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.
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)
- First, we see coming judgment (Genesis 6:13, 17).
- God is bringing the flood of water.
- Last week we began this section. In last week’s message we talked about how the world was so depraved, yet Noah was righteous.
- 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.
- The earth is filled with violence. God is making an end of all the flesh.
- God is going to flood the world. This is all about the coming judgment.
- In the next several verses God gives Noah detailed instructions on how to build the ark.
- Some would question about how the whole world would be flooded. Some think that there is not enough water.
- 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.
- 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).
- God is destroying all flesh…notice the specification: God is destroying all flesh in which is the “breath of life…”
- Everything that is on the earth shall perish.
- 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.
- In verse 18 God is still speaking and this is important.
- We see the Ark of promise (Genesis 6:18-19; 7:1).
- 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.
- This is powerful.
- 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.
- Many times we focus on the judgment, but not the saving act of God.
- God would have been just to judge the whole world and be done with it, but he saved Noah’s family.
- In saving Noah’s family He provided life for us and salvation for us.
- 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.
- God makes a covenant with Noah.
- 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. 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. 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.
- 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.
- Verse 1 has another important note. The Lord declares that Noah alone has been righteous before God during this time.
- 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.
- 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.
- So, we have coming judgment, but we also have the ark of promise.
- 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).
- Noah is referenced many times in the New Testament
- We will look at just a few.
- 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…
- 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.
- Do we recognize that God is the judge and not us?
- Do we surrender to Him (see Psalm 51:1-12; Rev. 4:8-11)?
- Or, do we try to judge God?
- 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.
- Through Noah’s descendants, God will provide the Savior.
- In saving Noah, God provided salvation for humanity.
- Do we obey as Noah did? In Genesis 6:22 and 7:5, Noah did as the Lord commanded him.
- When God calls us to do something will we obey?
- 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.
299 299. G. Herbert Livingston, The Pentateuch in Its Cultural Environment, pp. 153–154.
 Brett McCracken, The Wisdom Pyramid, (Crossway, 2021), pp. 163