The Significance of Genesis: Worldwide Flood of Judgment and God’s Grace (Genesis 7:11-24).

The Significance of Genesis: Worldwide Flood of Judgment and God’s Grace (Genesis 7:11-24).

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, April 24, 2022

My dad’s side of the family comes from Johnston, Pennsylvania.

In the 1880s, if you wanted a good life with a good job, you moved to Johnstown, PA. The Pennsylvania Main Line Canal came through town, so that brought jobs. So did the Pennsylvania Railroad. And the Cambria Iron Works. Families were moving in from Wales. From Germany. Not to mention there are beautiful mountains, covered with forest, all around town. And right through the town runs the Conemaugh River.

In fact, the area is so beautiful, the country’s richest people—Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon—would come out from Pittsburgh to hunt and fish at a private club up above town, where an old earth dam had been modified to make a fishing lake for them.

On May 30, 1889, a huge rainstorm came through and dropped six to 10 inches of rain. Despite that weather, the next day the town lined up along Main Street for the Memorial Day parade. The Methodist pastor, H. L. Chapman, said, “The morning was delightful, the city was in its gayest mood, with flags, banners and flowers everywhere … The streets were more crowded than we had ever seen before.”

And then the old dam miles above town collapsed, releasing almost four billion gallons of water. When that wall of water and debris hit Johnstown 57 minutes later, it was 60 feet high and traveling at 40 miles an hour. People tried to escape by running toward high ground. But over 2,000 of the 30,000 people in town died. Some bodies were found as far away as Cincinnati, and some were not discovered until 20 years later.

The Johnstown Flood remains one of the greatest tragedies in American history, behind only the Galveston Hurricane and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And in every one of those cases, life was fine. Until it wasn’t. In a moment, in a way that was unexpected and most people were not prepared for, something cataclysmic occurred, and people were swept away.[1]

Floods are scary. The force of water is amazing. Today, we talk about another flood.

We have been preaching through Genesis chapters 1-11. My point has been to show the significance of Genesis to the rest of the Bible.

My great idea is:

The Significance of Genesis: We see the worldwide flood of judgment and God’s grace saving Noah and his family (Genesis 7:11-24). We also see God intervene to prevent the escalating depravity of humanity.

  1. First, we see the flood begins (Genesis 7:11-12).
    1. Let’s put this in context before we read the Scripture.
    2. In verses 1-10, Genesis 7:1-10, we see the occupants of the ark: Noah, his wife, their sons and their wives, plus a pair of all animals and seven pairs of clean animals.
    3. They entered the ark because of the flood.
    4. Verse 10, Genesis 7:10, says that after seven days the flood of water came upon the earth.
    5. Verse 11 is a time marker and gives extra detail: read with me verse 11, Genesis 7:11, In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
    6. Look how the flood happened: “all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”
    7. Water came from underground and the sky.
    8. The Hebrew term תְּהוֹם‎ (téhom, “deep”) refers to the watery deep, the salty ocean—especially the primeval ocean that surrounds and underlies the earth (see Gen 1:2).[2]
    9. Water came from two different sources—one below and one above. Exactly what is meant by all the sources of the vast watery depths is unknown; the phrase appears to refer to a massive outflow of pressurized water from underground sources that burst out of the ground with devastating effect. No known phenomenon in nature today corresponds to this description.[3]
    10. A peculiar feature of the flood narrative is the number of detailed chronological notices (cf. 8:4–5, 13–14). By pinpointing the exact date of the flood within Noah’s life, the text underlines that it was a real event. all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened (7:11). Powerful imagery is used here to capture the intensity of the flood. From below and above, water poured out to cover the land. Rain fell continuously for forty days and forty nights (v. 12).[4]
    11. Verse 12, Genesis 7:12, And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
    12. Verse 12: the rain fell 40 days and 40 nights is stating what God had planned. See verse 4 and verse 17.
    13. In Genesis 7:13-16: the text once again shares the occupants of the ark: They include Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives, plus a pair of all animals, and seven pairs of clean animals.[5]
    14. Look at verse 16, Genesis 7:16, And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.
    15. Verse 16: they entered as God commanded and the Lord closed the door.
    16. Notice that: The LORD closed the door: The use of the personal name “Yahweh” (“Lord”) underscores God’s special relationship with Noah.[6]
    17. The author gave no details to explain how God performed the supernatural act of shutting Noah in. This divine act highlights the truth found elsewhere in the Bible: “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jnh 2:9).[7]
  2. Verses 17-24: The ordeal outside the ark.
    1. The underground waters burst forth, and torrential rain falls from heaven for forty days, covering the highest mountains and drowning all human and animal life.[8]
    2. Read with me Genesis 7:17-24:

