the order of those descriptions.
- First Noah finds favor, grace
- Secondly, Noah is declared righteous
- Thirdly, Noah leads a godly life & follows the Lord
This is the pattern for all men who follow the Lord. This is the only way it has ever been done. It’s been the same in the Old Testament or New Testament, there is no other way. There is only one way to heaven, only one way to be in God’s favor, only one way to be called a child of God. This is it. Noah did it the same way Abraham, Jesus, Paul did it and it is the same way we do it. There is only one way and it begins with God assigning grace, finding favor. Hebrews says this:
Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
By Faith We Understand
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders (the men of old) obtained a good testimony (approval).
In the story of Noah, Noah like all men gained God’s approval by faith, not by his performance. That is why the Gospel translated properly means, Good News. It is eternally good news to discover by God’s authority that it is not a matter of our performance or works that brings us into good standing with God. It is rather only because of God’s approval of us that is apart from our works. His appointing of grace, His decision that He would overlook our sin and assign us His favor and by that assignment we gain righteousness by faith.
Why is Noah in this position? Noah found God’s favor and God’s grace for God’s own glory…. for His own namesake…. for His own testimony. By God’s gracious choice and so that God may be faithful to His promise to bring a seed through men. Noah was to be the one through whom the seed promise would continue and be fulfilled.
If you have studied Genesis before, you might remember that Noah was the tenth in the line from Adam. And in the numerology of the Bible, the number 10 is a number typically used in scripture as a symbol of testimony, a witness in a positive sense. Giving witness, you are giving testimony to God’s greatness or to His glory or to His promise keeping nature. While nine is the number of judgment. God’s wrath against sin. So the generations before Noah are wiped out by the Flood. But Noah’s family, the tenth generation, will live on through the flood as a testimony to God’s grace.
Moses takes a moment to list Noah’s sons because these sons had been born before the Flood. Moses is singling out the family of Noah to make a point here. And here we need to understand what he is doing. You have Noah and his three sons. And in the culture of the times, listing the men implied their wives too. So when you list Noah and his three sons you are also listing their wives as well. So you have four men, and four women…a total of 8 people. Eight people are listed in the genealogy of Noah. So now going forward we need to start thinking not only in terms of one person but in terms of eight. Who are being called into this situation. Look at the contrast that God has set up for us. He has discussed a completely depraved, violent society with no redeeming qualities, who have not found God’s favor and then He has listed eight who has found His favor. Notice the language in verses 11-12. The world is completely violent, completely corrupt without exception. All flesh is corrupt and filled with violence. The sense is that there is nothing worth redeeming other than the 8 in Noah’s family who received God’s grace. It is only God’s favor that separates Noah’s family and what is happening to the rest of the world.
Having introduced Noah and his family and explained why Noah escapes the flood
judgment, we now hear the commission God gave Noah to what must follow.
Genesis 6:13-16 (NKJV)
The Ark Prepared
13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above (the top); and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.
Now we come to the point in the story of Noah, that he receives his famous call to build an ark. First, God gives Noah the reason for the call…the end of all flesh has come. What God has done is turn on a clock. Previously back in the beginning of Chapter 6 (part 1), God said that His spirit would not strive with men forever. So He set a limit to the life of flesh on Earth of 120 years. That was a reference of how long before God was going to end the current state of worldwide corruption among flesh. With this announcement He starts the clock and from this point there is 120 years before the flood arrives. And in this period of time God is going to give Noah time to prepare the Ark, collect food and animals and eventually enter the Ark before the flood arrives. Now we can see the point of the delay so that God can give time for the preparation to take place in the meantime. Also the delay is for those who will escape the flood time to be prepared for it. As we saw in part 1, the story of Noah and the flood is a shadow, it is literal truth, it is historical fact. And there are many ways we can examine it from that point of view that will be touched on as we move forward with Noah’s story. But, it is also an event that God orchestrated in such a way that the details of this event, shadow or foreshadow another event, an upcoming event for a later time of judgment. And many of the details of this account are intended to foreshadow the coming judgment at the Lord’s Second Coming. Here we see another of those shadows which is explained clearly by Peter in the New Testament.
2 Peter 3:3-10 (NKJV)
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old (existed long ago), and the earth standing (was formed) out of water and in (by) the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack (slow) concerning His promise, as some count slackness (slowness), but is longsuffering (patient) toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The Day of the Lord
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Peter says that those who ignore the signs of the coming judgment are forgetting the lesson of Noah’s flood. God isn’t slow in keeping His promise to return and judge the
world and He is patiently waiting so that none of His children will perish. Just like He patiently waited for Noah to build the Ark to save his family, God is waiting now as He delays judgement until the last appointed believer has entered the family of God by faith, then the end can come because all the righteous will be safe. God makes a provision for those He calls into faith. What was the provision He provided In Noah’s day? It was called a boat or an Ark. What will it be in our day? Well, there is a parallel between the Ark and Christ. We live in Christ and Christ is our salvation from the judgement. In Noah’s day it was the Ark. They entered into the Ark and they were saved from the judgement. The Ark itself is a picture of Christ. Pointing to Him as our Savior.
God says all flesh must come to end. Here flesh refers to the all living creatures with the breath of life such as land animals, birds and man. And God says He will destroy them all and the earth itself. So we might ask why are the animals are caught up in this judgment? Well, all the earth was placed under the same curse when Adam sinned. Thus, noting that all the land animals, birds, and men came from the dust of the ground or from the Earth itself and therefore the curse transferred to all land animals and birds as it did with all humanity. So all these are suffering the effects of sin. Here we can also see clear evidence that the animal kingdom is part of the earth created for man. And if man is to be destroyed, animals have no reason to exist apart from serving man. The only animals that will survive are those that accompany the family of Noah on the Ark.
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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