Daybreak: Genesis 6:1 through 7:5
“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” (Genesis 6:22)
Roy Frymire was stationed in England with the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He served in one of twelve mobile repair units; his group’s responsibility was to fix damaged B-17s that were coming back from daylight raids over Europe. In order to get quick medical attention for the wounded men, these planes landed at the first airport they found once they were over England. It was the duty of the mobile units to fix those planes sufficiently so they could fly back to their designated bases.
One particular day, Roy’s unit was repairing a damaged plane. A part was needed from a similar plane being dismantled for salvage at the base, and Roy was sent over to get it. Men were working inside the plane, and he was standing under it looking for the crew chief of that group so he could get permission to take the part that was needed. Suddenly he heard the words, “Get out from underneath this plane!” He obeyed instantly, and he had just stepped out from under that plane when it crashed to the ground. He later testified, “While I do not know what made the 34,000 pounds of metal fall, I do know that God spared my life that day.” Obedience to the command was his salvation.
In today’s text, we learn of another man whose life was spared because of his obedience. Noah was a lone star in a world darkened by sin and corruption — the power of darkness could not overpower the presence of God in his life. In verse 9, we read that Noah was “a just man” and that he “walked with God.” He clearly was sincere in his desire to do God’s will, and proved it by his obedience in what seemed an impossible and incomprehensible task. Because of that obedience, God saved him and his family from a horrific flood that destroyed every other living being on earth.
Noah’s obedience was not based on a complete understanding of what God was going to do. Although God revealed to this righteous man that He would destroy all those upon the earth, He did not explain all the details of how this would happen. For example, He told Noah to build an ark, but Noah had never seen an ark before. Still, Noah stepped out in faith and obeyed God.
Like Noah, we must be obedient to the Lord if we are to be saved from God’s judgment. Let us purpose in our hearts to walk in obedience to God, whether or not we fully understand what He requires of us. It will be a life-saving decision!
Sixteen hundred years had elapsed since man had first sinned in the Garden of Eden, and by this chapter in Biblical history, sin had totally enveloped the earth. Verses 1- 4 of our text suggest how the mingling of the righteous and the unrighteous — the “sons of God” (worshipers of the Lord, thought by some Bible scholars to be descendants from the godly lineage of Seth) commingled with ungodly women (perhaps the descendants of unrighteous Cain). Corruption was the result, and in time, the people of the world abounded in evil imaginations, thoughts, and actions (verse 5). God’s grief at man’s sinfulness caused Him to “repent” that He had made man, and He determined to destroy the whole earth (verses 5-7). As used here, the word “repent” means a change of relationship, with God turning from fellowship to judgment.
Verses 8-22 relate that one man — Noah — was an exception. Noah made an effort to please God in spite of the ungodliness around him, and for that reason, he “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” In Hebrew, the word grace comes from a root meaning “to bend or stoop.” Thus, grace is the condescending or unmerited favor of a superior person to a lesser one. This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.
God forewarned Noah of the coming destruction, and ordered him to build an ark for the safety of himself and his family. He gave specific instructions regarding the dimensions of the ark and the manner in which it should be constructed. The ark that Noah built was comprised of three floors. It was approximately 450 feet long (the length of one-and-a-half football fields), 75 feet wide, and as high as a four-story building (45 feet). These proportions are exactly those necessary for a barge-like vessel. Being a huge wooden box, it was designed for flotation, not navigation.
In verse 18, God promised to establish a covenant with Noah. (The covenant was actually established in Genesis 9:9-17). This is the first time a covenant between God and man is mentioned in Scripture.
Though God delayed His judgment for 120 years while the ark was being built, the people did not take advantage of the time God gave them to repent of their sins. God was about to execute judgment by destroying all of the people in the world, but He preserved Noah and his family and established the new world population through Noah and his descendants.
In the first five verses of chapter 7, God issued the invitation for Noah and his family to come into the ark, a place of safety and salvation. Noah also was instructed to take designated animals, clean and unclean, into the ark. In all this, Noah did as God commanded.
Noah was not an insignificant character in the Bible; he is mentioned fifty times in nine different books. Perhaps the best known of these references is found in Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The early history of the human race
D. The judgment upon mankind
1. The cause for judgment (6:1-7)
2. The exception to judgment — Noah (6:8 — 7:5)
a. His righteousness (6:8-12)
b. His refuge (6:13 — 7:5)
(1) The ark commissioned (6:13-22)
(2) The ark entered (7:1-5)
A Closer Look
- What explanation did God give to Noah regarding why he was to build an ark?
- What similarities do you see between the attitudes and behaviors of the people of Noah’s day and the people in our world today?
- What can we do to ensure that the ways and values of the sinful world do not filter into our lives?
Like Noah, we can be obedient to God and escape the divine judgment that will one day come to those who choose to continue in disobedience.