17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. 21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; 22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. 23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. 24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

  • The water came upon the earth, again, 40 days and 40 nights. Constant rain and water from under the earth.
    • The water lifts the ark up.
    • The ark rose above the earth… That is picturesque language.
    • Verse 18 builds on this.
    • The water prevailed which usually has a meaning of being prevalent but also force.
    • “prevail” is used 4 times in the next several verses.
    • The water stayed on the earth 150 days. The Hebrew word translated as “prevail” in the NASB is גָּבַר
    • Gābhar be strong, mighty.
    • The Hebrew verb translated “prevailed over” suggests that the waters were stronger than the earth. The earth and everything in it were no match for the return of the chaotic deep.[9]
    • Verse 19: all the high mountains were covered everywhere.
    • 15 cubits above the mountains. A cubit was 18 inches: More than twenty feet is literally fifteen cubits, which is about 22½ feet.[10]
    • Through the use of expanded restatement the author brings the detailed account of the flood’s destruction to a climax.[11]
    • Verses 21-23 go to detail to show the results.
    • Verse 22: all whose nostrils had the spirit of life died. This seems to suggest that all that breathed oxygen died.
    • For dramatic effect a second expanded expression of the flood’s destructive effects immediately follows the one in the previous verse.[12]
    • Verse 23: again, great detail to show the result: all died, only Noah and those on the ark lived.
    • Verse 24: the water “prevailed” upon the earth 150 days.
    • Though the text does not explicitly say so, the total of 150 days seems to include the forty days of rain. The Hebrew word translated as surged [prevailed in the NASB and ESV] emphasizes the power of the waters.[13]
    • The flood brought a whole world to an end (2 Pet. 2:5; 3:6). It prefigures the final judgment, which ends the present heavens and earth and brings a new world (Rev. 21:1). God preserves those who belong to Christ, the final Noah.[14]
    • In the New Testament, the flood is referenced by Jesus: Matthew 24:38-39 is good: For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
    • The total elapse of time in the flood narrative can be viewed in different ways depending on how the given information is merged. From the information given in 7:11 and 8:14 it can be determined that Noah and his family were in the ark for twelve months and eleven days. The exact number of days would depend on how many days were counted in a month and whether any adjustments were being made between lunar and solar reckonings. The eleven days has been found interesting by some, since the lunar year of 354 days is eleven days shorter than the solar year.[15]

Let’s apply:

  1. God is faithful. God said that He would save Noah and his family and He did (see Gen 6:8, 18).
  2. God preserved a remnant; we must praise God for His faithfulness to His creation.
  3. God intervened to prevent the escalating depravity of the world. Think about that. Too often we judge God for the flood; however, if the whole world was like the Nazi’s, or Stalin, or ISIS, wouldn’t we want someone to make it stop? God intervened. The world was really bad and God put a stop to it.
  4. In saving Noah’s family God provided a future for humanity.
  5. In saving Noah’s family God provided a way of salvation for humanity in the future through Jesus.
  6. We must have faith that the Lord knows what is best. Noah trusted the Lord (Genesis 7:12-16).
    • Noah trusted the Lord to close the ark (Genesis 7:16).
      • Noah trusted the Lord to enter the ark (Genesis 7:13-16).
      • We must trust the Lord following His written instructions in His Word. We have more information from God than Noah did.
      • We must trust the Lord following the voice of the Holy Spirit.
      • We must trust the Lord honoring His ways.
      • We must trust the Lord with integrity.
      • We must trust the Lord with His call on our life. His call is revealed in His word, for example, purity, integrity, loving others, sharing the Gospel, commitment to the church, etc.
  7. God is just and He will not let sin go unpunished (Ex 34:7). We must praise Him for His forgiveness and recognize our sin is against Him.
  8. We see God’s grace with Noah.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast throughout the last week of August, 2005—destroying buildings, flooding cities, and leaving millions of people homeless. However, the storm’s most destructive consequence may have been the unleashing of human nature.

