Friday, May 7, 2010

Genesis Chapter Six, Part 2

6:8 Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.This is the first time in the Bible that the word “grace” is mentioned. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Was there something extraordinary about Noah? Not at all. Grace is the absolute unmerited favor of God which He gives to men of His own free will. Nothing we can say or do will ever make us worthy of grace, or compel God to look in our direction solely for our righteousness’s sake. All our righteousness are as filthy rags before a holy God, Isaiah 64:6. This is one reason why the doctrine of conditional salvation falls so shy of the mark. Grace is only found, NEVER earned! Ephesians 2:8-9 clarify this in some of the plainest wording in Scripture: “For by grace have you been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.” Works do not enter the equation with either salvation’s conception or retention. Noah found grace, and was at that point a justified man before God. God’s plan of salvation has been the same from the beginning of time; there is no other method by which He brings sinful men and women before His presence, Ephesians 1:4.

6:12 all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.Solomon wrote, “God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes,” Ecclesiastes 7:29. Paul was more to the point: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. God has condemned all men under the law so all the world would become guilty before God, Romans 3:19. But this was to the end that everyone could receive the free pardon by grace in the efficacious work of Jesus Christ on the cross, on our behalf, Romans 3:24. Salvation was to this end thrust out of the dominion of works, and set down on the foundation of faith in Christ’s person and finished work on Calvary, Romans 3:27-28; 4:4-5; 11:6. What in our eyes appeared to be great tragedy and travesty was in God’s eyes a portion of His eternal plans and purposes. The ground is level at the foot of the cross, and since all have sinned, now all are on equal footing to receive God’s merciful pardon by grace alone. Anyone attempting to earn their way to Heaven does not conceive the severity of God’s view of sin, nor the incredible and radical means God used to remedy our hopeless position by putting Christ to death, and making Him to be sin for us, 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13.

6:14 …pitch…
The Hebrew word for pitch is “kopher,” which is equivalent to the word “kaphar,” and is frequently later translated “atonement.” Thus the covering pitch of the ark kept the vessel aloft, just as the covering blood of Christ keeps a redeemed sinner in the body of Christ, Revelation 1:5. It wasn’t Noah’s labor that saved him, but God’s preserving ability.

6:15 The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.The Flood and Noah’s ark are some of the most derided and ridiculed segments of the biblical account of creation and the ancient account of mankind. The actual dimensions of the ark are impressive: 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high; complete with three decks for animal storage and food supplies. Its dimensions make the ark extremely difficult to capsize, but not a good choice for speed; which was not a problem for Noah, since his goal was not reaching a desired destination, but the preservation of his family and all land-dwelling animals.

6:17 behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth
This judgment was the direct result of God’s divine power and ability to perform His will on the earth. The breaking up of the fountains of the deep (Genesis 7:11) was only the secondary cause; God was back of this, performing His will. What we call the fossil record happens to be the resultant evidence of the Flood.

6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Earlier in the chapter we learned that Noah found grace in God’s sight, verse 8. Verse 9 explains that Noah was a just (or justified) man and perfect (or blameless) in his generations, because Noah walked with God. This does not mean literally, but like Enoch before him, Noah was entirely submissive and obedient to the revealed will of God. Noah knew God’s revealed will in the form that the Flood was approaching, and that he had been commanded to construct an ark, despite the fact that no rain had fallen on the earth. The writer of Hebrews states: 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 an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith,” Hebrews 11:7. Noah was a type of Christ. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin…If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father,” John 15:22, 24. Noah’s obedience to the divine will was a sign to the people of his time that God had spoken and revealed His purpose and desire. His words were accompanied by action, and when anyone beholding him witnessed his speech and conduct, it removed all vestige of excuse from them. Their sin of willful rebellion and selfish desire was revealed against the amazing humility and reverence of a single God-fearing man; thus he condemned the ancient world. We should likewise strive to be so, Christians. “Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind,” Philippians 3:16.

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