Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered March 26, 2011 by Pastor Don Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Noah Was Ready

Genesis 6:8-14

(RealAudio available)

A little granddaughter was sitting on her grandpa's lap admiring him and listening to a story or two and she got to touching his face and finally she said, grandpa, were you on Noah's Ark?  And he said, well of course not.  So she looked at him some more.  She said, well why didn't you drown?

Let's talk about Noah.  The antediluvian's.  They were of great stature and great strength and great intellect.  They invented more inventions than Thomas Edison, probably.  They were awesome.  They lived in an age when they used their mental horsepower to devise and invent and patent new ways to do evil.  Shame on them.  It got so bad that God decided to destroy the world, and I don't blame him.   They lived in a place almost as pretty as the garden of Eden.  The trees were just as magnificent.  They were still there, the same trees that were in the world when the world was created were still there.  They were created mature and big but the people underneath the shade of those trees put idols and sacrificed human sacrifices. 

I want you to look at Genesis 6:5. It makes an interesting statement.  The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the Earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  A lot of superlatives there.  It was bad.  And so God decided to do something about it.  What he decided to do was the only thing that he could do.  To destroy the world.  The wickedness of men were open.  Polygamy was rampant.  They took joy in destroying the life of animals. 

However, there was one person who was good.  More than one.  Noah, his sons, and Methuselah and his sons.  They were contemporaries and they labored to glorify God and his truth.  In Second Peter 2:5 it says that Noah was a preacher of righteousness.  That's great.  He preached righteousness by grace.  He preached the same thing that we preach.  He taught that we are saved by the righteousness of God.  He was a man of faith, and you are saved through the free gift of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Same way that Noah was saved.  Genesis 6:8 says, Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people at his time and he walked with God.  So Enoch was not the only person who walked with God.  Noah walked with God as well.  Noah was not translated.  Enoch was. 

One day when Noah was several hundred years old an Angel came to him and gave him his life purpose.  Noah apparently did not know that.  He had to wait 480 years to discover his occupation because we know him as a shipbuilder, don't we.  Also it was announced after he was 480 years old that he would become a father and that he should build the ark for the saving of his family.  So in verse seven of Genesis 6, the Lord said I will wipe mankind whom I have created from the face of the earth.  Men and animals and creatures that move along the ground.  Birds of the air, for I am grieved that I have made man.  Then in verse 14, make yourself an ark of cypress wood, this says.  Make rooms in it, coat it with pitch inside and out.  And in verse 15.  This is how you are to build it.  The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.  Just slightly higher than this church.  A big boat. 

Now for years, shipbuilders could not fathom the reason for the dimensions of the ark, but a pious man in Holland, a shipbuilder named Peter Jensen build a ship with the same exact proportions.  In other words it was six times as long as it was  wide and one 10th as high as it was long.  450 feet.  So it was 45 feet tall.  It was ridiculed just like Noah's boat was ridiculed, but it was found that this ship would carry one third more freight, would sail faster and was safer than any other.  So it's remarkable that today, little variation from the ship that Noah built is in the ships that we build today. 

Now Noah shared the news about the coming flood with his grandpa Methuselah and he came over every day with his own sons who happened to be Noah's uncles.  So it was a family project.  They worked on the boat for a hundred and 20 years and imagine the effort because some of the trees were 500 feet tall.  Some of the trees were as big in diameter as from post to post here in this church.  50, 60 feet, maybe, in diameter.  How would you cut a tree down like that.  Is there any living lumberjack who could  cut down a tree that big today?  Sister White says it was almost as hard as rock.  What would you cut with?  And yet they did.  They cut it down.  They dropped that tree.  They had the muscles.  They had the equipment.  If a  tree like that were in your yard laying there, what would you do with it?  Could you saw it up?  500 feet long, that big in diameter.  What would you do with the thing?  They made 2 by 4's out of it.  2 feet by 4 feet, probably.  A hundred feet long.  Big men.  Big talents. 

Genesis 6:9.  Noah was a righteous man, blameless in this time.  He walked with God.  He was pure.  He was holy.  The Bible says something interesting in Hebrews 11:7.  It says that Noah built the ark in reverence.  Isn't that interesting?  Noah loved God.  Noah was a person who also loved his family, and every peg that he pounded  was done as an act of obedient worship to God.  If you're doing your job, every act is a worship to God?  That's what his was when he built that ark.  Every bolt, every nut, everything you do, whether you're a teacher or whatever, you're doing it to the glory of God.  And would you, like Noah, be willing to devote your efforts and whatever it takes to save your family?  That's what it's going to take today. 