While New Orleans law officials and National Guardsmen concentrated on rescuing survivors, hundreds of looters took to the streets in the days following Katrina’s wrath. Initially the looters targeted supermarkets and drug stores, focusing on food, medicine, and diapers. However, these seemingly innocent motives soon turned to greed.

On historic Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates protecting clothing and jewelry stores. Many waded through the flooded streets with industrial-sized trashcans full of merchandise, which they floated on makeshift rafts. In Biloxi, Mississippi, people picked through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other businesses.

Frighteningly, many of the looters made off with weapons. New Orleans’ homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters broke into stores all over town to steal guns, and the Times-Picayune newspaper reported that the gun section at a new Wal-Mart in the Lower Garden District was quickly cleaned out.

“The looting is out of control,” said French Quarter Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson. “We’re using exhausted, scarce police to control looting, when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops.”[16]

Have we improved? We are still sinners, and we need God’s grace.


[1] David McCullough, The Johnstown Flood (Simon and Schuster, 1968), p. 22; David McCullough, “This 19th-Century Disaster Made a Historian of Me,” (8-27-18)

[2] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ge 7:11.

[3] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 18.

[4] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 63.

[5] H. L. Willmington, The Outline Bible (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), Ge 7:1–9.

[6] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 63.

[7] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 19.

[8] H. L. Willmington, The Outline Bible (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), Ge 7:10–12.

[9] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ge 7:24.

[10] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 19.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid. 19.


[13] Ibid. 19.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Ge 7:11–8:5.

[16] Source: “Looters Run Wild in New Orleans,” (8-31-05).

Because He Lives

Another time and another place, I was sitting through a Good Friday service and I thought, “What would my life be like without Christ?” Have you ever thought about that? I have heard some say they would be dead, and that may be true.

Without Jesus in my life, I would have no hope. I would not know about the future. Funerals would be more difficult because I would not know about eternal life, nor would I have any confidence in my eternal life. Funerals would always be a reminder of the reality of death (1 John 5:13).

Without Jesus in my life, I would have no moral grounding. Without Jesus, I would not be bound by the Biblical values of right and wrong. There is no telling what I would have been into (Galatians 5:22-23). Without Jesus in my life, I may have many idols to replace Him and these could be drugs, alcohol, adultery, pornography, etc.

Without Jesus in my life, I would not have the community of the church (Acts 2:42-47).

Without Jesus in my life, I would not have the wisdom and knowledge of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Psalm 119; Revelation 1:2, 9).

Without Jesus in my life, I would not have the Holy Spirit and I would be alone. The Holy Spirit helps one to understand and apply the Bible. The Holy Spirit works in the community of the Church. The Holy Spirit teaches and helps each believer.

Without Jesus in my life I would be lost in darkness with no hope for now or for eternity.

What would your life be like without Christ?

Think with me about how Jesus has impacted your life.

Are you saved? Are you set free from sin? Do you live for sin or for Jesus? Do you live in the Kingdom of Heaven or the fallen world?

What was your life like before you came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior?

What has your Christian life been like?

What is your future like as a Christian?

Let’s read John 20:1-10:

John 20:1-10:

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Listen to the words of Because He Lives:

Think about them:

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

I wish to talk about what the resurrection means.

