Term 1 – Week 5
Big Idea – The world finds salvation through the righteous man Noah
Genesis 6 – 10
- To understand that the whole world has a problem, but can be saved through the righteous One Jesus
- Belief – The world rejects God, but God saves through Jesus just like he did through Noah
- Behaviour – Join the safety of being in Jesus’ family through trusting him
We have seen in Genesis a progressive spreading out of the effect of the Fall on the world. It started with Adam and Eve eating the wrong fruit, and displayed in full ugliness through the terrible action of Cain. We’ve gone deep and personal into the effects of sin in our hearts. Now we see this sin with global perspective, infecting the whole world and bringing disastrous consequences. We see worldwide rebellion, judgement, salvation and promise.
6:5-6 shows us the awful state the world had become and the Lord’s regret at the creation of humanity. What a tragic scene, as humans, the ‘very good’ pinnacle of the Lord’s creation in Genesis 1-2 become the pinnacle of wickedness. Note, when Genesis says that God ‘regretted’ the creation of humanity, this is not suggesting that God made a mistake. Rather, the use of ‘regret’ is indicating the relationship between his holiness and his providence. In his holiness God ‘wishes’ (you can use this word for the kids) that he has not made humanity, in the same way that we know he does not ‘wish’ for any sin or evil to exist. However, in God’s holy providence he sees to it that these things occur for the expansion of his glory in the salvation of his people. There is no conflict between these two aspects of God’s character, but the use of the word ‘regret’ illustrates to us the dismay of God in things he has brought to pass in His sovereign work.
The sin of Adam and Eve has spread to a worldwide scale – see 6:12. The world is corrupt and full of violence. This is a world that does not seem alien to the one we know today. There are current wars and wars throughout history that you could bring to mind. Yet it is not just wars, it is violence between people in the streets, friends and family fighting each other. The sins of Cain have infected each of us, with the effect that we have a world that is ‘corrupt’. This worldwide rebellion brings a worldwide judgement.
6:6-7 shows us the LORD’s intention to wipe out humanity from the face of the earth. Not just humanity, however, but all of the living creatures. The sin of humanity infects a world that needed a total cleanse. The fate of the natural world lies in the actions of humanity. As we see this worldwide punishment we understand that our world today is in the same situation. The world is broken, both people and nature. God promises that one day he will judge the world again just like in the days of Noah (2 Peter 3:5-7). Our world is in big trouble. We do not want to create fear, but we want to be earnest in proclaiming this warning to the world around us.
Yet, right in the middle of the story we see a break of light. One man who was righteous, who “walked faithfully with God.” Through this man came a worldwide salvation. Noah knew of the God who made all things, and knew enough of him through creation and what God had already told his ancestors to live a “blameless” life. In the righteous actions of this one man his entire family are saved. Noah obeys the commands of the Lord, building a massive ark. He believed in the judgement to come and faithfully built the ark for the remnant God is saving. God is good on his word, and they are saved, while the rest of the world perishes. Genesis 9-10 shows how this family rebuilds the human population and saves the human race.
In a similar way we are saved through belonging to the family of the righteous, blameless man. Noah points us to Christ, the one with whom God was “well pleased.” Through faith in Jesus we are grafted into his family, and therefore into the salvation won by Christ. Outside of Jesus, just like outside of the ark, we have no hope of escaping the judgement to come. In Christ we are safe, because of his righteousness.
Along with this worldwide salvation comes a worldwide promise. 9:8-17 details the covenant (promise) made to Noah and to the whole world. In the rainbow God gives the sign for the world to remember this covenant – never again would God destroy the world by flood. In the same way we have the promise of God to all who have faith in Jesus through his resurrection from the dead. This is the mark and confirmation to us that all who trust in Jesus will be raised as he was (1 Corinthians 15:21-23). In this one story of worldwide rebellion, judgement, salvation and promise, centred on the one righteous man, God sketches out his grand work of salvation through the righteous One, Jesus Christ. The world has a problem, and Jesus is the answer.
‘…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God‘
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