Old Testament V.I.P.s: Noah

This is yet another reason why Church is so important – because here more than anywhere you should be able to find others who are lovers of righteousness.

Croton Hardy Dam sign:  “Warning: when siren sounds leave immediately”

#1:  The Righteousness of Noah (6:8-9; 7:1)

Our first heading is the Righteousness of Noah, read 6:8-9.   Noah is part of the line of humanity that believes in God and walks with Him.  He is an example of righteousness and faith for us today (Hebrews 11:7)  The Bible chronicles how the righteous God pursues righteousness on the earth.  

 

First, the righteousness of Noah meant that he lived the way God wanted him to live. (God loves righteousness.  God is committed to righteousness)

 

Second, the righteousness of Noah was a striking contrast with everyone around him.  Notice verse 8 says “But…” contrasting Noah with his contemporaries. Then notice later in 6:17-18, and then 7:1.

 

He would have been honest, meek, kind, forbearing…all the traits opposite of the corrupt, violent, dishonest society around him.  

 

It is the destiny of God’s righteous people to suffer in witnessing the continual unrighteousness of the world around.  The righteous will not find satisfaction in looking to this world for exemplary righteousness. Noah was alone in righteousness.  Lot, in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, was alone “….” (2 Peter 2:7-9). The road is wide that leads to destruction, Jesus said, and narrow is the road to salvation.  Many are on the wide road, and few are on the narrow. Jesus was making our sermon point for us: that if you will live for righteousness, you will live with few companions – if any.  This is yet another reason why Church is so important – because here more than anywhere you should be able to find others who are lovers of righteousness. If someone comes looking, are you one they should find?   (God hates evil and judges it)(Php 2:12? stars…Rom 12:1-2, don’t conform….let your light shine Mt 5….)

 

Application:  The only person’s eyes that matter are God’s.  Are we taking seriously how God sees us? He knows us.  He knows not just our every action, our every word, but, even our every thought and everything that goes on in our hearts.

 

Application:  Stay faithful to God, even when you’re the only one.  God sees you.

 

Application:  Look to God for satisfaction of righteousness, not this world.  Let the evil of this world drive you to God and find hope and encouragement in Him.

 

Third, the righteousness of Noah was passed down to him.  Noah came from a long line of righteous men as chapter 5 details.  Let me point out 3 men in this list from chapter 5 that I think show the heritage of great faith Noah was born with.

 

First, is Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch.  Chapter 5 verse 24 says Enoch was a man who “walked with God”.  Walking with God is a phrase of righteousness – capturing the idea of a man who believed in God, worshipped Him only, and lived the way God wanted him to live.  The phrase is used of Noah in 6:9, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” Enoch did not die, but, was taken from the earth by God (v24).  This indicates not condemnation, but, a unique and special incident where God chose to simply “rapture” you might say, a faithful man of God. No doubt Noah would have heard about his great grand-father

 

Secondly is Noah’s grandfather Methuselah.  Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather.  Now here’s why Methuselah is important, other than the fact that he lived longer than any other human in history to 969 years of age:  the year he died is the year the Flood came. We don’t know how long Noah took to build the ark and we don’t know if the Flood came immediately after he finished building it.  But we do know this: Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather, the longest living human being ever, died the very same year the Flood came. I believe this indicates his righteousness in God’s eyes because God was waiting until Methuselah died a natural death and did not want to let him be wiped away in the Flood which was a judgment of God on the unrighteous.  Don’t balk too quick at this thought because later on in the Bible remember that God made the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years when it was a 3 day hike to the Promise Land from Egypt. Do you know why they wandered? If you say its because they rebelled against God and didn’t believe Him you would be partially right. The rest of the reason is that God made Israel wander for 40 years in the desert because He was waiting for every last person who rebelled against Him to die in the wilderness (Numbers 32:13)

 

Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, so, for 600 years he had known his grandfather Methuselah.  Now get this, this might blow your mind like it did mine this week. Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather, would not only have been able to tell Noah all about Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch, but, Methuselah would have told Noah about Adam, the first man that God created.  Methuselah was alive for the last 243 years of Adam’s life. This means that Methuselah heard from Adam himself all about the Garden before the Fall, what happened at the Fall, and what it was like after the Fall with all the changes. I did a chart this past week from Genesis chapter 5 showing how the lifespans of these people overlapped and Adam lived long enough to see every one of the 8 generations including Noah’s dad Lamech, who lived for 55 years while Adam was still alive.  Noah was the first generation that was born where Adam was no longer alive.

 

Thirdly is Noah’s father, Lamech.  Lamech’s righteousness is seen in two ways.  First, because he also died a natural death instead of being wiped away by the Flood.  He died 5 years before the Flood. Secondly, however, Lamech’s naming of Noah implies his hope of God’s comfort.  Chapter 5 verse 29 says, “….” Notice that life is hard: men are corrupt and violent and the earth is hard to cultivate.  How does Lamech know “the LORD” and how does he know that the LORD cursed the ground? Well, that knowledge no doubt was passed on from one generation to the next starting with Adam, who had first hand knowledge.  But, Lamech no doubt heard it from Adam, whom Lamech would most certainly have acquaintence with. Lamech lived for 55 years while Adam was still alive and he could have inquired of Adam directly just like Methuselah could have.  Lamech worshipped God, knew God, and his own faith was taught to him from his own fathers, including Adam, the first man.

 

Application:  what kind of faith are we passing on to our children?  (Illustration: Jonathan Edwards descendents?)

At the turn of the 20th century, American educator and pastor A.E. Winship decided to trace out the descendants of Jonathan Edwards almost 150 years after his death.  His findings are astounding, especially when compared to a man known as Max Jukes. Jukes’ legacy came to the forefront when the family trees of 42 different men in the New York prison system traced back to him.

Jonathan Edwards’ godly legacy includes: 1 U.S. Vice-President, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers and 100 missionaries.

Max Jukes’ descendants included: 7 murderers, 60 thieves, 50 women of debauchery, 130 other convicts. 310 paupers (with over 2,300 years lived in poorhouses) 400 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living.

It was estimated that Max Juke’s descendants cost the state more than $1,250,000.

This is a powerful example showing how a parent’s leadership can have a profound effect on their children.
Fourthly, Noah was righteous because He trusted God’s word (6:13, 22; Heb 11:7)  (His faith showed in his obedience. He took God at His word, literally)

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