  1. Because of sin, we have death (Genesis 2:17; 3:19).
    1. We were created to live forever. All of you, all of us, we were created to live eternally. What do you think it means to be created in the image of God? It is not appearance, at least I don’t think it is appearance. I believe it is that we have emotions and God has emotions (Isaiah 66:13), I believe it is that we are physical, and God is physical. I believe it is that we are spiritual, and God is spiritual (Genesis 2:7; John 4:24). In Genesis 2:7 we find that God breathed into man the breath of life. I believe at this point God made Adam spiritual being. We don’t see God doing this for the animals. This is only for humans. God created us to live forever and when we take from the tree of life (Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24; Revelation 22:1-2) we can live forever.
    2. But God told them they can eat from any tree they wish to, but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Or, they will die (Genesis 2:17).
    3. All throughout the book of Genesis, we find the emphasis that people die.
    4. But even in death, we were still created spiritually. We cannot just die like that.
    5. So, even in the Old Testament, we have this term Sheol. This is the same as our word for Hades. This is a consequence of sin (Genesis 37:35; 42:38; 44:29, etc.).
    6. How else are we to go to God? The Old Testament teaches that God is too pure to behold sin (Psalm 66:18: If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not hear my prayer.). 
    7. Romans 3:23 teaches us that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.
    8. The Bible even says that we have placed a separation between God and us for the fact that we have sinned (Isaiah 59:2). 
    9. In 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 the Bible says that those who do not know God will be punished. Yet, God loves us. God is just.

Just think about it this way, imagine this government leader guy, let’s call him Garcia.  Well, Garcia’s people are starving and food has been rationed.  One morning he learns that someone has been stealing from the food supply.  Garcia called the people together and told them of the missing food and then warned them that if the stealing did not stop and the thief was caught, he or she would be beaten until the point of death. The stealing did stop for a short time, but eventually the thief returned.  About a week later, Garcia’s lieutenant told Garcia that the thief had been caught the previous night. “Garcia,” he said. “The thief is your mother.” Garcia is in one of a dilemma.  He had said before with everyone as a witness, that the thief would be punished and that the punishment was death. He can’t go back on his word without going against his own authority. 

Well, you see, in the same way God says that He is unchanging and that He won’t change His mind (1 Sam. 15.29).  Well, He already declared that He will not let the guilty go unpunished (Ex. 34.7b) so, because we committed the crime, we must face the consequences.  You see, God can’t tell a lie, or He wouldn’t be God (Num. 23.19).  It’s kind of like signing a contract.  What would you think of someone who signed a contract agreeing to do something for you, but never kept his end of the deal?  Personally, I’d never trust him again. His Word is His contract, and He is bound by His own nature.  God can’t go back on His word without marring His character. We can see that Garcia is in a dilemma and it kind of looks like God’s in a similar dilemma.

Transition:  He can’t just forget the sin, so He must have come up with something to erase them completely.  This is where the “good” news comes in…

It is because of the cross and the resurrection that we can live eternally. Our sins are washed away.

Because of Jesus, and the resurrection, we have life (Romans 6:23 and 1 Cor. 15:55-57).

Look at two passages:

