Noah’s Ark Revisited: A Lesson In Divine Judgment and Grace

June 10, 2024

The story of Noah isn’t exactly the bedtime story we’ve all grown up to think it is. From summers in vacation Bible school to singing songs in children’s church, those of us who grew up in church know quite well the familiar tune: “Well Noah, he built Him, he built Him an arky arky…” And then…everybody dies. Like I said, not quite the bedtime story we’ve envisioned.

For someone who hasn’t grown up in church, it can be shocking that God destroyed His world. However, for the Christian, the shocking thing about this story isn’t that everyone died; it’s that anyone was saved at all.

For week two of our series through the story of Noah, we saw that all of us have participated in the corruption of the world through our sin. Our big idea this week was that our sin deserves the flood of God’s wrath.

From Wrath to Redemption: The Heart of Noah’s Story

Read Genesis 6:11-7:24. This is a large portion of text, but it’s important to get the full scope of Noah’s story. In this story, I want to point out three things:

  1. Noah’s story is a miracle.
  2. Noah’s story is a warning.
  3. Noah’s story is about salvation.

Noah’s Story is a Miracle

Noah’s story is a profound example of a miracle. The events in Genesis 6 and 7 defy natural explanation, a point skeptics like Robert Moore criticize by arguing that believers rely on the “wastebasket of miracles.” However, trying to rationalize a supernatural event through natural phenomena misses the essence of its divine nature. The flood, the ark’s dimensions, the logistics of the animals—all of these are miracles that don’t fit into neat, naturalistic boxes. Debates about whether the flood was global or local are secondary to the acknowledgment of its supernatural character. Attempts to overly naturalize biblical miracles often lead to a slippery slope where faith erodes into mere moralism. As believers, trusting in Jesus, who affirmed the historicity of the flood in Matthew 24, anchors our faith in the miraculous, allowing us to embrace the supernatural aspects of our faith without the need for natural explanations.

Noah’s Story is a Warning

Noah’s story is a miracle, but it also serves as a stark warning that God will not tolerate sin indefinitely, and when His reckoning comes, it is total and complete. We see this in Noah’s story as symbolized by the floodwaters. Just as the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake and the Boxing Day Tsunami unleashed catastrophic devastation in 2004, so too does God’s wrath against a corrupt world. Genesis 6:11-13 describes how the earth was filled with violence and corruption, prompting God’s decision to destroy it. This is echoed in Romans 6:23, which states that the wages of sin is death. Noah’s story is underscored by the warning that sin’s consequences are severe, both in this life and eternally. Jesus also warns in Matthew 24:37-39 that, just as people were unprepared for the flood in Noah’s time, so too will many be unprepared for His return. Have you wrestled personally with this truth? Let this narrative serve as a sobering reminder of the severity of sin and the reality of divine judgment.

Noah’s Story is about Salvation

Noah’s story is a miracle, and it serves as a warning, but ultimately, the story of Noah highlights God’s mercy rather than His wrath. The real surprise in this text is not God’s judgment, but His grace towards those who respond to Him, as shown when God Himself shuts Noah and his family into the ark, protecting them. Look again at Genesis 6:16, and specifically this phrase: “…the LORD shut him in.” Just as a father tucks his children in at night for safety, God seals those who trust Him. Salvation is only possible through being “shut in” by God, which is fulfilled through Jesus Christ, the greater Noah. Jesus lived a sinless life and then died on a cross, providing the ultimate sacrifice to save humanity from God’s wrath. Just as Noah trusted God, we are called to trust in Jesus for our salvation, acknowledging that God’s wrath flooded Jesus so it wouldn’t flood us.

Accept God’s Grace to Cover Your Sin

Unbeliever, what is left to you is what was left to Noah: Will you trust in Him? Heed Noah’s warning, and accept God’s grace to cover your sin today. For the believer, I urge you to think about what you deserve versus what you have in Christ. How is His grace changing you? The full weight of the wrath of God has fallen on Jesus in your place. Let the good news of the gospel flood your heart and change how you live today.

-Andrew Hopper, Lead Pastor

Watch the full sermon from week two of our  “Noah” series below:

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