You know, it's time for you men who don't know Jesus well enough to really get to know him.  Your grandkids may depend on your spirituality for their salvation.  Think about that.  I'm talking to you.  Are there some of you who don't know Jesus well enough?  You don't really have a relationship with Jesus.  We need men today who are committed to Jesus Christ.  We need men today who study the Bible in the presence of their family.  They see the patriarch reading and studying and praying to God.  We need men of prayer.  We need men who set the spiritual pace in the home.  We need men of integrity.  Men of leadership in their home.  Leaders in their church.  Leader for Christ in their community.  Like Noah, we need men today who are dedicated and they have godly excellence in their lives.  That's what we need.  

Noah stepped out in faith.  This was a major undertaking.  He was building the greatest ship that the world had ever seen, to sail on an ocean the world had never seen.  That required faith.  What was rain?  Who had ever seen  rain?  What was a flood?  Rivers had always stayed in their own banks.  I think when he built the ark it was probably many miles from the nearest large bodies of water, which were rare.  He  probably build it up on a hill so people could see it and people said, what's that fool doing building a boat up there?  There's no water.  There's no place big enough for that boat, and so they called it Noah's folly, and they consulted the scientists of that day and the scientists said, there never has been a flood.  It is impossible for this to happen.  And so the scoffers scoffed.  It took a lot of faith to build a ship without a rudder.  That ship had no rudder.  No way to avoid the rocks.  No way to steer.  Have you ever thought about that?  You don't build an ark with no captains bridge way up high where you could see out and see where you're going and navigate.  No sextant.  No compass.  Nothing.  Just a cracker box with no windows.  In fact when they needed to find out if there was vegetation out there would did they do?  They had to send a bird out that hole up at the top to find out what was going on. 

Well let me tell you that when you place your whole trust in God, God becomes your rudder.  You don't need a picture window to see where God is taking you.  All you need is trust.  I believe that God appointed heavenly Angels to guide that boat.  To guide that ark wherever he wanted it to be.  When Noah got in that boat with his family did he know the destination?  Did he have an itinerary, a schedule?  He didn't know where he was going, where he would end up, or what route he was taking.  He just completely trusted God. 

I have a lot of people who try to map out the future for me and they hand me little sheets of paper and they say, you know, I worked on these dates and this is amazing.  I've got all this written down.  I think the Lord is  coming in 2012.  I think they're right.  They work all this stuff out.  You know, I don't need to know the date.  I don't need to know the future.  Abraham went out not knowing where he was going.  All that these great men of old knew was God.  They knew that God's destination would be their destination, and that's what you need to know.  And that's all you need to know.  If you place yourself in God's hands, wherever he takes you, that's fine.  That's where you want to be.  I'm more interested in the owner of the future then I am in the dates and events which will bring in the future. 

By the way, was Noah saved by being in the ark?  No.  He was saved by God.  He was saved by the rock of ages, by a rock.  We are saved when we are in Jesus.  Had Adolf Hitler or the devil or some evil man been in the ark would he have been safe?  Only if Noah was in there because God kept Noah safe.  Noah was saved by God. 

Now in Genesis 6:10 it says that Noah had three boys.  Shem, Ham, and Japheth.   By the time of the flood all three of these men were married.  They married godly wives.  We know that because only godly people were taken into the ark.  8 human beings went into that ark.  Why didn't Methuselah go into the ark?  Because he died.  When did he die?  He died the very year of the flood.  In fact, do you know the reason that Methuselah lived to be the oldest person in the Bible, is because God was extending probation as long as possible.  Because Methuselah is made up of two Hebrew words.  Methu and selah.  Methu means death, Selah means it shall come.  In other words when he dies it shall come.  The week that Methuselah died, the flood came.  That's why he lived to be the oldest human being. 

Noah built the ark at great expense.  Patriarchs and Prophets, page 95 says all that he had he put into the ark and it's going to take you all that you can possibly have to save your family.  To save your children.  You've got to give it your best.  You've got to give it everything that you have. 

Let me ask you another question?  How many doors did the ark have?  OSHA would never have approved that boat.  What did the ark represent?  Salvation.  How many ways are there to be saved?  Only one.  Jesus said I am the door.  There is only one door.  To enter that one door, the eagle had to come down from his high position.  The earthworms had to crawl up to get in the door.  You have to adjust yourself to come in the door. 