  • Look at Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    1. Look at 1 Cor. 15:55-57: 55 “O death, where is your victory?
          O death, where is your sting?”
    2. 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    3. We do not have to fear death anymore. We were created to live forever and under sin, we would have to fear death because death brought judgment. But now, under Christ, we no longer have to fear death. Jesus took our punishment. We were created to live forever either in heaven or in hell. Because Jesus lives, we will live eternally in paradise.
    4. Remember the hymn: Because He Lives?  
    5. We have life. Our life would be in vain if it were not for the resurrection. I mean, yea we can live our best life now, but that is it. It is because of the resurrection that it is sweet to hold a newborn baby. As the hymn says, “This child can face uncertain days because He lives.”
    6. It is because Jesus lives that we can have a relationship with Him.
    7. We can have a relationship with Jesus and many people do. How sweet to hold a newborn baby—knowing that baby can have a relationship with Jesus. The baby will have eternal life in Jesus. In Jesus the baby will not face life’s challenges alone.
    8. Dr. Tennent, the President of Asbury Theological Seminary said the following: “Buddhist travel to remains of Buddha, Muslims travel to Medina for remains of Muhammed but there is no place in the world you can travel to worship the remains of Christ!” (1 Cor 15). We cannot do that because Jesus arose.
    9. The resurrection separates Christianity from other religion. Our Savior lives, we will live again. Death no longer has a sting.
  • This is the case with you, you can have eternal life in Jesus. You can have a relationship with Jesus.
    1. Where are you at in your life right now?
    2. Have you trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior?
    3. Do you know that since He lives you will live eternally? Do you believe that?
    4. Do you know that your sins are washed away by Jesus?
    5. Do you know that you do not face life’s challenges alone?
    6. Is it the case for you that because Jesus lives you can face tomorrow?
    7. Think about this question: Does the resurrection give you hope?
  • I read a story about a professor who wanted to demonstrate the truth of what Jesus did on the cross. The professor asked an athlete, Steve, how many pushups he does every day. Steve said he does 300 pushups every day. The following Friday, the professor brought in some of the best donuts he could get. It was the last day of class, and he was going to have a party. But in order for a student to have a donut, Steve has to do 10 pushups. So, then the professor asked each student, “Do you want a donut?” If they said yes, then Steve has to do 10 pushups. If they said no, Steve still has to do 10 pushups, though the student in free will can refuse the donut. They had a large class. By the end of the class Steve was struggling and the class felt bad for him. That is an illustration of the cross. Jesus went to the cross so we can have fuller life in Him and eternal life in Him.[1]

The grave could not contain Jesus. The stone was rolled away and the stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out, but to let us in. The stone was rolled away so that we could see that He lives. 

Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior?

Do you know Jesus?


Palm Sunday message: Christ is our King and He is coming back (Mark 11:1-11)

prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, April 10, 2022

In 1943, 230 women were arrested as members of the French Resistance and sent to Birkenau. Only 49 survived, but this in itself is remarkable. These women were as diverse a group as could be imagined—Jews and Christians, aristocrats and working class, young and old. Yet they were united by their commitment to the French Resistance and to one another. In her book A Train in Winter, Caroline Moorhead reconstructs the story of these women through the journals and memoirs of survivors. The solidarity of these women sustained them through unspeakable horror and torture.

In contrast, many Holocaust survivors hoarded whatever meager resources they could save for themselves. And how could they be blamed? Survival became the only goal—no matter what the cost, even to others. Yet, in most of the cases with these French women in Birkenau, their solidarity toward each other trumped the selfishness that engulfed so many others. As Moorhead writes, “Knowing that the fate of each depended on the others … egotism seemed to vanish and that, stripped back to the bare edge of survival, each rose to behavior few would have believed themselves capable of.” Moorhead recounts that when unrelieved thirst threatened to engulf one of their members in utter madness, the women pooled together their own meager rations to get her a whole bucket of water.

This kind of love is very rare. Putting one’s own needs first is as natural as breathing, and just as unconscious. Yet the women of the French Resistance provide a contemporary model of what Christ has done for us. But there are two big differences: first Jesus willingly chose to stand in solidarity with us in our suffering. Second, he stood in solidarity with his enemies. He walked among humans including the very least of these, and chose to share the horror of human death. Even after the victory of his resurrection from death, this One still bore in his body the wounds of his earthly suffering. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. This is solidarity for life.[1]

Christ is the One who saves us, Christ sanctifies us, Christ is our King. He is worthy of all praise and worship. Let’s read Mark 11:1-11

Mark 11:1-11

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.


Christ is our King and He is coming back.


Surrender, unadulterated surrender and worship is what we must do.

