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Sunday, October 6, 2019

posted Oct 6, 2019, 6:29 PM by Site Administrator



Genesis 6:1-22

Key Verse 6:9


This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.


In the previous passage, we learned that Adams sin of disobedience passed onto his son Cain, and todays passage shows its continual spread throughout the world. People seemed to be enjoying sin freely, but when sin grew to the full, they had to face Gods judgment. Noahs flood shows the principle God used in his judgment, and it is a foreshadow of the final judgment that is still to come. We pray to learn to live like Noah in this generation. 


First, The sons of God married any of them they chose (1,2). Look at verses 1 and 2. Lets read these verses together: 


1When men began to increase in numbers on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 


Many people wonder about the expressions, the sons of God, and the daughters of men. They think that here, the sons of God refer to angels. But in that case, then, were they good angels or fallen angels? If they were good angels, how come they would have affairs with humans, disobeying Gods creation order? If they were fallen angels, how come they were called, the sons of God? This idea is nonsense. Such an idea of divine beings having affairs with humans comes from Greek and Roman mythology, not from the Bible. Here, sons of God refer to the descendants of Seth who maintained the knowledge of God, whereas the daughters of men refer to the descendants of Cain who lived without God. It seems that in those days, God-believing people were called the sons of God just in the same way, today, God-believing people are called, Christians. Adam and Eve had so many children, but the Bible sees them just into two lines of people - the descendants of Seth who maintained their relationship with God, and the descendants of Cain who did not. In Gods eyes, these two lines of people were completely different. The descendants of Cain were at best, no matter how successful they were, nothing but of humans - daughters of men. But the descendants of Seth were the sons of God, so awesome and great. These two lines of people increased in number continually until they covered the whole world. Evil spread through Cains descendants that the whole world became a very dangerous place for people to live; at the same time, the knowledge of God spread through Sethdescendants that many people came to worship God, calling on the name of the LORD. 


But as time passed by, a real problem began to occur in the community of the descendants of Seth. Some of them did not live up to their title, sons of God. Instead, they began to compromise and gave into their fleshly desires, especially, in the matter of their marriage. About how they married, two things stand out: The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they married any of them they chose. What God shows here is that they were wrong in doing these two things. But people wonder, thinking, Whats wrong in marrying that way? People, even Christians marry in that way! Thats why they come to church hoping to find a desirable marriage partner in the church. Again, we must notice that God shows here that Gods children marrying in that way is wrong. As we learned in Genesis chapter 2, originally, marriage was for God and by God; it was Gods divine institution for his purpose – we must marry for God and our marriage must be established by God. But these believers, instead of keeping their integrity as God-worshipers, didnt marry for God and by God, but they married for themselves and by themselves just like other humans; they saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Now all peoples on earth marry for themselves and by themselves, and this passage shows that such a trend began during the time of Noah. Before, the sons of God were concerned about the purpose of their marriage that they chose to marry for God and by Godmost likely choosing to marry among themselves, among the believers, being more concerned about Gods will and purpose in their marriage rather than their own preferences or their own desires. But during Noahs time, these believers compromised, and married anyone they chose, following their own desires based on outward appearance. In this way, marriage fell victim to peoples corruption; marriage was no longer for God and by God, but it became the means to gratify their fleshly desires. Once they compromised in their marriage, they came to compromise in many other things. Soon, they were no longer awesome and holy people, no longer the sons of God, but just like all others in the world. The sons of God lost their saltiness and thereby, could not function as salt, the preservative in the world any longer. Then, the whole world rotted and collapsed, inviting Gods judgment


Seth descendants kept their integrity as the sons of God for about 1400 years from Seth to Noahs time. Wow! They were really great people of God, indeed, they were the sons of God. Yet, this trend changed as they began to compromise in the matter of their marriage; later, they became worthless, losing all their greatness and holiness, thus inviting Gods judgment. Their failure shows us the importance of the marriage matter of God-believing people. Modern day, most Christians do not marry for God and by God, but for themselves and by themselves – this is the trend. There are many zealous young Christians who are willing to do everything for God; they are even willing to lay down their life for God; but they refuse to offer their marriage to God, saying, “I will marry the one I choose. Don’t bother!” Christians marriage never should be based on our ever-changing feelings and emotions. It should not be based on outward appearance or how attractive the other person looks. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. (Prov 31) Instead, Christians must uphold the truth of marriage that we must marry for God and by God. Indeed, it is Christians holy battle in this wicked and adulterous generation. When Christians do so, as their marriage is established not based on their ever changingfeelings and emotions, but on the rock foundation of Gods truth in Genesis, their family is strong and thereby can withstand all kinds of challenges in life. Then, no more broken families, and children can grow in sound and healthy environment, developing sound Christian characters and value system. Always remember how even those great believers, the sons of God failed!