Genesis 7:1.  The Lord said to Noah, go into the ark, you and your whole family because I have found you righteous in this generation.  None of them were lost, they all went in.  All eight of them.  Noah and seven others.  And you know about that time a very strange thing happened.  All the animals started to arrive.  I think they were all young animals.  I don't think there were any ten ton elephants.  I don't think there were any tall giraffes.  They were babies.  Just weaned.  Imagine the perseverance of the snails to get into that ark.  Most animals came in 2 by 2.  One male and one female and Genesis 7:2 says his mate.  His female.  His wife.  Every animal with his mate, and so the ark was filled with beasts,  fowls and bugs and they had a supply of seed.  They went in there, Noah and his seven and they were the remnant. 

On doomsday, the sun came up like any other day.  It was a normal day, and the best I could tell it was 2348 BC.  That day, I'm sure there was not a cloud in the sky.  The wicked were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage as they always had.  They were doing their own thing.  Having a party.  Everybody except that lunatic Noah up there.  He lived out of town.  Shut up in his big wooden crackerbox with his family and his collection of zoo animals.  Kind of strange.  Nobody was paying any attention to the weather forecast that day.  In fact there were no weather forecasters, because every day the weather was perfect.  Always perfect.  Nobody even thought about the weather.  No umbrellas or snow shovels or anything.  Every day they could have a picnic and a person who's 12 feet tall can consume a lot of alcohol.  Women 500 years old rollerblading in their scanty swimsuits down the main streets.  The devil was so happy that he was in control of such a powerful race and he desired them to live so he could continue to exert his control over them. 

The Angels shut the door to the ark.  They were shut in.  That's the close of probation.  For seven days Noah waited.  Suddenly there was a dark UFO in the sky.  What is that?  We would call it a cloud.  Something new under the sun.  Don't ever think there's nothing new under the sun.  Sort of pretty like cotton candy.  Kind of scary, and more and more of those things overspread the sky and some of them were dark and they were getting darker and darker and these UFOs were strange and somebody heard deep rumblings and sounds and they could see light flashing here and there.  A serious storm crashed their party and it got darker and darker and soon were these heavy, large drops of water falling on them.  Cold drops.  Jets of water bursting up from the Earth with such a force that massive boulders came up out of the ground.  The whole Earth was changing and eventually they could see these bright lights quickly stabbing the Earth with their slender swords.  All were totally unprepared for the flood.  The water started rising.  Everybody was unprepared except Noah and his family.  Noah was ready.  Noah was ready. 

Was it a worldwide flood?  If you believe in the Bible it is a worldwide flood because Second Peter 3:6 says it was worldwide.  Let's believe it.  Did it cover Mount Everest?  Mount Everest didn't exist at that time.  Later.  So there's a lesson in this.  It took Noah 40 days to find a parking place for his ark.  It parked where the Angels put it. 

I heard an interesting story about Noah.  After the door of the ark was opened, all the living things rushed out to freedom except for two snakes.  They lingered near the door and Noah said, why don't you all go forth and multiply and the two snakes said, we are adders.  If you have to explain it it's bad. 

We have the rainbow today that gives us the promise that never, ever again will  there be a worldwide flood to destroy the world.  In fact, wickedness is just as bad or worse than it was in Noah's day.  It is terrible.  We are ready for the destruction of the world.  In fact, the world, I think, deserves to be destroyed again because of the wickedness that we have.  And so what should we be doing?  We need to be like Noah.  We need to be ready.  He was prepared.  He was prepared because he walked with God.  Only those who entered the ark were saved, and that's true today.  You've got to enter Jesus Christ.  You've got to make sure of your salvation.  As a reward for Noah's faithfulness God saved his entire family, and I think if you gentlemen, if you ladies are faithful, you're going to see your children in heaven.  Don't give up on your kids.  Be praying for those kids.  You may say, well, we've lost it all.  Well, it isn't over until it's over.  God wants your children to be saved just as much or more than you do.  So each of us who are parents need to be faithful.  We need to be faithful in these last days.  Noah was ready.  Are you in Jesus?  Are you in the ark of safety?  Or are you just waiting for another weather forecast.  Let's be ready.  Let's stay ready, and pray for our kids to be ready, and go home together.

Dear father.  Even as this young baby was dedicated here at our pulpit today, may we dedicate ourselves.  May we be like Noah.  May we be living in Jesus Christ and may He be our shelter in the time of storm that is coming upon this world.  Dismiss us with your blessings, your love, your grace, your robe of righteousness.  We ask in Jesus' name. Amen

Hymn of Praise: #36, O Thou in Whose Presence
Scripture: Genesis 6:8-14
Hymn of Response: #, Are You Ready For Jesus To Come?
Sermon Notes:  Sermon notes available as PDF

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McDonald Road Sermon transcribed by Steve Foster 04/07/11