Noah and God

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Genesis 7:1 – 8:19, II Peter 2:5, and Hebrews 7:11

            “What I’m preaching is don’t give up on God or get ahead of God,” he added. “Along the way God will show you things are progressing and getting better. God gives us signs of hope along the way.”

Today’s message focused on the Great Flood in Genesis 7-8. Pastor Steve said the flood shows that God is a God of wrath, something many want to downplay as they try to convince people He loves them. Especially in a society that likes bubbles and sweets all the time.

            “We are addicted to our own selves,” Steve said. “Our self-analysis . . . is terrible. The Bibles gives the diagnosis: ‘I was born a sinner and I’m messed up.’ We need salvation. We need to grab the cross. We need to look to Him. That’s what Noah is doing.”

            The story shows how God gave Noah an impossible mission, but then provided everything Noah needed. All Noah had to do was say (and here Steve adopted a deep-toned, “duh” kind of voice): “Okay.” Likewise, God calls us to do what we can’t before providing everything we need. Considering that the flood came the day Noah and his family got on the ark, Steve said we are mistaken if we’re waiting for a comfortable assignment.

            “You may be soaking wet as you climb on the ark,” he said. “What makes you think you’re any different? Because you’re in the 21st century and everything should be easy? Never will it be forgotten—the faithful obedience of Noah. . . .  I’m calling us to do some crazy things. Some of you should leave this country and me missionaries (and) die for Jesus.”

            Rolling a whiteboard over, Steve proceeded to illustrate the practical aspects of Noah’s experience. He talked about Mount Everest being just over 29,000 feet above sea level and the waters rising 15 cubits above the mountains, which is 25-30 feet. The water took 150 days to abate, and another 150 days to dry out. While it would have been terrifying to live without the safety of the ark, imagine the smells and sounds inside.

            Noah had to show remarkable patience to wait as long as he did, sending out a raven and then a dove, with neither bringing back a sign of viable life. Finally, when he sent a dove and the bird didn’t return, Noah knew it was safe.

            “That’s why this sermon is about hope,” Steve said. “I look at the ark as a journey of your life, the journey of your marriage. . . . You think things are okay and then think, ‘Maybe we’ not. You’re feeling like you have nowhere to go.

            “What I’m preaching is don’t give up on God or get ahead of God,” he added. “Along the way God will show you things are progressing and getting better. God gives us signs of hope along the way.”