We also see that the Bible blames the sons of God for the total corruption of Noahs generation - the sons of God, the believers, God-worshipers compromised, by giving into their fleshly desires in their marriage matter, losing their purity and saltiness, then, the whole world collapsed together with them.Jesus says of the believers, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. (Mt 5:13) Unbelieving people anyway, go from bad to worse. There is no hope. But God-believing people must play the role of salt, the preservative. When God-worshipers keep their integrity, living a spiritual life, pursuing things of God, denying themselves, they bring great inspiration to the society, influencing people, being an example of how humans must live. At that time, due to their pure life and good influence to others, humanity is preserved, and society is sustained - they indeed play the role of salt, the preservative that keeps the world from total corruption. You are the salt of the earth. Your life of faith is important. You have great responsibility for the whole world. Dont compromise. Keep your saltiness. 


When brothers view of their marriage partner was only outward appearance, what then, did women do? They were greatly concerned about how they looked, and they struggled hard to look attractive. They worked hard, running miles and miles on tread mills, swimming in the pool, doing dietwearing thick make-ups; fitness centers were filled with women, running and sweating a lot; many fashion magazines were published, and plastic surgery was popular. They wore revealing clothes, always trying to flirt brothers, wearing all kinds of accessories. During the time of Isaiah the prophet, the women of Jerusalem were like them too. God said of them, The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. When women were like this during the time of Noah, God punished the whole world with the flood. When women were like this during the time of Isaiah, God destroyed the whole nation and sent them to exile in Babylon. Now, how are the women of our generation? Certainly, worse than them! God-believing ladies should not be like them. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. But those women who fear the Lord will be praised. (Prov 31) Again, the real cause of this problem is the Christians who compromise, and give into their fleshly desires in their marriage matter - all the Christians who compromise are to be blamed.


Second, The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth (3-7). Look at verse 3. Lets read this verse together:


3Then the LORD said, My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.


The phrase contend with means plead a cause or fight. It shows that God had been fighting with the sons of God to keep them from going astray too much. When people were going to sin, he caused them a lot of troubles such as car accident or flat tire, or even terrible weather. When such things happened on their way to sin, people were alarmed, had the fear of God, and thus turned their way back home. But during Noahs time, people were completely corrupt and evil that even though God caused them a lot of troubles in their life of sin and tried to keep them from going astray too much, they did not care. Even after car accident or even with broken legs or arms, they went to sin, and did not take a warning of God. No matter what happened, they were totally determined to sin and do what was evil. So finally God decided to leave them alone, saying,My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal.The expression, for he is mortal, means that, people were so flesh-oriented that they were just like mortal animals; God was disgusted with them and did not want to do anything with them any longer. So, he left them alone to do whatever they wanted to do. We see the same expression in the book of Romans. Romans 1 reads: Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. Then, comes all kinds of sins, including home-sexuality. 


The expression, his days will be a hundred twenty years,refers to the grace period God gave them. Even though God was disgusted with them, because they were not like humans any longer, but just like animals, God did not destroy them right away. Instead, he gave them 120 years grace period. During this whole time of grace period, God would suffer whenever he watched humans, because they were disgusting in his eyes.


Verse 4 gives us one more clue showing us what kind of society it was. Lets read this verse together:


4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. 


This verse shows us who were heroes, who were famous. The Nephilim were gigantic tribe, of 7 feet, or 8 feet, or even 9 feet tall - they were warriors with strong muscles just like the Incredible Hulk. In Noahs days these strong muscle men and warriors were the heroes, and men of renown. They were praised and honored. When they paraded around the city, all the townspeople cheered, while women threw flowers on the ground and screamed. Hercules, Goliath! Look over here! Little boys’ dream was to be like one of them, powerful, brave and strong. All the boys struggled hard to work out in the gym and practicedmartial arts, shouting and screaming like Bruce Lee. Then, what about those with charming personality, or with great spirituality? They were not considered at all. 