  1. Jesus enters Jerusalem, the people are ready for a King
    1. The people have been waiting for a king. They have been waiting for a king like David in the Old Testament. They have been waiting for a Savior.
    1. This is the beginning of what we now call Holy Week.
    1. Jesus is entering Jerusalem after a busy ministry schedule. He has a busy week ahead.
    1. They treat Jesus as a king right now, don’t they?
    1. Verse 8 begins to show this. They put their coats on the ground and many spread leafy palm branches.
    1. They shout “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
    1. (Verses 9-10)?
    1. Hosanna means “save us!”
    1. The people wanted a savior, they saw Jesus as that Savior. The people wanted a king, they saw Jesus as that king.
    1. They were so loud that if you read other Gospel accounts, such as Luke 19:39ff the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples. But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out.”
    1. Jesus was hailed as a king then, but later in the week, he was crucified. Some will say the same crowd who worshipped Him will later cry out, “crucify Him.” Though, it is likely a different crowd.
    1. But on Palm Sunday they had the right idea. They welcomed Him as King. Jesus will come back as King. Jesus will come back as King and as the judge.
  2. Jesus will come again as King
    1. Jesus is our coming King.
    1. Jesus, welcomed as King on that Sunday, later crucified, ascended into Heaven some forty days after the resurrection. Following the ascension we read in Acts 1:11:
    1. Acts 1:11: and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
    1. Jesus is King and will return as King. Jesus will return in the clouds, and He will return in His time.
    1. Jesus will return in the clouds: Rev. 1:7: Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
    1. Often we wonder why He hasn’t returned yet. 2 Peter 3:8-10: But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
    1. Further the Bible teaches more about Christ’s return: Jesus Christ will be vindicated in the eyes of those who crucified Him (Rev. 1:7); the whole of creation will be liberated from the curse imposed upon it after the sin of Adam in the garden (Romans 8:20–21); the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Isa. 11:9); God’s righteous reign will be established upon the earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1–6); and, ultimately, the final destruction of Satan will be accomplished (Rev. 20:7–10). [2]
    1. One writes: Over the last four decades I have read a great many books about the Second Coming of Christ. Unfortunately, most were devoted to predicting when this cataclysmic event will occur (something the Bible explicitly tells us NOT to do), to debating the order of events connected to His return or to splitting the eschatological “hairs” that separate one group of evangelical believers from another. All of this speculation entirely misses the point of what the Bible says about the matter. The whole focus of the New Testament’s teaching about the return of Christ can be summarized in two simple propositions: first, because Christ is coming, we need to be ready—living lives that are pure, steadfast, prayerful, holy and reverent; and, second, because Christ is coming, we need to finish the task He has given us—the preaching of the gospel.[3]
    1. Jesus is the rightful King. They worshipped Him for this reason on Palm Sunday. He will return as the rightful King. Are you ready?



Christ is our King and He is coming back.


Surrender, unadulterated surrender and worship is what we must do.

As we go through this week, take a few moments and pray about surrender. If Jesus came back right now, what is something that He would ask about, some thought or action? Repent and surrender. Or, what is something you haven’t done that you know He wants you to do? This week take some time and reflect on your spiritual life. Grab your Bible, a pen and paper and take some time and ask God to show you some things to work on. Read Psalm 42 and pray that you desire God like the Psalmist.

“During World War I, a British commander was preparing to lead his soldiers back to battle. They’d been on furlough, and it was a cold, rainy, muddy day. Their shoulders sagged because they knew what lay ahead of them: mud, blood, possible death. Nobody talked, nobody sang. It was a heavy time. “As they marched along, the commander looked into a bombed-out church. Back in the church he saw the figure of Christ on the cross. At that moment, something happened to the commander. He remembered the One who suffered, died, and rose again. There was victory, and there was triumph. “As the troops marched along, he shouted out, ‘Eyes right, march!’ Every eye turned to the right, and as the soldiers marched by, they saw Christ on the cross. Something happened to that company of men. Suddenly they saw triumph after suffering, and they took courage. With shoulders straightened, they began to smile as they went. You see, anything worthwhile in life will be a risk that demands courage.” [–Gordon Johnson, “Finding Significance in Obscurity,” Preaching Today, Tape 82.]

