The Significance of Genesis: Noah was different from others; he walked with God (Gen. 6:9-12)

The Significance of Genesis: Noah was different from others; he walked with God.  

(Genesis 6:9-12)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, March 27, 2022

Have you ever been in a room totally dark? I am sure you have. Now suppose that one person had a candle. I have a candle, now I would like to ask someone to turn out the lights. Hold a candle and light it.

It is a little dark isn’t it? Suppose it was dark outside and only my candle was lit. It would be very dark. But my light would stand out. I would be different.

Are you standing out as a Christian?

Dr. Bill Brown was the president of Cedarville University. A while back I heard him tell a story about when he was working on his Ph.D. During this time his wife was working somewhere and the boss wanted her to do something unethical, which lacked integrity. The boss wanted her to change the numbers so the company received more money. During this time, he was not earning much money. His wife’s income was their income. So, she went to her boss and said, “I can’t do this.” He said, “You have to.” She thought about it at her desk and went back again and said, “I can’t do this.” He said, “You have to.” Again, she goes to her desk, calls her husband and he says, “We must obey God and not man.” She tells the boss, “I can’t do this, I must obey God.” He says, “When you are here, I am your God!” So, she said she couldn’t do it and she was fired. Later that day she went with her husband to deliver some manuscripts that he was working on for a professor. He was editing a Greek text working for a professor. The professor asked if she was off work. They explained the situation. He needed an assistant and hired her. She got a job typing what is now the NKJV Bible.

Why do I tell this story? I see in this story two themes that are important to today’s passage. One is the continual theme of Christians being different from the world. Incarnational. Christians must be light. Dr. Brown’s wife may not have made the boss happy; however, she had to be light in a dark world. The world may say, “Do what you have to do to get more money!” That is what her boss wanted her to do, changing the numbers, but Christ calls us to integrity. The world must see Christians with integrity and when they do, they will see us as light in a dark world. This is because we will be trustworthy.

The second theme from that story is reverence for God. The boss said, “When you are here, I am your god.” The passage we will look at will talk about reverence for God. So, let’s look at the passage.

My theme is:

Noah was different from others; he walked with God.  

  • In verses 9-10: we see the introduction to Noah. Verses 9-10 read: These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
  • We are in a sermon series focusing on the significance of Genesis chapters 1-11. Here we see the beginning of the narrative regarding the flood.
    1. Here we see details, details that show that these were real people in the midst of a real event.
    2. Noah was righteous… blameless… this does not mean that he was sinless. It does mean that the patterns of his life were walking with God, pursuing God.
    3. There is an order here: The order is one of increasing spiritual quality before God: “righteous” is to live by God’s righteous standards; “blameless” sets him apart by a comparison with those of his day; and that he “walked with God” puts him in a class with Enoch (5:24).[1]
    4. Noah fathered 3 sons.
    5. We will hear more about his sons later on.
    6. For now, what is important is that there is an emphasis on Noah being different.
    7. Noah stood out in a crooked, corrupt world.
    8. Noah was light in a dark world.
    9. Now, the emphasis here is not on “shining light,” or Noah’s witness, but it is on Noah being different.
  • In verses 11-12 we see the corruption of the world.

Verses 11-12 read: Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

  • This is a reiteration of how bad the people were.
    • “Corrupt…”
    • “In the sight of God”: This is anthropomorphic language. God does not literally see as we do. God knows all things and He is present everywhere. This is describing things as if God saw it as we do.
    • The earth was “filled with violence…”
    • New American Commentary: The justification for the calamity is the complete moral corruption of the human family and the defilement of the earth (cf. 6:6–7). The repetition of “corrupt,” occurring three times in vv. 11–12, underscores God’s appraisal of the human condition (6:5) and proves the legitimacy of the extreme penalty he will invoke. “Earth” also occurs three times in the passage, indicating that the fortunes of humanity and the earth are intertwined. This “corruption” is further defined by the term “violence” (ḥāmās, v. 11), which is used of severe treatment against another person (e.g., 16:5; Exod 23:1; Mic 6:12) and may involve physical harm (e.g., 49:5; Judg 9:24). Whereas God has blessed the human family with the power of procreation to fill the earth (1:28; 9:1), these culprits have “filled the earth” by procreating “violence” (cf. v. 13; Ezek 8:17; 28:16).
    • Further, Verse 12 intentionally recalls v. 5, where “the Lord saw” the intensity of human evil (“every,” “all”), and 1:31, where “the Lord saw” the “good” earth he had made. Here “God saw” that the “good” earth was now corrupt, and the corruption was all-inclusive (“all people”), excepting Noah. For this reason “only Noah was left” from the earth (7:23).20[2]
    • The earth was corrupt.
    • ESV Study Note: The ancient Near Eastern epics of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis also tell of a flood sent to punish human beings. In those stories, however, it is merely the disruptive noise of humanity that leads to their destruction. Genesis emphasizes that God destroys the people he has created because of their immoral behavior.[3]
    • God looks on the earth.
    • Certainly, God knows all and sees all and even knew it before it happened.
    • God is inspiring Moses to write in our language.
    • It was corrupt, stated again. “Corrupt” or “corrupted” is used three times in verses 11 and 12.
  • Applications:
    • We are to be different.
    • Noah was different.
    • Do you realize the world is still corrupt? We as Christians are to be different.
      • It ought to be our goal to walk with God as Noah did (Gen. 6:9).
      • It out to be our example to stand out in a perverse world as Noah did (Gen. 6:9-12).
      • Noah was different from the world (Gen. 6:9-12), may we also be different from the surrounding world.
      • May we live out Romans 12:1-2; may we not be conformed to the world but be transformed by renewing our mind.
      • May we recognize that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).
      • We must standout as Noah did. We must be different.
      • We must allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives so that we have the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Have you ever been in a room totally dark?

Now, I have my candle and it is dark.

Now, think of it this way. If you are a Christian, you are the light. The Holy Spirit lights you up and if you allow the Holy Spirit to reign in your life you will be different. You will shine.

But what if everyone had a candle? This would lighten the surroundings much more. Then we can take our light out into the world. We are all light in a dark world but our light is dull and faded, even covered up. But as we are made holy, as we become like, Jesus we are light in the world. How are you doing? Are you light? Are you complaining and arguing without reason? Are you allowing God to work in you?

Mathew 5:14-16:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.


[1] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ge 6:9.

20 The NAB has accordingly “all mortals on earth.”

[2] K. A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 356–360.

[3] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 62.

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