When we apply the same standard to our society, we can measure the spiritual condition of our society. Who are famous? Who are renown? Movie stars, music stars, and sports stars - they have worldwide fame, making so much money; people are crazy for them. If they can hit the baseball well, if their music sounds cool, people dont care of whether these stars are of good character or bad character; whether they live sinful life or not, people dont care. In this way, the view of heroes or super-stars is just worldly and flesh-oriented. Certainly, our society is not that different than Noahs society. Dont value such things; dont live for such things. Dont conform to the pattern of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind in Jesus Christ. (Rm 12;2) 


The result of this flesh-oriented society was really bad. Verse 5 reads: The Lord saw how great mans wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The expression is really strong: Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. Everyone was like that. Then, what about when these evil people lived together, what kind of community had they formed? We really dont want to talk about it - so evil, so wicked. When you live in that kind of society, you cannot trust anyone; parents cannot send children to school by themselves; even sending them to school is unthinkable, because all the teachers there are evil, and all the children there are evil, and all the employees there from the principal to the genitor are evil; living in that kind of society itself is nothing but sheer misery; it is like living in hell. When they left God, they did not become better. Instead, each person became so wicked and evil that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. And their society was full of violence and everyone corrupted their ways. Their society was so bad and their life was so miserable. People were scared of possible crimes and violence that would reach them and their children. God made the world beautiful, but man made the world a difficult and dangerous place to live. Wherever there was no human being, there was peace and beauty. But wherever human beings were found, there was murder, evil and wickedness. Dont leave God; dont rebel against God. But accept Gods will upon your life and live the life of obeying Gods command. When things go according to Gods will in your life, you enjoy a delightful life.Otherwise, your inner person changes terribly that you become wicked, evil completely that you only think about, plan about and dream about terrible things, and your life among the same kind of people becomes miserable.


Look at verse 6. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain. What an embarrassing statement this is! God did not regret that he had made cows. He did not regret that he had made sharks. He did not regret that he had made mosquitoes. But he regretted that He had made human beings. When man operated his life according to Gods original purpose, everything in the world went very well. God was so happy and satisfied that he said very proudly, Very good! But when man did not live according to Gods original purpose, he was a source of trouble for the whole world, and he messed up; he was like a wild, violent and wayward prince in a kingdom. Gods heart was filled with pain because of him. Because of humans, God became a suffering God with pains and sorrows in his heart. He endured pains and sorrows for about 120 years, instead of destroying them right away. God is love; in love, God endures pains and sorrows for the sake of people. But when sin reaches its limit, God judges. God decided to wipe all humans from the earth with the floodDo you want to make God so painful and regretful that He sent you into this world? Or do you want to make God happy and proud of you? Then, you know how you must live your life. Dont give into your sinful desire. Instead, do what is right in your day to day life. Dont compromise especially in your marriage matter. Instead, keep your integrity as the sons and daughters of God.


ThirdNoah walked with God (8-22). Look at verses 8 and 9. Lets read these verses together: 


8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.


Among all people, God found one person who had not compromised, but kept his integrity as a son of God - he didnfollow the trend of all other compromising believers. His name was Noah. When God found him, He must have been very impressed and happy with him. What kind of person was heVerse 9 is Noahs profile. He was a righteous man. Righteousness means right relationship with God. Even when all other believers compromised, by giving into their fleshly desires, Noah struggled hard to maintain right relationship with God. How? By doing what was right in Gods eyes, by livingaccording to Gods will and purpose. How did he look in the eyes of other compromising people? Too exclusive, too holy! Anyway, they really didnt like him, because whenever they saw him, they were reminded of their compromise and corruption; whenever they saw him, they felt condemned. So, they struggled hard to corrupt him also so that he might be one of them; they tried to persuade him, saying, It is okay to marry anyone you choose, or they tempted him, saying, After marrying unbelievers, you can evangelize them. But Noah refused to compromise; he refused to sin; instead, he pursued right relationship with God by doing what was right in Gods eyes. He was a righteous man.