Keep your eyes on Jesus!


[1] Source: Adapted from Margaret Manning, “Solidarity,” A Slice of Infinity/RZIM (3-7-17); source: Caroline Weber, “Sisters Unto Death,” New York Times Book Review (11-13-11)


[3] ibid.

The Significance of Genesis: Coming Judgment, but the Ark of Promise (Genesis 6:13-7:10)

The Significance of Genesis: Coming Judgment, but the Ark of Promise (Genesis 6:13-7:10)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, April 3, 2022

In this message, I thought I would start with a quiz. Shout out the answer without looking at your notes:

How long did it take Noah to build the ark? The Bible does not specifically say how long it took Noah to build the ark. When Noah is first mentioned in Genesis 5:32, he is 500 years old. When Noah enters the ark, he is 600 years old. The time it took to build the ark would depend on how much time passed between Genesis 6:14, when God commanded Noah to build the ark; and Genesis 7:1, when God commanded Noah to enter the ark. Some scholars teach that it took Noah 120 years to build the ark, based on Genesis 6:3. Others say that it took 100 years, based on Noah’s age in Genesis 5:32 and his age in Genesis 7:6.

How long was Noah on the ark? Noah entered the ark in the 600th year of his life, on the 17th day of the 2nd month (Genesis 7:11-13). Noah left the ark on the 27th day of the 2nd month of the following year (Genesis 8:14-15). Therefore, assuming a lunar calendar of 360 days, Noah was on the ark for approximately 370 days.

How many people were on Noah’s ark? According to Genesis chapters 6-8, Noah, his wife, Noah’s three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), and their wives were on the ark. Therefore, there were eight people on the ark.

Who was Noah’s wife? The Bible nowhere specifically gives us the name or identity of Noah’s wife. There is a tradition that she was Naamah (Genesis 4:22). While possible, this is not explicitly taught in the Bible.[1]

We are continuing our trek through Genesis chapters 1-11. Today, we continue the flood narrative.

Today my theme is:

The Significance of Genesis: Coming Judgment, but the Ark of Promise (Genesis 6:13-7:10)

