Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.
12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for
all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
What does it mean that the people had CORRUPTED their ways?
9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
What made Noah a righteous man, and blameless among the people?
What does it mean to walk faithfully with God?
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[d] 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit[e] high all around.[f] Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. When God wants us to do something, He will make the vision clear, and give us all of the information, tools and power to complete it. He doesn’t leave it up to us to figure everything out. Sometimes we just move ahead of God and that causes us to feel like we have to figure everything out.
Gen 7:1 The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
If Noah hadn’t done everything just as God commanded him, would he still have been saved?
God said to take 7 pairs of each type of clean animal, and 2 pairs of each type of unclean animal.
Notice that even though some of God’s creation was considered “unclean” to eat, there was still a purpose for these animals. He has a purpose for everything in creation, even if we don’t know it, and He has a purpose for everything in our lives, even if we don’t know what that purpose is.
***Notice that this was long before the Levitical laws, so God must have told His people what was clean and unclean already.
5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
40 days is an important number in the bible. This is the first reference of it. (SEE NOTES)
5:32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
6:18 But 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.
7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.
We don’t know how long it took Noah to build this ark, but it wasn’t overnight. It was after he was 500 and had children, and it didn’t rain until he was 600. He probably had to endure a lot of ridicule while he obeyed a God no one else believed in or followed, to create an object no one had ever seen before, for an event that had never occurred before (rain or flood). Sometimes God calls us to do something no one else can possibly understand, and we must endure the questioning or ridicule of others in order to fully obey God.
7:16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.
Who closed the door? God Himself!
17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
Storms can come and decimate our lives, destroying material things and relationships. Sometimes He also has to destroy the things in our lives that have become our God, and are corrupting our relationship with Him. But if we will trust and obey God, He can become for us a safe shelter that carries us on top of the flood waters, and carries us to our next God-ordained destination. Instead of clinging to our possessions as the waters carry them away, we need to let go of everything and willingly climb into whatever source of safety God has provided. Otherwise, we will be overtaken and overwhelmed by the flood, despite our own efforts to save ourselves.
24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights, but the waters flooded the earth for a total of 150 days. Just because the storm ends doesn’t mean that the consequences of the storm are over as well. Sometimes you have to hunker down for a while until everything passes. Sometimes we simply have to start over and rebuild, not trying to save and rebuild what has been damaged. But you have to seek God to know what should be left behind, and what He wants you to keep working on.
8 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
Doesn’t that comfort you to know that God doesn’t leave you in a storm, and the aftermath, and forget about you, or leave you to figure out and fix everything yourself?
6 After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
Another mention of forty days.
8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark.
What do you think Noah was thinking?
Do you think he had doubts about whether or not he would remain stranded?
What kind of disappointment or even anxiety do you think he might have felt when the dove came back?
10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
He had to keep waiting and literally testing the water until it was safe to disembark. How many times do we give up because the first or second time didn’t work for us?
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.
18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.
Still, Noah didn’t leave the safety of God’s chosen vessel until God told him to. He remained obedient.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
The very first thing Noah did was to build an altar and sacrifice some of the very precious clean animals. God must have told him at some point that that was the appropriate response to thank God. But that also took faith. He was probably planning on eating some of those animals, so that was a first fruits type of offering, meaning he would have to trust that God would provide more for him.
21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
God still knows that, even from childhood, our human nature is to be evil and selfish. That is why He provided the CURE to our sinfulness – Jesus. Through His death and resurrection, He provided us with a spiritual nature that would come alive when we place our faith in Him, that would create God-fearing, God-seeking alternatives to our evil inclinations and thoughts.
Luke 17:22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’[e] Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”[f]
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
2 Peter 2:2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority.
Here are some examples of the Bible’s use of the number 40 that stress the theme of testing or judgment:
In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25). The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3). The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan (Numbers 13:25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). Before Samson’s deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1). Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him (1 Samuel 17:16). When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).
The number 40 also appears in the prophecies of Ezekiel (4:6; 29:11-13) and Jonah (3:4).
Whether or not the number 40 really has any significance is still debated. The Bible definitely seems to use 40to emphasize a spiritual truth, but we must point out that the Bible nowhere specifically assigns any special meaning to the number 40.