When they failed to corrupt him, they dug him out to find fault with him, but they could not find anything wrong with him, in the matter of women and of money. He was blameless among the people of his time. Noah also walked with God. This expression shows Noahs struggle to do the things God wanted him to do. When there were many choices in regard to a job matter, he chose a job God wanted him to have so that he and God might be in the same direction; he married the one God wanted him to marry so that in the marriage matter, God and he would go in the same direction. In the matter of raising up children, he chose Gods way so that he and God might go in the same direction. Thus, he walked with God in his job matter, in his marriage matter, in his children matter, in his family matter, and in his business matter, in everything he did. That was his struggle and lifestyle. He walked with God. Other compromising believers lived their lives together with the world, valuing and pursuing what the world offeredhaving the same value system, hope and lifestyle the people of the world had - they walked with the world as the friends of the world. But Noah, instead of walking with the world, walked with God. He valued and desired what God valued, fighting against his flesh and living according to Gods purpose. While all others were like dead fish flowing down the stream, Noah was like live fish that was swimming hard against the flow. 


In that generation, Noah was the only person whom God could talk to, and have fellowship with, because Noah did not walk with the world, but with God. He was used by God so preciously. We want to enjoy fellowship with God – how glorious it is to talk to him and hear from him directly. We also want to be used by God for his salvation purpose. Then, we must walk with God, in our career matter, in our marriage matter, in our children matter, in our business matter – that should be our struggle as children of God today. Then, as we struggle to walk with God in our practical life that way, our value system, our desire, our hope for the future, and our lifestyle will be shaped up according to Gods desire and purpose for us, and we grow up as real children of God who can reveal Gods glory to the world. 


Noah also had three sons - Shem, Ham and Japheth. This means that Noah lived a normal life - he married, had children, and had a job or business to support his family. Being righteous, or being devoted to God does not mean that you should drop out of school, leave the society, go into a deep mountain and become a monk there; it does not mean that you must not marry as some humanistic people suggest. As Jesus disciples, we dedicate ourselves to Gods mission completely; as we do so, God, as He did in the beginning, pours out his blessings on us through marriage, family, and jobs. When Gods people are victorious, we all shout for joy, praising God.


In Gods eyes, Noah was like a star that was shinning so brightly in that dark generation. So God chose him to be his partner for his world redemption plan. He first informed Noah of his judgment, saying, I am going to put an end to all people…and told him to make an ark of cypress wood, giving him a detailed instructionThe ark would be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high with a roof; it must be coated with pitch inside and out. Then, he said in verse 18, I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons wives with you. Do you want to be Gods partners in Gods redemption work? Do you want God to talk to you and share his plan with you? If you want to enjoy that kind of glorious fellowship with God, then, be like Noah! Pursue God and walk with Him!


How did Noah respond? Look at verse 22. Lets read this verse together:


Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


This sentence shows Noahs absolute obedience to Gods instruction in building the ark; he obeyed Gods instruction absolutely, and thereby, completed the ark. It was huge – 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Its length was one and a half times longer than a football field, and it was about 5 story building height. The whole thing was completely hand-made by Noah and his family. Using mostly primitive tools such as axes or saws, they constructed this huge ark purely from cypress trees. We can tell that it was not an easy task for anyone to build this huge ship with their bare hands. The physical difficulties were indeed great. He had to use only cypress wood, so he must have built the ark in a mountain where there were many Cyprus trees. After cutting down the trees using an ax, he had to carry them all the way to the place where he was building the ark.After using all cypress trees there, he had to travel to another mountain, looking for them, cut them down and carry them all the way back to the mountain where the ark was being built.Without any machines or forklifts, it was an extremely difficult work. He must have been exhausted many times. Moreover, while he was building the ark, the news about him spread widely among the people. In the eyes of the people, a crazy senior citizen was building a huge ark in the mountain, preaching that the judgment time was approaching. Soon the place Noah was building the ark became a world famous sightseeing attraction, and everyday many people came in large groups, 50 by 50, 100 by 100. They laughed at him and ridiculed him. Noah and his family became a byword in that generation. Sometimes, they felt like monkeys in a zoo. Such social abuse was not easy to bear.Sometimes, other sons of God came to him and lectured him, saying, God is love. Never say that God is going to judge the world. Even if Noah had confidence in Gods will for him, Noah felt difficult when other believers kept bothering him this way. But overcoming all these difficulties, not only for one year or two years, but for 120 years, Noah kept his faith, obeyed Gods command and completed the ark. This is how Noah served Gods will in his generation.


When we think about Noahs struggle and obedience to Gods command, we are very comforted. In serving Gods work on our campuses, we too have many difficulties – physically, mentally, and sometimes, even spiritually. Jesus says that only those who love him obey his commands, while others make excuses and compromise. What great joy we will have, when God describes our life in the same way, saying, “John did everything just as God commanded him.” 


One Word: Noah Walked With God