  1. First, we see coming judgment (Genesis 6:13, 17).
    1. God is bringing the flood of water.
    2. Last week we began this section. In last week’s message we talked about how the world was so depraved, yet Noah was righteous.
    3. Look at Genesis 6:13: And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
    4. The earth is filled with violence. God is making an end of all the flesh.
    5. God is going to flood the world. This is all about the coming judgment.
    6. In the next several verses God gives Noah detailed instructions on how to build the ark.
    7. Some would question about how the whole world would be flooded. Some think that there is not enough water.
    8. CSB: In this light some defenders of a global flood have suggested that pre-flood geography differed from today’s geography. Specifically, they suggest that Earth’s landscape was flatter in the pre-flood era, thus requiring less water to flood, and that the violent flood created many of today’s geographical and geological features. Others take a different approach, suggesting that pre- and post-flood geography is largely the same, that the flood did indeed require a greater quantity of water than is now present on Earth, and that by an unknown mechanism Earth’s quantity of water has greatly diminished after the flood.[2]
    9. Moody Bible Commentary: Though some claim that the flood was a localized event restricted to the ancient Near East, the text makes it clear that this was as a worldwide event. Three times in this passage the words all flesh (kol baśar, vv. 13, 17, 19) appear, the phrase occurring 33 times elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, each time referring to all living creatures, both human and animal (e.g., Jb 34:15; Jr 25:31; Ezk 21:5). The universal scope of the flood is further emphasized by the later reference to the water covering “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens” (7:19, italics added) as well as God’s promise to “never again destroy every living thing” with a flood (8:21, italics added).[3]
    10. God is destroying all flesh…notice the specification: God is destroying all flesh in which is the “breath of life…”
    11. Everything that is on the earth shall perish.
    12. Look at verse 17, Genesis 6:17: For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
    13. In verse 18 God is still speaking and this is important.
  2. We see the Ark of promise (Genesis 6:18-19; 7:1).
    1. Look at verses 18-19, Genesis 6:18-19: But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
    2. This is powerful.
    3. The world is a hot mess; the world is in a state of fallen depravity. God is going to judge the world, but here we see God’s GREAT grace. God is going to save a family.
    4. Many times we focus on the judgment, but not the saving act of God.
    5. God would have been just to judge the whole world and be done with it, but he saved Noah’s family.
    6. In saving Noah’s family He provided life for us and salvation for us.
    7. If Noah’s family was not saved there would be no more humanity and no Savior. In saving Noah’s family we have the possibility for the Savior through Noah’s descendants.
    8. God makes a covenant with Noah.
    9. This is the first occurrence of the word “covenant” (Heb. berith) in the Old Testament (v. 18). There were two basic kinds of covenants in the ancient Near East.299
      1. 1. The parity covenant was one that equals made. Examples: Abraham and Abimelech (21:22–32), Isaac and Abimelech (26:26–33), and Jacob and Laban (31:44–54).
      2. 2. The suzerainty covenant was one that a superior (king) made with an inferior (vassal). Examples: the Noahic Covenant (Gen. 6:16), the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18), the Mosaic Covenant (Exod. 19—Num. 10), et al.[4]
    10. Now look at Genesis 7:1: Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.
    11. Verse 1 has another important note. The Lord declares that Noah alone has been righteous before God during this time.
    12. This does not mean that Noah was sinless, no one has been sinless except for Jesus. This means that Noah’s patterns of behavior, his daily walk was following the Lord.
    13. Notice this also says, Noah alone has been righteous before the Lord during that time, or it could say more literally “generation.” It is specifying that day and age.
    14. So, we have coming judgment, but we also have the ark of promise.
    15. The ESV Study Bible shares: God promises in a covenant to save Noah, prefiguring the new covenant in Christ by which we receive eternal salvation (1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 10:15–18).[5]
  3. Noah is referenced many times in the New Testament
    1. We will look at just a few.
    2. Let’s look at 2 Peter 2:5: if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly…
    3. Now, 2 Peter 3:5-6: For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
  4. Applications:
    1. Do we recognize that God is the judge and not us?
    2. Do we surrender to Him (see Psalm 51:1-12; Rev. 4:8-11)?
    3. Or, do we try to judge God?
    4. God will provide salvation for Noah and his family. We must understand that in this God is providing a way for future salvation for all humanity.
    5. Through Noah’s descendants, God will provide the Savior.
    6. In saving Noah, God provided salvation for humanity.
    7. Do we obey as Noah did? In Genesis 6:22 and 7:5, Noah did as the Lord commanded him.
    8. When God calls us to do something will we obey?
    9. Do we desire to be righteous as Noah was (Genesis 7:1)?

Noah was righteous, Noah obeyed God.

It’s significant that in Scripture, wisdom is often associated with a path. Are you going in the right direction? Are you veering off the path? Do you know where you are on the map? What’s your compass? At the end of the day, wisdom is less about information than orienta­tion. All the geographic data points in the world are useless if we have no sense of north.

All of us wander in whichever nomadic direction our hearts choose, until we submit to the authority of God’s good compass. He alone illuminates the path of wisdom. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1), and thus wanders aimlessly through the desert. The wise man, by contrast, lives a radically God-centered life.

Tozer puts it this way:

As the sailor locates his position on the sea by “shooting” the sun, so we may get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when and only when we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.[6]



[2] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 16.

vv. verses

e.g. for example

[3] Michael A. Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham, eds., “Genesis,” in The Moody Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014), 58.

299 299. G. Herbert Livingston, The Pentateuch in Its Cultural Environment, pp. 153–154.

[4] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Ge 6:17.

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

[6] Brett McCracken, The Wisdom Pyramid, (Crossway, 2021), pp. 163